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Money Diaries: A warehouse worker on €21K living at home because rents are so high

This week, our reader is glad to be still working during Covid and is trying to make his earnings work for him.

TheJournal.ie reader

WELCOME TO HOW I Spend My Money, a series on TheJournal.ie that looks at how people in Ireland really handle their finances.

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

Are you a spender, a saver or a splurger? We’re looking for readers who will keep a money diary for a week. If you’re interested send a mail to money@thejournal.ie. We would love to hear from you.

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, so let’s be kind.

Last time around, we heard from an apprentice lab analyst on €25K saving for home renovations. This week, a young warehouse worker on €21K living at home in the west of the country and spending his money wisely.

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I’m a 24-year-old male working in a warehouse in the west of the country. I’m currently living at home with my parents in about 35 miles from my workplace.

I’ve been in my current job for over two years and it’s something I don’t want to do for much longer but I realise I’m very lucky to have solid work in these times so for now, I won’t take it for granted. Good people work there so that makes it easier.

I was renting in the city previously but decided to move back home in the past year to save more. I’m lucky that my parents won’t take rent from me but I pay household bills and help out with anything that might come up.

This has allowed me to save just under €17,000 at present. Came back from some travelling at the start of 2018 completely broke so I’m happy with the amount I’ve saved despite being on a low enough wage but I’ve no idea what I’m saving for at the moment.

I’ve always been good at saving money and don’t spend on much other than the obvious bills, food, etc though some overseas trips would be a usual expense throughout the year of course that’s not happening now.

I bought my current car with cash and I pay insurance in one go so I don’t have to worry about that during the year. I’ve started to invest a percentage of my money each month into the stock market to try to get some returns so it isn’t just sitting in my bank account. I treat my family to a few takeaways a month and help out with anything that might come up unexpectedly.

Occupation: Warehouse worker
Age: 24
Location: West of Ireland
Salary: €21,970 ( Gross )
Monthly pay (net): €1,580

Monthly expenses

Petrol: €180
Rent: €0
Sky TV: €120
Broadband: €30
Phone bill: €20
Health insurance: Don’t have any
Groceries: €80
Subscriptions: Spotify – €9.99
Savings: € 800
Investments: €150

***

Monday

9.30 am: Wake up and instantly look through my phone for about 30 minutes (been trying to get out of this habit for a long time). After that, I hop in the car and drive to the football pitch five minutes away and do a 3km run.

12.30 pm: Back home, have a shower, eat a bowl of four Weetabix and get back in the car and head to work.

1.30 pm: Takes about 30-40 mins to drive to work depending on traffic which is pretty tedious, arrive and get straight into it.

7.15 pm: Finished work. My days are 3-4 hours shorter since Covid hit and quite a few staff were let go but luckily a couple of us were kept on which I’m grateful for.

8.00 pm: Home, make some stir fry and tuna for dinner and settle down and watch the Wolves vs West ham game on Sky.

10.30 pm: Recently finished watching “The Wire” and recommended it to my sister who is watching it so I peek in to see what she thinks so far.

11.45 pm: Head to bed and fall asleep to a podcast.

                                      Today’s total: €0.00

Tuesday

9.00 am: Up and pretty much the same as the day previous except I spend slightly less time on the phone.

11.00 am: Get back from the run, shower, four Weetabix and speak with my grandmother abroad (she received her vaccine weeks ago which is great news) on the phone before heading to work.

12.00 pm: Start work, there is a lot of manual labour in the job which I don’t mind and I find time goes quickly when you’re constantly moving.

3.00 pm: Eat two pieces of fruit for lunch.

6.45 pm: Work is done and I get in the car to head home

8.00 pm: Stopped on the way home for petrol (€48.67). My brother has dinner ready which is handy so we sit down and switch between the two Champions League games tonight.

10.30 pm: I go for a walk for around 45 minutes around the local town listening to some music before going straight to bed when I get back.

