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Money Diaries: A 29-year-old recruiting specialist on €70K living in Dublin

This week, our reader is focused on meeting expenses and saving for travel. reader

WELCOME TO HOW I Spend My Money, a series on The Journal 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 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 executive administration support worker on €45K living in Dublin. This week, a 29-year-old recruiting specialist on €70K living in Dublin. 


I’m 29 years old and living in an apartment in Dublin. I’ve been renting for over four years now. My boyfriend is in the process of moving in with me and helps with bills already, which is kind of him.

We’re more focused on saving for holidays we have planned. Anything after that goes into saving for a house. Next year after our trips, we plan to divert that saving focus for a deposit. I have just shy of €25,000 saved already but it’s not near enough for a deposit at the moment. Mostly saved from my time living at home and during the lockdowns.

Now that I am in my late 20’s and in a serious relationship, a lot of my social life would be date nights, work drinks, and wedding related events, although I do go out with friends about twice a month, usually during the day now. I also love going to see musicals, comedy shows and gigs.

Occupation: Recruiting specialist

Age: 29

Location: Dublin

Salary: €70,500

Monthly pay (net): €3,730

Monthly expenses

Transport: €120 – €100 on fuel and €20 on my Leap card

Rent: €800

Household bills: Sky – €22.50, electricity – €65.00

Phone bill: €45

Health insurance: Work pays for it

Groceries: €350

Subscriptions: €50 altogether – Netflix – €16, Amazon Prime – €10, Disney Plus – €8.00, Patreon – €6.00, Spotify – €10.00

Gym: €80

Savings: €1,000 a month

Yearly expenses

Car insurance: €565 – I always pay the lump sum

Car tax: €200

Music and dance session: €150



8.30 am: I wake up and throw open my laptop to check through my emails, and any updates that came through on Friday evening. I then wash my face, teeth and do my skincare and throw on the slightest bit of makeup. As I’m working from home today, I thankfully can get away with a minimal look.

9.00 am: I make some porridge for myself and my boyfriend for breakfast. While it’s cooking, I make a to-do list for the day and plan for my first meeting of the day. We have breakfast together and get back to work.

11.00 am: I log off my first meeting of the day. Myself and my boyfriend decide to head around the corner and grab a coffee. I get an Americano for €2.80. We head straight back as he has a meeting shortly.

2.00 pm: It’s lunch time, so I grab some soup pots from the fridge and pop them in the microwave for us. We have them while we catch up on what we’ve been up to in work today.

2.30 pm: I log onto my next meeting and work through my to-do list for the rest of the day.

5.00 pm: I log off for the day. Myself and my boyfriend spend a while looking at the IKEA website for some new desks for a home office.

6.00 pm: We get dinner started. I have to head out this evening so I throw a lasagne for him in the oven and I pop mine in the microwave.

6.30 pm: We have dinner and catch up on different things that happened in work. I change into comfy clothes and get ready for my dance class.

7.30 pm: I land at my dance class and have the craic with my friends before it starts.

10.00 pm: I land home and have a shower. I’m going into the office tomorrow so I want to feel fresh.

11.00 pm: Myself and my boyfriend head to bed.

Today’s total: €2.80


8.30 am: I get up and get ready for work. I throw on some oatmeal and look at my emails while I do, all about multitasking.

10.00 am: I head into the office. It’s only 15 minutes of a walk so it’s a nice break. Once I’m in, I grab a coffee and head to my desk to catch up with my co-workers. There’s loads of people in today, which is nice. I throw open my laptop and work with a teammate of mine on a project we’re working on.

11.30 am: Work have brought a unisex barbour in which is nice. I get a quick trim to freshen up my hair. The charge is €25.

12.15 pm: I grab lunch with most of my colleagues. Lunch is free so that saves so much money. I have the lasagne option which is really nice.

1.00 pm: I head back to work and get set on my to-do list.

3.00 pm: I actually head home and work from my apartment for the rest of the day.

6.00 pm: My boyfriend gets things ready for dinner – today is spaghetti bolognese. I have some and then I head over to my friend’s house. I have a wedding on Sunday, so she’s kindly offered to do my nails.

7.30 pm: I am back from my friend’s house and show off my new nails.

9.00 pm: My parents are just back from Italy so I head up to see them with my boyfriend. My mother kindly gifts me with a bottle of Aperol and some Captain Morgan for my boyfriend.

11.00 pm: We head home from my parent’s and I make some overnight oats. We turn on some Arrested Development in the background and then we head to bed.

Today’s total: €25.00


9.00 am: I wake up and throw open my laptop and check my email and create my to-do list. I then head out for a walk and make a few catch-up calls.

10.30 am: I grab some oats that I made last night and I work through some project work until the afternoon.

1.00 pm: Me and my boyfriend head to get some coffee around the corner, which costs €6.80.

5.00 pm: I finish work after a long day. I log on to my electricity supplier website and pay my bill – €96.50.

5.30 pm: I head off to the beauticians to get my brows and lip done – it’s a quick trip, it costs €30.00.

