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Dublin: 14 °C Saturday 20 April, 2019
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How I Spend My Money: A data analyst in Dublin on €75,000 who wants to live his life instead of saving

His phone bill, public transport costs and health insurance are covered by work.

WELCOME TO HOW I Spend My Money, a series on TheJournal.ie that runs on Wednesdays and Sundays and looks 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. Want to take part? Details on how to do it are at the bottom of the piece.

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.  

At the weekend, a tech worker living in Leinster on €37,000 revealed his spending habits, and today a data analyst based in the capital talks about his day-to-day outgoings and why he’s not too pushed on saving. 

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Occupation: Data analytics
Age: 29
Location: Dublin
Salary: €75,000
Monthly pay (net): €4,100

Monthly expenses
Rent: €800 (€1,600 in total split between myself and the missus)
Household bills: Broadband (€32.50), electricity (€25), gas (€15)
Transport: €0 (work covers my public transport up to €150 a month)
Phone bill: €0 (work covers my €80 bill)
Health insurance: €0 (work pays for it)
Groceries: €160
Gym membership: €200 (I’m giving CrossFit a go)
Subscriptions: Netflix (€13), Spotify (€10), Deliveroo Plus (€10)
Joint account: €300 (We each put in €300 a month to cover bills, groceries and any nights we eat out/get takeaway)
Savings: €800

Myself and my girlfriend live in Dublin 6, right beside the Luas – you could call it suburbia-lite. We’re not actively saving for a house, despite everyone we know either saving or buying.

Most of my friends have had to move home to save, which does not appeal to either of us. Considering houses in the areas we’d like to buy are unrealistic in price – and we can’t realistically save enough as well as live comfortably – we’ve chosen to live comfortably and revisit saving in a year or two.

***

Monday

7:30am – I’m taking the day off as I only got back from a stag the night before. No such luck for herself, whose alarm is on its third snooze and has now woken me – but I get back to sleep.

9.00am – I’m awake now. There’s no food in the house as we were both away for the weekend, so there’s nothing for breakfast. I do a bit of unpacking, shower and get some life admin done.

10:00am – My car has a puncture, so I get that fixed and it costs €20 in the local tyre shop.

10.30am – There’s a great coffee shop in a shipping container up the road from me. I stroll over to them and pick up a coffee (€3) while the lads put the fixed tyre on my car.

12:00pm – It’s lunchtime and I forgot to pick up food while I got the car sorted, so Deliveroo is opened up on the phone. The local salad place deliver me something and having Deliveroo plus means I get delivery for free (€9.95).

4:00pm – My day of leisure has gotten the best of me. I forgot to do the jobs (food shop and clean the apartment) I was tasked with, so I start cleaning while I order shopping from Dublin Meat Company, who get my order to me by 5pm. It costs €40, but it’s on the joint account, so €0 comes out of my account.

6:00pm – Gym time.

7:30pm – I’m home and cook some of the food brought to us. We watch Haunting of Hill House on Netflix and are in bed by 10:00pm.

Today’s total: €32.95

Tuesday

7:45am – My alarm goes off and I dally about a bit before heading out the door by 8.15am. My girlfriend has a hectic few days in work this week, so will be home late for the rest of the week. As a result, she’s driving in and she kindly offered to go out of her way to drop me close by my office. I get us coffee in the container on the way (€6).

9:00am – A busy day of projects and meetings. Breakfast and lunch are catered in the office, so no cost there. Coffee is also widely available, so I’m content.

4:00pm – I leave work and take meetings from 4:30pm to 7:00pm with international offices from home.

8:00pm – Head off to rugby training.

9:30pm – The petrol light is on, so I throw €20 in – that should get me through the week. I regret ever having a car, while also wishing for an electric one.

10:00pm – Deliveroo’s app informs me a new restaurant is delivering in our area, so we get that for dinner. It’s €19.80 on the joint account, so €0 out of my wallet.

11:00pm – Bedtime. 

Today’s total: €26

Wednesday

8:00am – It’s time to get up, but I’ve snoozed my alarm for 20 minutes. My girlfriend is adamant she will leave without me if I’m not ready in five minutes. I butter her up with a coffee on the way to work (€6).

9:00am – Work, work and more work. I’m giving training to sales people today so I pass on breakfast – but I don’t skip lunch.

1:00pm – I sneak out of the office for a haircut (€30). It’s overdue by about a month.

4:00pm – I’m back home for more meetings with international offices.

6:00pm – Gym.

8:00pm – More meetings at home.

9:00pm – I couldn’t be arsed throwing something together, so I order Boojum on Deliveroo. It’s €16.30 on the joint account, so €0 from me. It arrives just in time for herself to get home and we watch some Netflix.