                                          Today’s total: €48.67

Wednesday

8.30 am: Alarm goes off.

10.00 am: After having some cereal and a shower I go online to renew my car tax that’s out of date for a few days which I completely forgot about which comes to €56.00 for three months.

12.30 pm: Head to work.

4.15 pm: Haven’t eaten since breakfast so go to the nearest supermarket for lunch and get a John West tuna salad, bag of crisps and a bottle of water which comes to €3.80.

7.30 pm: Finish work and hang around for 10-15 minutes after talking to a colleague before driving straight home.

8.30 pm: Make myself dinner when I’m home and watch some YouTube videos from Wendover Productions, his content is insanely good. If you’re in any way interested in logistics I’d highly recommend you watch a few of his videos.

9.15 pm: Go online on the PlayStation with a few friends.

1.30 am: Just like that it’s past 1.30 am so I log off and go to sleep with a podcast.

                                Today’s total: €59.80

Thursday

10.30 am: Wake up later than usual and jump straight in the shower.

11.00 am: Hair has gotten fairly long since lockdown (approaching shoulder length) and I’ve quickly found out that long hair is quite expensive to maintain and I’ve run out of one or two products. Go onto Amazon and buy some conditioner, pomade and shampoo. I’m experimenting with different stuff at the moment to try and see what suits. Ends up costing me €31.40 with shipping.

12.15 pm: In the car and on the way to work.

1.00 pm: Arrive and get to work. The job is repetitive which isn’t great but I know what I have to do when I get there so just get into it.

4.30 pm: Spent lunch eating some pasta I made at home earlier and scrolling through Twitter.

8.25 pm: Work dragged on a little bit longer than usual in these Covid times so I’m not home and missed the start of the Arsenal game which began at 8 pm, didn’t miss much which I’ve grown to expect this season.

10.00 pm: Match is over and surprise surprise we can’t hold on and make things quite awkward for ourselves in the 2nd leg next week. Not crazy hungry so just make some eggs and toast for “ dinner “.

10.30 pm: Started an online IT course in February so I put around two hours’ work into that.

1.00 am: Scroll through Twitter and read some news articles online and go to bed.

                                  Today’s total: €31.40

Friday

8.00 am: Haven’t gone for a run in two days so set the alarm for a bit earlier today to go for a 5k run.

8.50 am: Finished in 19mins and 14secs which isn’t far off my personal best. Good start to the day.

9.15 am: Shower, I have to rob some of my sister’s hair products as I’m out. Lynx shower gel just won’t cut it anymore with the hair I’ve got. Afterwards, I cook myself and my mom breakfast and try to explain for the 467th time how an Arsenal match can cause such distress and profanities to be said. She’ll never understand the pain.

10.30 am: I went online to check how my investments performed this week, up just shy of €170 for this week compared to a gain of €36 last week which is great. I’ve been investing for just over four months now and after losses for the first few weeks and getting to grips with the market I feel like I’m getting better with it now, although I’m still learning. Been in profit every week since the 5 February so I’m happy with how it’s going.

12.00 pm: Go to work.

3.30 pm: Have an apple and Muller yoghurt for lunch and discuss the match last night with a friend at work.

7.30 pm: Finished work for the week. It might come across as handy given the hours involved but the work is very strenuous and pre-Covid we’d be lucky to finish by 10.30/11 pm most nights along with weekend work. It’s pretty easy to rack up between 20 and 25 thousand steps and that’s with the current shorter hours!

8.30 pm: In the door and don’t feel like cooking so I sound out the family for a takeaway. Order two pizzas and some sides on Just Eat which comes to €27.99.

9.30 pm: After the food, I watch the 2nd part of the Lance Armstrong documentary on RTÉ 2. An interesting character, hard to have sympathy for him but his will to win is interesting to watch.

11.30 pm: Read a few articles on the Athletic before a quick look at my portfolio again. I try to only look once or twice a week to avoid rash decisions.

