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Money Diaries: A 22-year-old software engineer on €45K living in his parents' house

This week, our reader is working from home in his parents’ house which means he’s able to save a substantial amount.

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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 nurse on €46K living with her husband having just bought their first home. This week, a 22-year-old software engineer working remotely in Dublin and making the best of his freedoms in early Autumn.

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I’m a 22-year-old male from South West Dublin. I’m currently working remotely as a software engineer. I’m still living at home with my family, as I only graduated from university last year. I was planning to move out this summer but with Covid, I decided to postpone that and save up some money instead. 

Throughout the last few months, I’ve been managing to save between €1800 – €2000 every month. Even though I’ve been saving a decent amount of money, I don’t let any personal budget constraints get in the way of my expenses. I guess I just live such a boring life that I don’t have any big expenses, thankfully.

On the weekdays I don’t really get up to too much other than work and some personal development stuff in the evenings. I’m quite a social person and spend my weekends out with my mates. Lockdown hasn’t changed my life much at all, been working from home since March and I have been able to save a decent amount of money with minimal expenses. 

Occupation: Software Engineer
Age: 22
Location: South West Dublin
Salary: €45,000
Monthly pay (net): €2,701

Monthly expenses

Petrol: Usually €150, now about €50
E-Flow Toll: Usually €100, now €1.21
Rent: €200 (parents don’t ask for more as they’re pushing me to save for a deposit on a mortgage)
Household bills: €0
Phone bill: €20
Health insurance: €0 (paid by my employer)
Groceries: €50 (buy extra bits for the family here and there)
Spotify: €5
iCloud: €0.99
Netflix: €15.99 (pay for the family to use it)
Amazon Prime: €4.44
Pension: €250 monthly from gross salary (employer pays a further 6% of my gross salary)

Monday

8:00 am: Before Covid I’d usually get up at 6:30 am and head into the gym before driving to work but since gyms reopened with pre-booked slots, I haven’t found the motivation to go. My morning routine consists of a 10-minute stretch, shower and a cup of coffee with some rich tea biscuits.

10:00 am: This morning was our bi-weekly company call with our CEO. It runs for 30 minutes and he provides us with any important news. There’s also a Q&A session at the end. These calls have started since lockdown and have been very transparent and reassuring. I’m extremely lucky to work in a company that really puts people first.

12:15 pm: Lunchtime, so I run downstairs and put on some leftovers from the fridge (one of the many joys of living at home in a big family, there’s always leftovers). When I used to be in the office, I’d bring in lunch daily. I felt I could save some money but mainly because it was a lot healthier than canteen offerings.

5:10 pm: Finished work and go downstairs to make some dinner, cook some pasta which lasts me a few days (or a day if others eat it) and stir fry some beef with it.

6:00 pm: I go back upstairs and look at what to get my mam for her birthday, which is later on in the week. I spot a nice smartwatch for her; she’s been hinting about one for a while. I split it three ways with my siblings, so it’s €100.00 from me. That’s presents from us sorted then.

7:00 pm: I spend about two hours working on some online coding problems. As cheesy as it sounds, I really do enjoy what I do, so improving my skills outside of work hours is quite normal. I enjoy the challenge of solving problems, almost as much as I enjoy the dopamine rush I get when I finally solve them.

9:00 pm: I hop into bed and put on Margin Call, it’s a movie about events leading up to the 2008 housing market collapse, it was a great watch! I go to sleep straight after the movie 

                           Today’s total: €100.00

Tuesday

7:30 am: Get woken up a little bit earlier today by my brother getting ready for school. Spend the morning scrolling through socials and catching up on group chats from my nocturnal friends who are up till 3 am talking rubbish.

1:15 pm: Work was a little livelier today and with deadlines fast approaching we spent some extra time developing a feature on a 3-hour group call today. And in the end, did we finish the feature? Of course, we didn’t, I actually think we ended up with more problems than we started with, oh well, time for lunch. 

3:00 pm: Another series of meetings during my afternoon with some US business folks. Nothing interesting really. 

5:45 pm: Finish work and run downstairs to grab some fruit. I have an eye on the Apple announcements coming up. I love tech and always been submerged within the Apple ecosystem, so I’m definitely excited to see what they announce. 

7:30 pm: I have 2 Apple Gift Vouchers totalling €800 (Christmas and Birthday gifts from the family) which are eagerly waiting to be used.

7:00 pm: I grab some dinner with the family, and we chat about some news that came out of Budget 2021. When I get back upstairs, I notice that it’s Amazon Prime day and see that there’s a Ring Doorbell on sale. My mam has been moaning how she can never hear our doorbell, seems like another good present to get her. My dad asks to go halves on it with me because he still hasn’t got anything for her (hate to be him) so €35.00 from me.

