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VOICES

Money Diaries A customer success manager on €86K living in Dublin

This week, our reader is enjoying work and family life and keeping the balance between the two.

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 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 a data analyst on €61K living in Co Laois. This week, a manager in a tech company near Dublin earning €86K.

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I am a 35-year-old manager working for a large tech company and living just outside Dublin with my wife, daughter and our dog. I am fully remote and lucky enough to have space for an office at home. We are an outdoors family, so most weekends are spent hiking, walking and swimming.

Occupation: Customer Success Manager

Age: 35

Location: Dublin

Salary: €86,000

Monthly pay (net): €4,311

Monthly expenses

Transport: €200 petrol

Mortgage: €1,133

Household bills: €520

Phone bill: €91 (me and wife)

Health insurance: Paid for by employer

Groceries: €600

Subscriptions: €62 (Disney/Prime/Netflix/Spotify/Apple TV)

Gym memberships: €110

Monthly living budget: €450 (coffee, kids classes, dinners etc…)

Childcare: €140

Loan: €330

Prize bonds: €50

Savings: €500

Christmas club: €100

Dental: Paid for by Employer

Pension: 2% of gross, employer adds 8%

***

Monday

6.10 am: Up and straight to the gym. I’m a morning person, and I find getting the gym out of the way first thing gives me a lot of time back throughout the week. Forget my towel, rent one (€1).

8.00 am: Home. Make a coffee and back out with the dog for 30 minutes (she’s a large dog and spends all day in the office with me, so two walks a day are crucial for both our sanity).

8.30 am: Hang out with the kiddo before she heads off to school.

9.00 am: Laptop on, meetings, spreadsheets etc… Two to three coffees to keep me going (I got a Nespresso Machine and it keeps me going throughout the day). Other than a protein shake and coffee, I don’t eat during the day (more of an energy level habit than a diet thing, eating lunch kills my productivity).

12.00 pm: Check in with the wife. We need a smoke alarm and to get the fireplace fixed so she sorts that (€180).

12.30 pm: Kiddo is home, says hi then earphones in. Back outside with the dog for a stroll (same route, same time, every day — I’m a creature of habit).

5.30 pm: Laptop shut, office door closed. Hang out in the kitchen with the family. Dinner is ready. Myself and my wife both love cooking, so we tend to split this throughout the week. We don’t seem to split the cleaning up the same way, though…

6.00 pm: Wife heads off for a swim and I get the little one into the bath.

7.00 pm: Bedtime routine. Stories, songs, etc. She was an awful sleeper when she was younger but thankfully she’s better now.

7.30 pm: Clean up a bit and hit the couch.

7.35 pm: Remember it’s bin day tomorrow and go put the bins out (€2.00).

8.30 pm: Wife gets home. We watch some TV and are in bed by 11 pm. 

Today’s total: €183.00

Tuesday

6.10 am: Up, same routine as yesterday.

5.30 pm: Finished for the day. Wife is gone for a spin class, so I get dinner ready and me and kiddo tuck in and then play with some Legos.

7.00 pm: Bedtime routine again.

7.30 pm: Wife gets home. She put up some new family pictures in the kitchen, so we admire them and chat for an hour or so before migrating to the couch for the evening.

11.00 pm: Bed.

Today’s total: €0.00

Wednesday

6.10 am: Up and at em! Gym, dog walk, work.

12.30 pm: Out with the dog and I stop in to get a latte in the local coffee shop. Not something I do very often, but for €3.75, it’s not hard to see why.

1.00 pm: Back to work.

6.00 pm: Few issues in work so 30 mins over, not the worst! Wife has dinner ready so we all sit down to eat and catch up about the day’s events.

7.00 pm: I play basketball on Wednesday evenings so my wife puts the kid to bed. I chill out for an hour before starting to warm up a bit at home (I’ve had a few injuries this year and I think it’s just age and lack of warm-up).

8.30 pm: Off to basketball: under-talented, over-competitive middle-aged men, same group for 10+ years and I look forward to it every week! (€5.00)

10.00 pm: Throw some petrol into the car on the way home (€50.00). Chill out for an hour and head to bed.

11.30 pm: Lights out.

