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Money Diaries A hospitality manager on €55K living in Munster

This week, our reader is carefully budgeting and thinking of the future.

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 the owner of a small business in Leinster. This week, a hospitality manager on €55K living in Munster.


I’m in my 30s and living with my life and two young kids under six in Munster. I try to save €300 every week but it doesn’t always work out that way! I cover the mortgage and the bills, and my wife covers the shopping. I do a bit of running to keep fit and I am off the beer for this month.

I’m really trying to invest as much as I can for the next 24 months. I have a target of €100k in investments and €100k in the pension by age 40.

Occupation: Hospitality manager

Age: 38

Location: Munster

Salary: €55,000

Monthly pay (net): €3,300

Monthly expenses

Transport: EV about €18 per week, around €20 per week on diesel for my wife

Mortgage: €1,200 per month

Household bills: House insurance, broadband, electricity, €200

Phone bill: Covered by job

Health insurance: Covered by job

Groceries: €600 per week

Subscriptions: €20 kids school apps

Childcare: €117 per month

Wife’s gym membership: €50 per month



6.50 am: Get up and help get kids ready for school. Porridge party together and then drive to work.

8.00 am: Get to work. I work through, have a small break at 10 am and eat my packed lunch of sandwiches, fruit and a yoghurt that I brought with me at 1 pm. Our canteen provides free tea. 

6.00 pm: Get home and eat the dinner my wife made. She had shopping delivered today for the week. Came to €103, but she covers this. Shopping includes ingredients to feed me for the week at work. I may eat out once a week or fortnight. After dinner, she heads for the gym and I take the kids for a walk. Spend €2.44 on treats for them in the local shop. 

7.00 pm: Shopping for a new book and I buy Prophet Song, the Booker Prize winner, for the Kindle (€12.30). I prepare my lunch for tomorrow and read until 10 pm before I hit the hay.

Today’s total: €14.77


5.50 am: Up bright and early for a 5km run. I help to get the kids ready for school once I get back and get myself ready for work. 

8.00 am: In work. The day plays out much the same as it did yesterday.

6.00 pm: Get home. My wife goes to the gym and I take the kids to the playground. She has dinner made for me.

7.00 pm: I do obair bhaile and put kids to bed. Watch a finance webinar until 10 pm and then head to bed.

Today’s total: €0.00


6.50 am: Up and help get kids ready for school, porridge party together and then drive to work, there for 8 am. Today is Valentine’s Day so I’d better do something special later.

8.00 am: Another busy day at work. No spending, head down today to get through it all.

6.00 pm: Finish work and get flowers (€25.00), card (€1.00 ), chocolates (€10.00), won’t win any prizes for originality but the gesture is appreciated.

6.30 pm: We eat dinner together. She has no gym so we play games for a bit.

8.00 pm: We put the kids to bed and watch TV until 10 pm. No phones allowed.

Today’s total: €36.00


05:50 am: Up and at ‘em for another 5 km, help get kids ready for school.

07.30 am: Today is pay day so my standing orders go out – Degiro ETF €222.00, Linked Finance €84.00, Kids’ College fund €25.00, Mortgage account €350.00. I get paid weekly so I move this out as soon as I am paid to ensure I have enough the end of the month. It leaves me with €80 for the week but being off the drink means I will have plenty at that.

12.30 pm: Go for lunch today, carvery and pot of tea with friends in the local hotel costs €17.95.

6.00 pm: Home and my wife makes dinner, I play with the kids out the back. I spot a Shein package… my wife ordered something it appears and after some badgering, she confesses … total cost €55.00.

8.00 pm: Put kids to bed and watch TV until 10 pm.

Today’s total: €681.00


06:50 am: Up to help get kids ready for school, porridge party together and then drive to work, there for 8am.

12.30 pm: Eat packed lunch again today. I need to vary from a ham and cheese sandwich for next week!

6.00 pm: Finish work and head home, stopping on way to get bread and milk, cost €4.95.

6.45 pm: I get home and take the kids out for a walk. We go to the local shop and get a treat for Friday. We also pick up something my wife, cost €7.11.

7.00 pm: My wife made some dinner while we were out, frozen dinner as we are low on shopping. Pizza wedges, goujons and peas. She heads off to the gym.

8.30 pm: I put the kids to bed and read the paper.

10.00 pm: Relaxing for evening. We try to plan the weekend but my dad is fluey so won’t be visiting those grandparents!

Today’s total: €12.06


06:50 am: I run a 10k while the kids sleep.

8.00 am: Back home and we all have breakfast together.

11.00 am: We head out and spend €40.00 on a birthday present for my wife’s sister. My wife pays. She heads off with the kids to visit her and I go to do some work for a couple of hours to catch up. (Her money)

2.00 pm: I head to my sisters’ with the kids for a visit. We eat dinner there and the kids play with their cousins.

5.00 pm: My wife heads out for dinner and drinks with the family.

6.00 pm: As my wife is out and with no hurling or rugby to watch, I join a poker game online. It costs €20.00 and I finish 6th, winning €276.00. The game has 400 people playing though and I crash out at 3 am.

Today’s total: €20.00


7.00 am: Eldest child wants to show me videos on YouTube, terrible idea to join a poker tourney knowing I have to be up with the kids the next morning! Wife had a late one so we leave her to sleep it off.

8.00 am: After an hour of trying to sneak back off to bed but with no luck I take the kids out for a walk and to the playground, buy them whatever they want to keep them quiet and pick up the newspaper cost: €10.15.

11.00 am: Wife gets up around and allows me a nap, best two hours of the weekend!

1.00 pm: I get up and go for a run (5k) and collect the car she drove into the city the previous evening to avoid taxi costs. I pick up apples and bananas so I can make a lunch for tomorrow. We are low on bread but we have wraps and bagels to use. Cost €4.00 Tesco.

5.00 pm: I take the kids out for a walk again while the weather is dry, get home and we don’t feel like cooking so I collect two kebabs from our local pizzeria (€20.00) cost was €19.00 but I tip a full euro!

Today’s total: €34.15

Weekly subtotal: €797.98


What I learned –

  • Keeping this diary has reminded me how little we can spend, thankfully.
  • Getting paid weekly can really help with budgeting.
  • We don’t have subscriptions like Netflix, etc and I think that really helps budgeting as a family.

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