9:00 pm: I get into bed and scroll through Daft for to see if there are any interesting listings around town. While the number of places available has shot up since March the price has stayed more or less the same, unfortunately.

                              Today’s total: €35.00

Wednesday

8:00 am: Wake up today and do my usual morning routine which ends with me at my desk shoving rich tea biscuits in my mouth and washing them down with some coffee.

2:00 pm: Only getting a chance to grab lunch now because I’ve been in meetings all day. Makes me realise how much I truly despise virtual meetings and guess what my calendar is like after my 25-minute lunch, another 2.5 hrs of meetings.

5:15 pm: Work is finished, and I just fall into bed and stare at the ceiling for about 15 minutes.

5:30 pm: That was definitely needed, got up and made me some dinner.

6:30 pm: Jump on Amazon as it’s the last day of Prime and buy a case, screen protector and a plug for the iPhone I’m going to order, the total came out at €23.36.

7:00 pm: Spend the rest of the evening coding away at a side project I’m working on and listening to some questionable music. 

10:30 pm: Catch up on my socials before going to sleep.

11:15 pm: This was the time I checked on my phone right before I dozed off. Spent the last 45 minutes thinking about a solution that came to me for a system design problem we’re facing in work. Why couldn’t my brain think of this during the day?

                           Today’s total: €23.36

Thursday

8:00 am: It’s my mams birthday this morning so we all get up and greet her.

12:15 pm: Run down to grab lunch as I have a meeting in 15 minutes. There’s a special place in hell for people that organize meetings during lunch.

5 pm: Most of today was spent on calls also, but it was actually developing software which I rather enjoy so no complaints there.

6:00 pm: With it being my mam’s birthday today I decided to get sushi for the family. There’s a nice sushi place only a 20-minute drive away so I go to pick some up. The total came out at €96.54

9:30 pm: Only manage to get up to my room now. Dinner with the family was great (other than all the abuse I got as the eldest). I’m wrecked after that and fall asleep quite quickly.

                     Today’s total: €96.54

Friday

7:00 am: Get up earlier today and log in to work earlier. Usually do this every Friday as it means I can log off earlier and enjoy a long weekend (yes, I know it’s only two hours longer).

11:00 am: Got a lot done this morning, mad what no meetings can do to productivity. The rest of the day I’m pairing with one of my co-workers to get a new service up and running. 

1:00 pm: iPhone pre-orders open, so I grab myself one. Minus the two gift cards I had the total came out at €359.20 from my own pocket.

3:45 pm: Finished work there. Hopped into the shower and got ready to head into town to meet some mates.

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5:30 pm: We had a reservation at an outdoor bar for us. Had some drinks, and oh, of course, couldn’t forget my substantial meal, cost me €35.00

9.00 pm: I get some cans in Tesco and we end up drinking around the canal before heading back to a mate’s house. Cans and my share of the taxi were €19.45.

                           Today’s total: €413.65

Saturday

8:25 am: Only get in the door now. Straight to sleep.

4:30 pm: Wake up and actually feel alright. I think I have a few more years left before a night out gives me a three-day hangover. My stomach is eating itself though. Decide to get myself a Chinese and ask the family if anyone wants anything. Get myself and my brother a spice bag each costs me €19.50.

5:30 pm: Throw on the City vs Arsenal game and get stuck into my Chinese.

7.00 pm: Was planning to just relax and watch a movie tonight but my mate texts me asking me if I want to come out, to which I said no, and then he said ‘ah cmon’ and well, I was convinced. He just has such a way with words.

9:00 pm: Had a shower, got ready and flew out the door. Almost missed my bus.

                               Today’s total: €19.50

Sunday

6:00 am: Get home at a decent time today. Quite proud of myself. Hop straight into bed. My share of the taxi home was €15.00.

2:30 pm:  Woke up and feel completely fine. I really need to appreciate this being young thing while I still can. Don’t have anything I need to get done today so will most likely just spend it binge-watching something on Netflix. 

8:30 pm: Spent the day on my phone and watching some movies on Netflix. Today was a very ‘Sunday’ Sunday if you know what I mean. Go to sleep as I’ve had a busy weekend and need to be refreshed for the work week ahead.

                         Today’s total: €15.00

Weekly subtotal: €703.05

What I learned –

  • Definitely not a typical week for me, the birthday presents, and new phone added a lot to this week’s expenses.

  • Most of my expenditure comes from the weekend. I enjoy meeting up for social drinks and don’t let money get in the way.

  • I’m immensely grateful to be able to have such wonderful parents that are letting me put money aside for a deposit rather than pay them a higher rent. I originally was going to move out and rent in town but with me working-from-home indefinitely there is no point really. With how I’m saving up I hope to have a deposit together by the end of 2021.

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