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Money Diaries: A 32-year-old accountant on €50k living in Clare with his wife and child

This week, our reader is in County Clare with his wife and baby daughter. They’re managing through the lockdown, working from home and reuniting with family as lockdown eases.

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WELCOME TO HOW I Spend My Money, a series on TheJournal.ie that runs weekly and looks 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 met a 21-year-old food scientist who also does various jobs, including travel writing and cleaning. This week, our reader is working from home during the lockdown. He’s an accountant on €50,000 and lives in County Clare with his wife and young child.

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I am a 32-year-old male renting a house in County Clare with my wife. We have a one-year-old daughter. My wife and I are saving for a house so she saves €200 every week into our savings while I pay all rent and bills.

With the lockdown, I am working from home and my wife cannot work as we can’t get childcare. There is just no way I could work and mind a one-year-old. On the plus side, it has been great having so much time with my family and seeing my daughter grow up.

Hoping with these easing of restrictions we can see more of our families as it has been hard on all of us not being able to visit even for a cup of tea.

Occupation: Accountant
Age: 32
Location: Clare
Salary: €50,000
Monthly pay (net): €3,000

Monthly expenses

Transport: €100
Rent: €850
Household bills: €50
Phone bill: €40
Health insurance: €197
Life Assurance: €33

Electricity: €50
Bins: €35
Broadband: €50
Groceries: €600
Subscriptions: Netflix €14.99/ Amazon Prime €5.99

Monday 8 June

6.30 am: I get up at 6.30 most days with my daughter (she only recently started sleeping through the night so 6.30 in the morning is amazing). We go down and have some Weetabix and tea. I read some books and play games with her before I have to work.

8.00 am: My wife gets up (I let her lie in as she will be busy chasing our daughter around for the day). We have some sourdough bread and boiled eggs which we had bought in our weekly shopping before I log on to work for 9.00 am.

11.00 am: My wife makes me some lentil cakes with peanut butter and a cup of tea for a morning snack.

12.30 pm:  I run to the shop and grab some sweet potatoes (€1.65) for lunch. I make my wife and daughter some salmon with sweet potato mash and peas. I eat a quick ham sandwich with Taytos and yoghurt as I don’t like fish and I have a meeting at 1.30 pm so I need to log back on to work.

6.00 pm: Finish up for the day and go through our nighttime routine for our daughter (dinner-bath-bottle-bed). Once done I make some French toast for my wife and me with some tea.

8.00 pm: We watch some Netflix and do some reading before bed. We have an early night and go to sleep around 10 pm.

                            Today’s total: €1.65

Tuesday 9 June

6.45 am: We try to get some housework done before work. I prepare veg for dinner as I am on calls all morning. My wife makes us some breakfast and we all sit down and have some poached eggs and toast before I log on to work.

9.00 am: I log in and decide to surprise my wife with some flowers today so I quickly order them before my meetings begin. Flowers set me back €50.00 but I am looking forward to seeing the surprised look on her face when they arrive. I also order some heating oil as my wife sent me a WhatsApp from her friend sent saying prices were way down. It costs €250.00 which should cover us for a good while later in the year. 

1.00 pm: We have some shepherd’s pie for lunch which goes down a treat with everyone as it’s one of our favourites. We had gotten all the ingredients in our weekly shop. I added audio (€9.50) to a kindle book I have, so I can listen while I work during the day.

6.00 pm: I log off for the day and decide to grab a Supermacs for our tea. My wife has cash on her so she pays for this. A chicken breast sandwich meal is just what I needed as I can’t face cooking again this evening.

7.00 pm: We chill for the evening and watch a movie after putting our daughter to bed. I had planned to go running this evening but am feeling sluggish after the Supermacs. Ah well, I committed to my choice! Tea and chocolate biscuits help me relax and forget all about the run.

                     Today’s total: €309.50

Wednesday 10 June

6.30 am: Usual morning routine today. We all get up and have breakfast together before I have to log onto work. I also prepped all veg for tonight’s dinner to save some time later.

9.00 am: A quiet day today in work so the day goes quite slow. It does mean I can spend a good bit of time with my daughter which is great. It’s been the best thing about the whole lockdown. I am getting time now that I would have missed out on so I can’t complain.

1.00 pm: We heat up some of yesterday’s shepherd’s pie for dinner and it’s just as good. 

5.30 pm: I log off work and quickly go to collect my wife from my parents’ house. It’s such a weird feeling now as it was the first time I have been inside the house since the end of February. I think everyone was still a little uneasy trying our best to keep our distance. I hope that doesn’t continue too far into the future.

6.30 pm: We get home and have some fajitas for dinner. Surprising how quick it was to make with the prep I had done earlier. I must try to do that once I get back to the office. 