6.30 pm: After I land home I have a quick shower and get ready to head up to my parent’s house for the evening.

7.30 pm: I have dinner with my parents and my cousin who is also over. It’s a nice catch-up. My mum makes a lovely baked ham, I never make it myself so it’s nice to have something different and she does such a great job with it.

11.00 pm: I head off to bed. I decide to stay in my parents’ house as I’m so tired. I’ll head back to my place in the morning.

Today’s total: €133.30


7.30 am: I get up early and head back to my apartment.

8.15 am: I make some oatmeal for me and my boyfriend and start on my hair and make-up for the day.

9.00 am: I start on my work for the day and get my admin done. I’m off into the office later on for a few meetings.

11.30 am: My boyfriend drops me off to the office, it’s only five minutes in the car. I land in and grab a coffee – thankfully it’s free.

12.15 pm: All the team decide to head to lunch. I grab a make your own salad. There’s a few of us going out for dinner and drinks tonight so I decide to have a light lunch.

1.15 pm: I head back to work and go into a meeting room for a few video calls.

3.30 pm: Myself and my co-worker grab a snack and catch up on a few things.

5.00 pm: There’s a few drinks and music in the office so we have one or two before we head off.

6.00 pm: We land at the bar and get the first few rounds in.

11.30 pm: The barman kindly tells us it’s time to go home. We split the bill five ways before we do – my cost is €74.00.

12.00 am: I land in home. Thankfully my boyfriend gave myself and one of my co-workers a lift. I fill him in on all the gossip from the day.

Today’s total: €74.00


9.30 am: I peel myself out of bed and wonder about my life choices… I throw open my laptop and check though any messages that came in overnight. Thankfully Friday is no meetings day!

11.30 am: Myself and my boyfriend head off to get coffee. (€6.80)

12.30 pm: I make myself and my boyfriend some soup and get back to my laptop to work on some project work.

3.30 pm: I go out for a quick walk to get some air and get some Diet Coke. (€2.30)

5.00 pm: I hop on a video call with my teammate for a quick Friday catch-up and debrief about the night before.

6.00 pm: I head out for a long walk to shake off the cobwebs and enjoy the last of the nice bright evenings.

7.30 pm: I land home and grab a quick shower while my boyfriend pops on dinner. We’re having chicken wings and rice. Afterwards, we go back up again to see my family.

11.00 pm: We head home and hit the hay as we have a busy weekend ahead of us.

Today’s total: €10.10


9.00 am: I’m up and awake! Thanking myself that I got an early night. I am off to my friend’s house for brunch and a catch-up so I get myself ready.

11.00 am: I head off to my friend’s house. I stop on Spar along the way and get some Prosecco and NoSecco for anyone driving. It costs €16.00.

11.30 am: Brunch is in full swing. Everyone gets started on the mimosas.

3.00 pm: I finally head home from brunch. Thankfully I’m not too far from her house, I hop in the shower and freshen up. We’re out to dinner tonight so I need to do a quick turn around.

5.45 pm: We leave to go to the pre-wedding dinner. However, trying to get a taxi is proving fruitless. I’m super conscious of the time, so I panic and ask my dad would he be so kind as to give us a lift. Thankfully he does.

6.30 pm: Everyone starts arriving to the restaurant for the dinner. It’s such a gorgeous evening and everyone is in great spirits.

11.30 pm: It’s time to head home. The bride and groom insist on paying for everyone. However, I buy a gift set of chocolates and prosecco for the day tomorrow – this costs €20.00.

12.00 am: We land home. The taxi cost €22.00. Honestly it’s getting tricky to get taxis home and given the fact we don’t have that much late night public transport, I try not to have really late nights anymore.

Today’s total: €58.00


9.00 am: We get up and get ready for the wedding – hair, makeup and outfit. My boyfriend grabs us a wrap from the Spar down the road and we get ready to hit the road.

12.30 pm: We arrive at the wedding location. It’s all in the hotel so it’s super handy. We leave our bags and mix with the other guests. I grab a drink (€11.60).

2.30 pm: The bride and groom are happily married; I grab a drink glass or two of prosecco and we mix with the wedding party

4.00 pm: We check in officially to our room – it cost us €280 in total – so my half is €140. I also send my boyfriend my half of the wedding gift which is €50.

6.00 pm: We’re in the middle of dinner – I grab some drinks. (€32)

9.30 pm: Another round… (€32).

11.00 pm: I end up getting a round of shots in (€45).

12.00 am: One more round for me anyway (€35).

2.30 am: Off to bed. Feet are in bits but it was well worth it.

Today’s total: €395.60

Weekly subtotal:


What I learned –

  • I could probably cut down on my grocery bill since there is free food in work. I need to adjust that I think.
  • I should probably just get a coffee machine instead of getting coffee out. 
  • I know I spent a good bit of money on rounds. It’s vital to spend your share and make sure no one thinks you’re cheap. One thing you don’t want to get a name for. Maybe don’t do too many shots, though!

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