10:30pm – Bed.

Today’s total: €36

Thursday

7:45am – I’m up and get ready.

8:10am – My girlfriend is still driving in, so I take full advantage of the lift and promise more coffee (€6).

9:00am – I grab breakfast shortly after I get in. The only time I leave my desk is for lunch and the odd coffee – it’s a busy day.

6:00pm – Rugby training is cancelled. It’s been a mental day and the missus is at a work event for the evening. I’ve not-so-subtly hinted at an after work pint with one of the lads all day long. He finally gives in and off we go “for one”.

7:30pm – After three rounds – two on me that cost €12.20 and €12.80 respectively – we call it a night and I grab a Luas home.

8:00pm – I throw on a super quick meal and play PlayStation.

10:30pm – Bed.

Today’s total: €31

Friday

7:30am – Last day of the week. She’s already up and leaving, so I miss the lift. It means she gets no coffee and I fall back asleep.

9:00am – I wake up again – turns out that wasn’t snooze I pressed! I get ready quickly and leg it out the door.

9:30am – I get in just in time for the last bit of breakfast and enjoy a slightly less busy day of work and meetings.

5:30pm – Work has put out some food and a few drinks to celebrate making it to Friday. We all sit around the canteen and relax for a few hours and then head off to the local for a couple more.

10:00pm – We each get a few rounds in (€35.10) and then head off to Zaytoon (€12) for a late-night dinner.

12:30am – I’ve missed the last Luas, so it’s a quick €10 taxi home and straight to bed.

Today’s total: €57.10

Saturday

10:00am – I have an amazing drink fuelled lie-in, wake up, throw on a pair of shorts and make breakfast.

11:00am – We go for a stroll and pass a BMW dealership. I contemplate buying one and living in it as opposed to renting – sadly we keep walking.

12:30pm – One of the teams at my rugby club has a game today, so we hop in the car and go spectate for the afternoon.

4:00pm – We scored tickets to the Ireland-New Zealand match so head home, shower, get ready and meet a friend at 5:00pm before the match.

5:00pm – We meet my friend at a bar and get a round in (€16.70) for the three of us. We also get food (€31), but that was separate to the rounds and put on the joint account. The rounds come full circle and then it’s time to go to the game.

7:00pm – We watch history being made and order some drinks at half-time to see us through the second half (€25.60).

9:00pm – We get another round in (€17.50) and reminisce about what we just watched. After we’ve gone full circle again with the rounds, we realise we’re not too keen on facing town given how our own pub is celebrating. We call it a night and head home.

Today’s total: €59.80

Sunday

10:00am – I wake up. It’s her turn for breakfast in bed.

11:00am – We go for another walk – different direction to yesterday – buy coffee (€6) and then head home to relax.

2:00pm – My friend gives me a shout and asks if I can help him move something from A to B – sure thing!

3:00pm – Turns out he failed mentioned the size of said ‘thing’. It doesn’t fit in his car, fantastic! He parks up and buys me a sandwich for “services rendered”.

4:00pm – We go for a walk around town. I decide to treat myself to a fancy pair of gloves I’ve been looking at since Christmas 2016 (€100) as opposed to buying yet another pair from Penneys.

5:00pm – My mate drops me back home and we parts ways. We binge the last of the Netflix show myself and herself are watching, I cook a bit of dinner and we head to bed at 10:00pm. 

Today’s total: €106

Weekly subtotal: €348.85

What I’ve learned:

  • I get takeaway/eat out far too much. We bought food and ended up just freezing most of it for the following week while spending our “going out fund” on takeaways this week.
  • The problem here is in my mind. Because I’ve sent the money to another account, I see it as already spent so don’t mind buying all the takeaway. There was €79 on takeaways/eating out this week that I didn’t include in my spending because it’s “already spent” in my committed outgoings.
  • I’m actually pretty good during the week for spending, but then go off the deep end at the weekend. I reckon I could spend a bit less on frivolous things (like the gloves) and just be more mindful of how much I’m spending on the weekends.
  • Coffee is a surprisingly huge expenditure – €24 over five days. That’s especially high since we have coffee in work and I could just make it at home. At this rate, I could save myself €1,200 a year.
  • I’ve just signed up for the digital bank Revolut, which has a ‘vault’ where it rounds up your purchases to the nearest euro and puts the money aside. I’ve saved about €25 in spare change this week, which shows how often I’m spending money.
  • Now that I’ve looked at it, I do actually reckon we could make a serious stab at saving for a house. I already put €800 aside a month in savings, if I were a bit more responsible with eating out and drinking, I think we could put a really good plan in place.

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. 

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