9.00 pm: My wife gets an early night so I put on my audiobook and play some online poker for an hour before bed.

                         Today’s total: €0.00

Thursday 11 June

6.30 am: I get up and decide to make pancakes for breakfast as we all love them. They have them with bananas and yoghurt and I cover mine in maple syrup. Probably not the healthiest start to the day but a great start none the less. I read books with my daughter for an hour before work. It’s amazing watching how quickly she is learning everything.

8.15 am:  I have lots of calls today so I log on to work early to clear my emails before I start.

1.00 pm: It’s my sister’s birthday so we grab some flowers (€35.00) and head over for a half-hour during lunch. It’s nice to start to get back to some sort of normality even if we still have to keep our distance.

6.00 pm: The rest of the day went quite quickly which is a relief as I feel exhausted today. Just trying to get to the weekend at this stage in the week! 

7.30 pm: I have a therapy (€60.00) appointment this evening over Skype (I don’t handle stress very well at all). I always feel better after it so it’s money well spent and I feel better after it. 

9.00 pm: I make some ravioli and head to bed. I’m shattered today so I end up falling asleep while reading my book.

                           Today’s total: €95.00

Friday 12 June

6.00 am: I wake up first today and am delighted it’s Friday. Only a few hours until the weekend, I tell myself, and then go downstairs and grab some breakfast. It’s not that I have any major plans for the weekend but I just want a break from work this week as it has been exhausting. I get a text from Eir telling me my phone credit is going to run out so I top up (€20.00) which does me for another 30 days.

12.00 pm: I take an early lunch today and decide to go for a walk to get some fresh air. A bit of exercise always does the world of good. I have a quick sandwich and log back onto work for the last part of the working week (thank god!). 

2.30 pm: I fire up the Nespresso machine for the first time in ages as I need a coffee to get me through the second half of the day. I hadn’t had a coffee in a few months and I was honestly wired to the moon after about 20 mins of drinking it. 

6.00 pm: The end of the day flies and I finally log off for the weekend. I send in a quick order for Apache pizza (€17.50) and grab a beer from the fridge.

8.00 pm: We watch a few episodes of The Office on Netflix before calling it a night around 11.30 pm.

             Today’s total: €37.50

Saturday 13 June

07.00 am:  My wife can only work on Saturdays because we have no childcare at the minute. So we all have breakfast and I drop her into work. My daughter and I read books and watch some cartoons for the morning. 

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1.00 pm:  We go into town and I pick up four new books (€26.50) for my daughter as I can only read the same stories so many times. We go and visit my parents and chill out the back chatting while the weather is nice. When we get back we go through the new books 10-15 times!

5.00 pm: I get some petrol on the way home but luckily my insurer gave me a voucher after all the reduced driving for Covid-19 so it doesn’t cost me anything. I order a new book from the Kindle store when I get home (€5.99).

21.00 pm: I log on and play some poker online with my friends (€2.37). I was losing €50 at one stage so €2.37 is a good result and also first time I lost anything in a while. We finish up around 12.30 am. It is always good to catch up with people especially the way things are gone. We all live in different places now so poker is a great excuse to log on and chat.

            Today’s total: €34.86

Sunday 14 June

06.00 am: I wake up wrecked this morning so it’s Weetabix for everyone for breakfast today. Really struggle to find any sort of motivation this morning so we just chill and watch some TV for an hour.

09.00 am: We all head out for a walk for an hour to stretch our legs. I grab some juice on the way home at the shop (€4.60). It’s such a dull morning I hope we get some more good weather soon as the sunshine definitely made Covid-19 a bit more bearable. 

11.00 am: My wife makes us some scrambled eggs and toast with some juice.  I prep some veg for lunch and read my new book while our daughter naps. 

1.00 pm: I make some spag bol for lunch which everyone finishes. After lunch, we head off to visit both our families.

4.00 pm: I go do the food shopping for the week while my wife is visiting her parents as I can’t bear doing it later in the evening. I am doing the shop at the minute as my wife doesn’t drive so it makes the most sense. Normally we would all go together. I end up going to Tesco (€118.00) as there was a big queue in Aldi and I wasn’t going to wait in the rain. 

7.00 pm: I order Supermacs from the delivery guys (€21.50) as I am too tired to cook after all the shopping (I know I’m lazy). I normally get a takeaway after doing the shopping as by the time it’s all done and put away at home all motivation is gone. I woke up on the couch at nine o’clock so decide best to head to bed.

             Today’s total: €144.10

                              Weekly subtotal: €622.61

What I learned –

  • I think it was a typical week to be fair (excluding the oil and flowers €337.21 seems about right).

  • We definitely eat too many takeaways. Three in a week is too many but since I am working from home and cooking at lunchtime I just don’t have the motivation in the evenings. This should stop once things are back to normal.

About the author:

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