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Dublin: 12°C Tuesday 5 July 2022

Money Diaries: A 33-year-old nurse on €46k living in Dublin and managing her contacts during Covid-19

This week, our nurse describes the pressure she and colleagues are under in work and outside, as they maintain a distance.

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WELCOME TO HOW I Spend My Money, a series on TheJournal.ie running weekly and looking at what people in Ireland really do with their cash.

We’re asking readers to keep a record of how much they earn, how much they save if anything, and what they spend their money on over the course of one week.

Each money diary is submitted by readers just like you. When reading and commenting, bear in mind that their situation will not be relatable for everyone, it is simply an account of a week in their shoes.

If you’d like to document your spending, or lack thereof and any lifestyle changes during this Covid-19 period, we’d love to hear from you. Send an email to money@thejournal.ie and we’ll be in touch.

Last week, we heard from a 24-year-old management consultant on €32K in Dublin and this week, a nurse on €46K living with her husband having just bought their first home.


I’m a 33-year-old female who is a nurse based in a large Dublin hospital. I have been qualified for 11 years and the past few months have been the most challenging of my career. 

I live with my husband and we recently bought our first home in the past few months. We have been saving for our house for a few years so we are really happy with where we are now.

I’m not saving for anything in particular as I am taking a break after putting so much into the deposit of our house. On a good month, I will save €500 but life sometimes gets in the way.

We qualified for the first time buyers grant so the money we saved, we are putting away towards things for the house. I put €1000 into our joint account every month which covers, mortgage, electricity, house and life insurance and our phone watch account.

I transfer €70 to my Revolut account most weeks to cover for miscellaneous things (coffee etc) so I don’t have to use my bank card

Occupation: Nurse
Age: 33
Location: Dublin
Monthly pay (net): €2564 (approx)
Yearly: €46,000

Monthly expenses

Transport: I don’t drive so I bus it everywhere. I spend between €100-120 a month on leap fare. I really need to get a tax saver ticket.
Mortgage: €750 a month.
Household Bills: Electricity (roughly €50 a month)
Food shopping: €150 a month.
Phone watch: €41 a month.
Health insurance: Don’t have it.
Spotify: €9.99
Yoga classes (all online): €30 a month. These are drop-in 


5.30 am: I’m up for work. I’m very slow to move in the morning so by the time I’ve dressed, had a cup of tea and put make-up on I’m out the door at 6.10 am. I get the bus at 6.15 am which leaves me 25 minutes walk away from work.

The Luas stop is really close to my bus stop which could bring me to work but I walk most mornings instead. I could get the Luas but I’m conscious of the fact that I’m working very closely with members of the public and I don’t want to spread any infection on the Luas. It’s always busy at this time and there isn’t great social distancing or mask-wearing on it.  

7.00 am: Arrive at work and get ready for the day.

7.30 am-4.30 pm: I work in a day ward so I finish at 4.30 pm. I bring my breakfast and lunches with me on most days. This saves me money and prevents me from snacking. The patients I see are often anxious themselves about being in the hospital so part of my role is to make sure they are at ease and to ensure all precautions are taken to protect them and me. I top up my leap card by €25.00.

5.30 pm: I walk the 25 minutes to my bus stop and get the bus. I meet my husband for a quick game of tennis in the local park. 

6.30 pm: We get home and make dinner. I watch some TV and I’m in bed by 10.30 pm (wild).

                                   Today’s total: €25.00


5.30 am: I’m up for work and it’s exactly the same work routine as Monday. I bring in my breakfast and lunch and work until 4.30 pm.

5.30 pm: I’m home. I get something to eat and do some stretches before going on a run. I try to run three times a week just to keep me sane. The hospital is a scary place to work in right now and it helps with my anxiety. 

8.00 pm: I shower and make a quick dinner while watching the bake-off. I’m in bed by 11 pm. 

                                     Today’s total: €0.00 


7.30 am: I have a later shift so I get up, have tea and get the bus at about 8.00 am.   

