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Thursday 30 November 2023 Dublin: 2°C

Money Diaries A retail manager on €48K in Dublin living at home and saving for a home

This week our reader is busy doing different shifts and is trying to save for a home.

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 an office worker juggling hybrid work in the east of the country. This week, a retail manager in Dublin on €48K living at home with their parents to save money.


I’m a 33-year-old living at home with my parents in Dublin but hopefully that change in the next 12 – 18 months (or years depending on the rising costs). I am a Retail Manager and have been since I was 19 bar living in Australia for five years where I worked in a different industry. I came home three years ago.

I rented a house with two friends when I got home but moved back in with my parents at the start of this year to focus on saving more for a place of my own.

In the current environment, this will be tricky but has to be done. I’m a pretty social person with a big circle of friends and I keep busy visiting friends and family regularly. I don’t have many hobbies but like to golf when the weather permits.

Occupation: Retail Manager
Age: 33
Location: Dublin
Salary: €48,600
Monthly pay (net): €3,044

I get an annual bonus if I meet my targets, which I have the last two years, I use this money to pay my car insurance, car tax and health insurance in one chunk.

Monthly Expense

Fuel: €100
Pension: €200
Rent: €450
Phone: €40
Savings: €500 (hoping to increase this by 50%)
Investment: €100 (stocks on Revolut)
Groceries: €250
Netflix: €9
Golf: €60 (try get out 1-2 times a month)


6.00 am: Up a few minutes earlier than usual as I’m collecting a colleague on the way to work. Have some breakfast toast and water and then I’m on the road, it usually takes me 15 minutes to get to work.

9.00 am: Buy myself a bottle of water and a cup of coffee for a colleague. I always offer to buy a drink for anyone who wants one €4.60.

11.00 am: I have to head the cash & carry for work as we were left short stock on our delivery. Stop off to get some fuel, tank wasn’t empty but getting there. Quick top-up and back to work – €40.

1:30 pm: Lunchtime. Salad Bowl with a can of Fanta. I get a 10% discount on groceries in work which is always welcome – €7.80.

5:15 pm: Finished for the day, I grab a packet of grated cheese and then head home, traffic is unusually light so I’m home pretty quick – €2.00.

7.00 pm: Stick on the dinner and have myself some beef tacos. Haven’t had them in months and they’re as tasty as I remember. My parents are on holiday at the moment, most of the time I cook for myself but the odd time I’ll cook for all three or my mother cooks for all of us.

8:00 pm: My partner texts to say she is home from work. I head up and help her with a few bits around the place. It’s a new relationship so living together isn’t on the cards just yet.

9:30 pm: Time to relax, plonk ourselves on the couch and watch a bit of TV.

11.00 pm: Eyes are getting heavy so off to bed.

Today’s total: €54.40


9:30 am: Day Off. Have some breakfast which consists of toast and tea.

11:30 am: Partner is getting ready to head out and collect her child. I head off and do a few errands and head home.

2.00 pm: Have a Toasted sandwich for lunch and afterwards drive to meet my partner with her child in the park. Play a bit of football and help them play on the swings etc.

5:30 pm: Just home and stick some dinner on. Steak Potatoes and veg are on the menu this evening. Treat myself to a dessert afterwards. Sure why not.

7.00 pm: Walk up to a friend for an hour to discuss some plans for an upcoming golf outing. I stop off in the shop on the way up and buy them a nice bottle of wine, silly but I hate turning up at someone’s house empty-handed – €14.00

9.00 pm: Home for the evening and watch some TV/Netflix.

11.30 pm: Time for bed. Not particularly tired but up early for work tomorrow.

Today’s total: €14.00


6.10 am: My Alarm goes off, I’m up and into the shower, then have some breakfast, the usual toast and water.

6.40 am: I’m in the car and on the way.

10.00 am: Busy morning at work so far, I buy a Lucozade for myself and my colleagues. Only two took my offer up today so €6.00.

2.00 pm: Break time. Didn’t prepare any lunch at home so it’s a wrap and packet of crisps and a bottle of water €7.50.

5.30 pm: Work is done for the day. Pick up two kid magazines, garlic bread and cigs before leaving – €29.30.

6.00 pm: Visit my niece and nephew and hand over their magazines and catch up with my sister.

8.00 pm: Home for the night and cook some dinner, I’m using some pasta I still have from last week’s shop and with some garlic bread I bought today.

