Money Diaries A software engineer on €62K living in Dublin and saving for a home

This week, our reader is working and hiking and trying not to overdo the supermarket visits.

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 a data scientist on $175K who has moved to the US for work. This week, a software engineer on €62k living in Dublin. 


I’m currently living in Dublin City. I usually save about 10-15% of my income in an average month but I tend to save less in summer months. I’ve lived in Dublin for the last six years and have had a steady job and income.

I’m looking to buy a property in the next two years as I’ve a decent amount saved up, but the current housing crisis has made it difficult. A lot of my friends have emigrated or moved back home, so I’m not sure if I want to buy here.

I was evicted from my last house with a friend and they’ve since emigrated to another country, but I was lucky enough to find an apartment with two others.

My hobbies are running, reading, the odd video game, hiking, going to the gym and all things technology.

Occupation: Software engineer

Age: 30

Location: Dublin

Salary: €62,000

Monthly pay (net): €2,700 (after tax and other savings and pension contributions)

Monthly savings: €300

Monthly expenses

Transport: Petrol – €100, Leap card – €100

Rent: €870 (after split with two others)

Household bills: €80 (after split with two others)

Phone bill: €14.99

Health insurance: Paid for by the company

Groceries: €300

Subscriptions: €120



8.30 am: I get up and make breakfast and a cup of coffee. I’m working from home today and get an extra half hour or so in bed, so it’s a nice, calm morning. After this, I clock into my laptop and start my first meeting of the day.

12.30 pm: Lunchtime and I have an omelette for lunch using groceries I bought last night. Check my phone and see my gym bill has come out (€120). It’s a bit steep and I’m considering changing it, but I like using the pool and it’s very close to work.

6.00 pm: I head out for a half hour run to clear the head. I shower then afterwards and head to Tesco to do some shopping. Decide on a steak sandwich tonight so get most of the ingredients and some other bits like yoghurts and milk. (€23.58)

10.30 pm: Sit and watch TV with my housemates until I go to bed. Get the bag and everything ready for tomorrow as I’ll be heading to the office and then the gym.

Today’s total: €143.58


7.45 am: I get up, shower and hop on the Luas for work. I try to get in a bit early for work so I can go up and have breakfast with some of my colleagues to catch up with them and talk about the usual nonsense. Breakfast is free in the office and there are so many options.

12.30 pm: Lunchtime and myself and a few colleagues are going out for lunch. I purchase a sandwich from a local café (€7.95) and head back to the office.

6.00 pm: I finish work and head to the gym. I do a 45-minute gym session, then head to the pool for about half an hour to unwind. Afterwards, I pick up something for dinner in Tesco (€8.73).

11.30 pm: Stay up a bit later watching TV, as I’m going to the doctor tomorrow, so will be working from home.

Today’s total: €16.68


8.30 am: I get up, shower and walk to the doctors to get results from a test I did a while ago. Doctor costs €30. I pick up a coffee on the way back home (€3.40) and then realise I also need milk, so pop into Tesco again (€1.09). (I swear I’m not a Tesco ambassador).

12.30 pm: Lunchtime and have some leftovers from last night for my lunch.

6.00 pm: I finish work and head to the Luas as I’m going out for a meal with my partner. Top up my Leap card (€10) and head to the restaurant. Full payment comes to €57.48.

10.00 pm: Go to bed relatively earlier tonight as I’m staying in my partner’s apartment tonight and get my bag ready for tomorrow.

Today’s total: €101.97


7.30 am: I get up and head straight to the gym. Get in a pool session before work and then at my desk by 9 am.

12.30 pm: Lunchtime and I get myself an Umi (€6.37) and head back to the office. My work colleagues talk about buying houses and apartments or emigrating. It seems to be the most dominant topic of conversation between people in my age bracket.

6.00 pm: I finish work and head to the Luas and pop into Dunnes Stores to get dinner. (€7.15)

10.00 pm: After eating dinner, I sit and watch a football match with my housemates. Afterwards, I go on Daft to look at house prices and then go onto Twitter which depresses me even more. Time for bed.

Today’s total: €13.52


8.45 am: Wake up a bit later than usual as I’m working from home and make my breakfast and coffee. Tune into my first meeting of the day at 9.30 am.

12.30 pm: Go for a lunchtime run around the docklands area, which is nice. Come in for a shower then make lunch which is a chicken sandwich from ingredients I bought last night.

6.00 pm: I finish work and can chill for the evening as my partner is out with friends. I buy Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 & 2 on the Playstation which I grew up with as a little treat (€17.99) and hop down to (can you guess?) Tesco to get my dinner which is a pizza and garlic bread (€14).

11.30 pm: Stay up a bit late watching TV and playing PlayStation but proceed to pack my bag as I’m going on a hike tomorrow morning.

Today’s total: €31.99


8.45 am: Wake up and get ready for my hike by showering and making some breakfast and food for it.

11.00 am: Drive down to Wicklow and go for an hour-and-a-half hike. My partner goes on a bit longer and finishes up much later in the day. When I finish, I get a coffee in a local coffee shop. (€3.50)

2.00 pm: I come back to shower, put on a wash and do some chores around the house that I’ve been putting off. Then decide to head into town to get some shopping. I get some shoes (€72) and running shorts (€34) then get some groceries for dinner tonight and tomorrow’s breakfast, which comes to €20.20.

6.30 pm: I drive down to Dún Laoghaire to pick up my partner and drive back to their apartment to have dinner and watch a series before bed.

11.30 pm: Head to bed now.

Today’s total: €129.70


9.30 am: Wake up and have breakfast which is eggs, avocado and toast (Side note: I’m probably not going to be able to afford a house anytime soon if I keep eating avocado toast).

11.00 am: Head into town to have a look at new kitchen appliances, clothes and presents for people’s birthdays. Not feeling very well today, so skip lunch.

2.00 pm: Head back to do some holiday planning, book flights (€139) and accommodation (€277) for a few days away in November.

6.30 pm: I drive home to my apartment quite tired after the weekend. I pop into Dunnes on the way home and pick up something light for dinner. (€6.60)

9.30 pm: Scroll on social media and watch TV until I’m tired, which I know is a bad habit. Head to bed around 11 pm.

Today’s total: €422.60

Weekly subtotal: €860.04


What I learned –

  • After keeping the money diary for a week, it really opened my eyes to how much I’m going into supermarkets to buy once-off or two-day dinners and I should prioritise buying more on my trips. I think I only started this as I used to buy bulk, but a lot of the food would go off if I didn’t eat it within 3-4 days. So, I should prioritise getting more long-lasting staple foods in the apartment.
  • I realise this isn’t a normal week for me either as I was paying for a holiday upfront and my gym payment came out which is once a month so I would normally take away about €300-€350 from this week as an average week.
  • Will probably get a lot of stick for being in supermarkets a lot but then again, a lot of people I know wouldn’t hesitate to splash €40-50 on a takeaway which would probably cover off 5 of my dinners over the week.
  • I need to be better at meal planning if I want to be fit and lose some weight.

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