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Dublin: 14°C Wednesday 17 August 2022

Money Diaries: A 43-year-old software technician on €35K working from home in Dublin

Our reader this week details how she’s working from home through the lockdown. reader

WELCOME TO HOW I Spend My Money, a series on 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 and we’ll be in touch.

Last week, we met a 29-year-old contract engineer in the pharmaceutical sector. This week, a 43-year-old software technician who lives with her nephew and is working from home.

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I live quite close to Dublin city centre. I have been renting my apartment for the past 12 years, as it’s too hard to save for a deposit. I put €100 a month into savings, but I always end up dipping into this. I am so bad with money and it always seems to melt when I get it into my account every month.

With the lockdown, I am working from home and missing my work family. I am a very lively outgoing person and I’m missing my weekends out with my friends. I love to swim but pools are closed due to the lockdown, so I am getting out for walks during the day and again in the evenings.

My nephew normally lives with my parents but he is staying with me full-time during the lockdown as it would be too much for my parents as they are quite old and unwell so we’re doing anything to make their life easier.  

Occupation: QA Software Technician
Age: 43
Location: Dublin
Salary: €35,000
Monthly pay (net): €2,346

Monthly expenses

Transport: €20 because of lockdown (it would usually be €80)
Rent: €800 (I get €380 HAP)
Household bills: €120 (Electricity and TV)
Phone bill: €20
Health insurance: Do not have it.
Groceries: €250 +
Car loan: €200
Car insurance: €56
Netflix: €7
Swimming pool: €25
AA: €16
Pension: €85, (my job pays another €85)
Counselling: €70



9.30 am: Working from home means I can get up later, but I am very late this morning. Quickest shower ever and straight to the PC set up in my living room for 10 am. 

10.45 am: I grab a banana and cuppa for breakfast.

1.00 pm: I usually take 40 mins for lunch in the office but because I am at home, I am taking an hour (don’t tell the boss). I’m lucky enough that my parents live down the road, so I go down most lunchtimes with my takeaway tea and sit in the back garden and have a chat with them while they are in the kitchen. I’m not that hungry so I just have a bowl of bran flakes for lunch.

3.45 pm: Quick cuppa and a wagon wheel (lockdown has me eating SO much more).

5.30 pm: I finish work for the day.

7.00 pm: We have dinner which is steak pie, peas and mash.

10.45 pm: I watch the soaps, clean up and head to bed.

            Today’s total: €0.00


9.00 am: Up and shower, have a cuppa and catch up on news etc.

9.45 am: Start work, it’s a bit quiet which is unusual. I am lucky to be in the sector I’m working in as it’s still very busy.

11.00 am: Breakfast at my desk is boiled eggs and toast.

1.00 pm: It’s my dad’s birthday today so I go to the shop and take out €70. I put €50 in a card for him and I need to get cigarettes €16 (I am trying to give up) and bread €2.70. Lunch is ham, cheese tomato and onion sambo.

3.45 pm: Cup of tea and some biscuits.

5.30 pm: I finish work for the day.

7.00 pm: We make homemade spaghetti bolognese for dinner, my nephew’s favourite. I let him watch TV for the evening, I clean up and head to bed for 11 pm.

       Today’s total: €68.70


9.45 am: I am late again! I’m really not sleeping at all these days. I shower and straight to my desk and get to work right away.

11.00 am: I make some tea and toast for brekkie and have it at my desk.

1.00 pm: Go to my parents’ and sit in the garden with my takeaway tea, they are in good spirits which is great to see. Lunch is ham, cheese tomato and onion sambo.

5.30 pm: I finish work for the day.

6.00 pm: My nephew wants to make banana bread, so I head to Aldi to get the ingredients. And of course, pick up more food that I do not need. It comes to €24.57.

7.00 pm: We make dinner, which is a lovely simple grill of sausages, bacon, eggs and spice burgers. Delicious! I realise that I have left my baking tin in the office, so we can’t make the bread, so we settle for ice-cream wafers instead. We clean up and head to bed for 11 pm.

                       Today’s total: €24.57


9.00 am: Shower and have a cuppa and check news etc.

9.45 am: I get to my desk and get to work right away.

11.00 am: Tea and toast at my desk for brekkie.

1.00 pm: Head down to see my parents with my takeaway tea and sit in the garden and have the chats. Lunch is a ham and cheese toastie.

5.30 pm: Time to finish work.

7.00 pm: I need to go get petrol, and cannot remember the last time I did it. Also, I need to get milk as I forgot it in Aldi yesterday and also some cigarettes. It comes to €37.80.

8.00 pm: Go get some ice-cream (€5) and we take a walk down the coast. 

11.00 pm: I clean up and head to bed.

                      Today’s total: €42.80


9.15 am: Thank god it’s Friday, but the weeks are flying by. I should be heading away on my holidays today, so I am very sad over that. 

9.45 am: Get to work, I got a good bit of work done yesterday so might finish a bit early today.

11.00 am: I have my usual tea and toast at my desk. Must top up my phone, €20.

1.00 pm: Head out on a walk today. No lunch not feeling too hungry.

5.30 pm: I’m finished work for the day. Not in the mood for cooking so we have some frozen lasagne from the fridge. Head out to get a few beers for later, €10.

11.00 pm: I don’t drink the beers as I’m too tired. I watch TV for a while and head to bed , just wrecked.

                    Today’s total: €30.00


11.00 am: I get up and clean around and chill for a bit.

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2.30 pm: Head down to my parents as I need to go get their shopping and get my own. I also get some cigarettes so mine costs €60.

5.30 pm: I get home and relax for a bit then have a shower. We have social distance bingo tonight in the apartment block I live in. It’s for charity. I haven’t done it before so it should be a good laugh.

9.00 pm: It’s €10 each for the tickets and I buy one each for me and my nephew. We have such a good night with bingo and music. My nephew wins €50.

1.00 am: Time for bed.

                   Today’s total: €80.00


11.30 am: Neither of us wakes up until now and we can’t believe it. We have a much later brekkie than usual of pudding and eggs.

4.00 pm: Head out on a walk for a bit clear the head.

7.00 pm: We get a Chinese takeaway, I was looking forward to it but it was not nice. It cost €13.

10.30 pm: I head to bed and can’t wait for Monday to start all over again!

               Today’s total: €13.00

 Weekly subtotal: €259.07


What I learned

  • I drink a lot of tea! I knew this anyway, but I spend way too much money on food and I do waste a lot of it, which I hate doing.
  • I need to start making a list and sticking to it when I go shopping. I need to stop going to the supermarket during the week.
  • Apart from my dad’s birthday, this is a normal week for me and when I look at the numbers, more or less my disposable income is going on food. I also need to cut down on the smokes, but I am trying.

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