9.00 pm: Watch some TV, Ultimate Hell Week. Don’t know why but enjoy this programme. I think it’s the brutal wit of the DS’ (Directing Staff) that gets me.

Today’s total: €42.80


7.00 am: Another day off today.

9.00 am: Up and out of bed and have some tea and brown bread and jam.

10.00 am: Do some work around the house trim the hedges and a bit of tidying in the garden.

12.00 noon: Head to the shops and get some groceries. I tend to buy for 2-3 days at a time as I never know what I’ll be in the mood for. Grab myself a roll from the deli for lunch while there – €35.22.

2.30 pm: Head up to see the GF and her child. Weather isn’t great so spend most of the time playing inside but do manage to get out for a quick walk.

5:30 pm: Partner cooks some dinner of roast chicken, pot and veg.

8.00 pm: Before heading home I drop down to see another friend and hang out for a bit and watch some Manhunt on Netflix. I’ve seen it before but my friend hasn’t. Highly recommend it to anyone to watch.

11.00 pm: Head home and scroll through my phone before going asleep.

Today’s total: €35.22


8:30 am: Bit of lie in this morning as I’m not at work till later. I was supposed to be on the early shift today but swapped as a favour to my colleague. I have some breakfast of fruit and yoghurt for a change.

9.00 am: Do some washing and then head to Post Office to pay a customs charge for a package I’m due – €18.39.

10.00 am: Hang out the washing and then watch a bit of TV.

11.30 pm: Have an early lunch of scrambled egg and toast and a cup of tea. I prepare a sandwich for my break at work later.

1.00 pm: Start work, not many issues to deal with after being off so get stuck in as usual.

6.00 pm: Time for my break. Shop is busy as it’s a Friday evening but manage to sit down to have my break. I buy a bottle of coke and a chocolate bar to have with the sandwich I made earlier. Also, buy a Lotto ticket - €13.80.

10:45 pm: Shop is closed and I’m finished for the night head home and relax for an hour before going to bed.

Today’s total: €32.19


9.00 am: Up out of bed and have some breakfast of brown bread and tea, sort out my clothes from the washing yesterday.

10.00 am: Go for a short walk before heading back and prepare myself a lunch and something for my break in work later.

1.00 pm: Start work, buy myself a drink and cigs – €17.00.

6.00 pm: Sit down for my break and buy a drink and crisps to go with my sandwich. Also indulge in a €5 scratch card to no avail – €9.00.

11.00 pm: Finished work for the evening and arrive home. Chill out for an hour before heading to bed as back in work in the morning.

Today’s total: €26.00


7.00 am: Up straight away (I never hit the snooze button). Shower and some breakfast and put a fruit bowl together to snack on later.

7:30 am: Head off to work a little early as I’m giving one of my colleagues a lift to work this morning due to it being Sunday and the bus schedule being different.

8.00 am: I start the day and buy one of my colleagues a Monster drink, I get myself a Lucozade.

10:00 am: Not an official break but have the fruit I prepared this morning while working on the computer.

1:30 pm: Break time. I didn’t prepare anything for lunch this morning so I have a chicken fillet roll and crisps for lunch. I’m a plain enough eater so my chicken fillet roll is a low price – €5.45.

4.00 pm: Finished for the day. Give my colleague a lift home and then stop off at my friends’ to see my goddaughter who I haven’t seen in ages.

6:30 pm: Heading home and stop off in Lidl to grab some bits, I also stop off and get a takeaway – €37.31.

7.00 pm: Sit down in front of the TV and put the feet up. Not much on so I give the new Jeffery Dahmer series ago. That guy, wow – beyond messed up.

9:30 pm: Girlfriend drops by after work and we watch some TV. Both of us are pretty tired from work and are soon dozing.

11:30 pm: Peel ourselves from the couch and go to bed.

Today’s total: €47.76

Weekly subtotal: €252.37

What I learned -

  • This would probably be a look at a regular week. I’d usually go out for a drink with friends 1-2 times a month but wasn’t out this week so spending would be a bit higher then. I work different shifts most weeks and this week didn’t leave much time for a few drinks.
  • What did I learn, I definitely need to prepare lunch more often as this adds up quite a bit. I do smoke but as you can see I only bought two boxes all week. I’ve cut down massively this year and while I don’t think I’ll ever give them up I like to get down to one box per week.
  • I could stop offering to buy colleagues a drink but it really is a small gesture and sometimes they also return the favour.
  • Saving for a house ain’t going to be easy but have to have something to aim for.

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