9.30 am-6.30 pm: It’s a busy day and I bring my breakfast and lunches with me again today (no change here). I get the bus home at 7.00 pm and I’m in the door half an hour later. 

7.30 pm-8.30 pm: I’m wrecked so I have a nap.  

8.30 pm-10.30 pm: I do some online shopping. I spend €88.00 on Tesco groceries, €50.00 on Amazon (I have started my Christmas shopping) and €50.00 on boots (for myself).  

                                    Today’s total: €188.00 


6.00 am: I’m up, get tea and I am on the bus at 6.40 am. It’s the same as previous days where I walk 25 minutes to work. 

8.00 am-1 pm: I’m on a short shift today and I also get paid today (hurray).

2.30 pm: I’m home after buying myself a celebratory latte and some stuff for dinner from Tesco (€10.00)

2.30 pm-4.30 pm: I watch Netflix. I’m watching The Umbrella Academy at the moment which helps to take my mind off the state we are in. 

5.00 pm- 7.00 pm: I go for a long run. It’s exhausting but my head is all over the place and it helps me to relax. 

7.00 pm-10.30 pm: I shower, make some dinner and read. If it wasn’t for Covid-19,  I would have met up with some friends or gone to the cinema or something. I’m trying to limit my contacts because of my job and I do realise my days could seem repetitive to some people.  

11.00 pm: Sleep time

                              Today’s total: €10.00


6.00 am: Here we go again, same as before. I get up and dressed, get some tea, get the bus and walk from there to work. I get in at about 7.40 am and relax before another mental day. 

8.00 am-5.00 pm: Again, I bring my breakfast and lunch to work. It’s another particularly busy day in the hospital.

6.15 pm: I stop in the shop and pick up some Diet Coke and jellies (€4.00).  

7.00 pm-11.00 pm: I shower and watch some Netflix and have a few glasses of red wine. I’m in bed by 11.00 pm. 

                                          Today’s total: €4.00


7.30 am: I’m up early as some of my family and I are going for a swim at Bull Island. My Mam collects me. 

8.30 am: The water is freezing and we don’t stay in for too long. It wakes me up and washes away any remains of the red wine from the previous night. I buy a coffee (€3.30) and we go on a little walk around Bull island.

10.30 am: I’m home and straight in the shower. I have some breakfast and read for a little bit.

1.00 pm: I meet some of my family as it’s my Dad’s anniversary. We go to visit his grave in Glasnevin cemetery then we stop and have another coffee (€3.30). We stroll through the graveyard. Very morbid afternoon. 

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4.00 pm: I stop off in Supervalu and buy stuff for dinner for tonight and tomorrow (€28.36)

5.00 pm: I do an online yoga class (€9.00). 

6.30 pm-midnight: I do some cleaning and I make dinner. I’m trying to cook more so spend a while making dinner. We watch a film and I have some more red wine. The film was a new one from Pixar called Onward. It wasn’t a great film so the wine definitely helped! 

                                      Today’s total: €43.96 


11.00 am: I wake up around now. I have a lie in most weekends – it’s all about the balance. My husband gets the paper and a latte for me.

11.00 am-1.00 pm: I read the paper, have breakfast and relax.

2.00pm-3.30pm: I go for a run. I listen to podcasts while I run to make the most of that Spotify subscription. 

4.00 pm-6.00 pm: I’m trying out a new recipe which takes a lot longer than anticipated so we have a late Sunday dinner.

7.00 pm-9.00 pm: My friends and I have a Zoom call. I haven’t seen some of them for months so its great to have a catch-up. The lack of social contact can get me down sometimes so I do try to stay in touch with as many people as I can. I am aware that with my job hinders me from seeing a lot of people. I love my job even though it is extremely challenging right now.  

                                        Today’s total: €0.00 

                              Weekly subtotal: €270.96

What I learned:

  • I really need to change to the family Spotify subscription and get a tax saver Leap Card. 
  • This was a pretty average week for me – sometimes I spend a lot more and sometimes a lot less.
  • I really need to learn to drive. I’ve been putting this off for years but I need to bite the bullet and just do it.

About the author:

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