Today’s total: €58.75

Thursday

7.30 am: Later start this morning. I skip the gym on Thursdays as I’m generally in bits from the night before. Rudely awoken by the little one, sneak her downstairs for breakfast to let my wife get an extra 30 minutes of sleep.

8.00 am: Walk the dog.

8.30 am: Disrupt the school preparations and cause general havoc for 30 minutes before starting work.

9.00 am: Into the office and open the laptop. I have back-to-back meetings for the day today.

12.30 pm: My mother-in-law takes the little one after school today (Montessori) so we jump out to the local café for lunch. (€38)

1.15 pm: Back to it.

2.00 pm: My wife picks up the shopping (click and collect is brilliant!). (€148)

5.30 pm: Finish up for the day. It’s leftovers from last night for dinner so nice and easy. My wife is off for an indoor climb with her mother, so we make beans on toast and then bath time.

7.30 pm: Bedtime. A bit later than usual as we had important drawings to finish off.

8.00 pm: Netflix time. Thursday is always a long day.

9.00 pm: The good woman gets home so I get the dog out a little later than I would have liked.

10.30 pm: Call it a night.

Today’s total: €186.00

Friday

6.10 am: Up and straight to the gym.

8.00 am: Home, make a coffee, back out with the dog for 30 mins.

8.30 am: Hang out with the Kiddo before she heads off to school.

9.00 am: Into the office!

12.30 pm: Walk the dog.

1.00 pm: Back to work.

2.00 pm: Surprise attack from the girls, but they made cookies, so happy days!

5.30 pm: Laptop shut, office door closed. Weekend time!

6.00 pm: Grab some beer and bits in the shop. (€20.00)

6.10 pm: Parents-in-law stop in. They stay for dinner and some wine (baby gets put to bed at some stage). We chat and catch up about recent trips away by us and them. Nice evening.

10.30 pm: Head to bed.

Today’s total: €20.00

Saturday

7.30 am: A tiny hand slaps my face. Guess it’s time to get up. Make pancakes, listen to frozen, usual Saturday morning.

9.00 am: Kids GAA has been moved to an earlier time slot as it’s indoors for the foreseeable, so I grab a coffee on the way in (€3.75) and let the kid run wild (she loves it!). It’s an annual fee so no charge today.

10.30 am: Get home and get the kid ready. Her grandmother is taking her overnight, wife is at the gym and we’re off for a hike when she gets back.

11.00 am: Child free, and in the car. Heading to Carlingford lakes for a hike.

12.00 pm: Set off on the Slieve Foye Loop. Weather looks better than forecast!

2.30 pm: Back to the car, soaking wet!!! Great to be out, though. We change in the boot and head in for some lunch.

4.00 pm: A nice meal and some good chats later, we head back to the car. (€58)

5.30 pm: Home and get the dog out.

6.00 pm: Arrive back and find out “we” made plans to go and see my parents, so back in the car! Get some Ben & Jerry’s on the way so we don’t arrive with one arm longer than the other. (€12.00)

10.00 pm: Home at last. Watch half an hour of Netflix and pass out.

Today’s total: €73.75

Sunday

10.00 am: Bit of a lie-in this morning before my daughter arrives home and a dance party starts in the kitchen. Get the dog out and then hang around the house for the morning.

11.00 am: Bring the kid swimming and we stop for ice cream on the way home. (€6.40)

2.00 pm: Girls settle in for a movie. I start on a Sunday roast and potter around the house for the afternoon.

5.00 pm: Dinner.

5.30 pm: Out for an extended walk with the dog.

7.00 pm: Home and get the kid to bed.

7.30 pm: Hit the couch hard with the good woman to watch Harry Potter 1 and 2.

11.30 pm: Bedtime.

Today’s total: €6.40

Weekly subtotal: €527.90

***

What I learned –

  • We need to cut some subscriptions. €60 a month is too much.
  • Pretty standard week. We don’t do much going out at night, maybe once a month, but we’re not big drinkers and most of our socialising is with family.
  • This sounds very repetitive but post-Covid, I worked in Dublin 75+ hours a week while doing a postgrad and my wife doing a Masters while working full time. We got an Au Pair and all three of us hated the whole situation. So we are all enjoying the stable schedule and having so much time to spend together.

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