12.15 am: Bed

                            Today’s total: €27.99

Saturday

10.00 am: Wake up, glance at my phone for about 10 minutes.

10.30 am: Squeeze five Weetabix into a bowl with a small bit of sugar.

11.00 am: It’s around this time on the weekends when I sometimes catch myself getting caught up in my thoughts and getting down at the thought of stuff I’m missing out on due to Covid. Usually, I’d be playing a match or going to watch one or just hanging around with some friends talking rubbish so that’s something I miss a lot.

12.30 pm: After some contemplation, for a while, I drive over to the local pitch with my brother and we pass a ball around for a while.

3.00 pm: Make a meal for my brother and myself, Tuna, rice and mixed peppers. Might seem like I’m a big fan of tuna but I’m not really, it’s just very convenient.

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5.00 pm: Go onto my online banking and set money aside for the Sky and wifi bills that go out next week. Do some calculations on what kind of savings I could have by the end of summer.

8.00 pm: Eat dinner and watch the Real vs Barca game on TV.

10.00 pm: Have an online exam for the course I’m doing soon so I look through some notes online for about 45 minutes.

11.15 pm: Go for a walk to clear my head for a while and then go to bed when I get home. Exciting day, I know.

                         Today’s total: €0

Sunday

8.30 am: Up early today and go out for a light run almost right away. I’ve been reading up on intermittent fasting recently and find it interesting so I’m trying to ease into it by not eating some mornings.

10.00 am: Home now and after a shower I spent about an hour or so reading a book I purchased months ago but kind of forgot about.

11.00 am: Much like yesterday and every other weekend I’m quite bored so I decide to go to the Lidl nearby and get some stuff for the week. I make most of my meals at home so don’t spend that much on food. The total comes to €24.73 which is about the average. I only eat about three times a day so that price of food will do me no problem for seven days.

2.00 pm: Make myself a sandwich and watch bits of the West Ham and Leicester match on TV while scrolling through my phone. Definitely not a usual occurrence to watch West ham twice in the same week.

4.30 pm: Mom’s phone has run out of credit so I offer to top it up on the AIB app which costs €20.00.

7.00 pm: Watch the Arsenal game with a pasta and chicken dinner I made beforehand.

9.00 pm: I have a few investments in Cryptocurrency which are constantly moving and quite volatile so I have a look to say how it’s doing. Not sure about Crypto being the future myself but it’s been such a good investment for me and for plenty of others in the last few months, I’m sure, so I’ll hold onto it.

9.30 pm: Not a golf fan but my dad is watching the last round of the Masters so I have a look at that for a while.

11.00 pm: Go on the PS4 to play Call of Duty with my brother and a few lads while eating some Haribos my sister got in the shop earlier.

1.45 am: Bed

                             Today’s total: €44.73

Weekly subtotal: €212.59

***

What I learned –

  • €212 would be on the high side spending wise the last year. Car tax and the hair products would only be a few times a year sorta thing. €100 or even a bit less a week would be the average.
  • I really appreciate the savings I’m allowed to make while being at home but I have been looking for places to rent for a while now but it’s just crazy prices. €1200-1400 for a 2-bed apartment in Galway city just seems like such a waste of money in my opinion so I’m weighing up my options at the moment.
  • If my parents are ever stuck I have no problem saving less some weeks to help out since I’m in a good position.
  • My journal might come across as quite boring to some but at the moment this is my reality.
  • I’m solid at saving right now but I am looking forward to blowing some of it once Covid is a faded memory. The pandemic has definitely made me realise how quickly life can pass us by so I’m not going to take things for granted anymore, so when it’s done I’ll probably do a lot more travelling.
  • I have short term goals for my money right now but what my long term goals with my money should be has been weighing on my mind for a while now. I’ve read in numerous places that I should be starting my pension because of the tax-free growth but even thinking of that now seems mad to me. Maybe someone in the comments might have a suggestion. Thanks for reading!

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