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Dublin: 4°C Monday 6 December 2021

How I Spend My Money: A tech consultant on €40k trying to save in order to emigrate

The young professional is trying to balance his social life and savings.

TheJournal.ie reader

WELCOME TO HOW I Spend My Money, a series on TheJournal.ie that looks at what people in Ireland really do with their cash.

We’ve asked 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.

Last time, a mum on maternity leave weighed up a permanent move from Dublin. Today, a technology risk consultant earning €40,000 walks us through his week as he tries to save some money in order to emigrate to Canada in November.

imageOccupation: Technology Risk Consultant
Age: 27
Location: Dublin
Salary: €40,000
Monthly pay (net): €2,636

Monthly expenses

Transport: €60 (I cycle everywhere mostly but get the Luas or bus the odd time, or give friends petrol money for longer journeys)
Rent: €440
Household bills: €40 electricity/gas, €17 internet/television, €5 bin
Phone bill: €25 including Spotify
Groceries: €160
Loan: €246



7:45am: I get up and cycle to work. I shower in work and make a free coffee before starting (not the nicest but necessary). 
11:00am: I have a banana that I brought from home as I’ve started to feel a bit peckish. 
12:00pm: I usually go for lunch early at 12 when I can to avoid the canteen rush. I brought a BLT and soup from home and make another coffee. 
3:00pm: I make another coffee and find a few euro in my pocket so I treat myself to a chocolate bar (€1.10) from the vending machine. 
5:30pm: I finish up work and debate going to the gym but I cycle home instead.
7:30pm: I meet a friend for dinner. I wouldn’t usually be at this carry-on on a Monday but we got a good deal on Groupon - €13.35 each. We go for a bit of a wander afterwards and then I head home.

Today's total: €14.45


7:45am: I get up and I have a banana with my coffee before cycling to work.
12:00pm: I have a sandwich and soup which I brought in from home.
5:30pm: After work, I head to a spinning class with a mate. I stop in Tesco and get a packet of rice cakes in Tesco for 40c on the way there - some job.
7:30pm: I stop at the library on the way home to pick up a book I’d reserved. I head to Lidl and buy ingredients for paella to have for my dinner for the next few evenings. I get a few snacks as well and the total comes to €15.60.
10:30pm: After I make dinner I watch a bit of TV and head to bed. I read a bit of my book but I fall asleep quickly.

Today's total: €16


7:45am: I get up and cycle into work. I decide to get breakfast in the canteen with a friend. An egg, a slice of bread and a tomato comes to €2.48. The canteen is supposed to be subsidised but it can’t be that much if they are charging 50c for a piece of sliced pan.
12:00pm: I have a sandwich that I brought from home and I'm getting a little tired of the same food so I get a chowder in the canteen to go with it for €2.
5:15pm: I have a banana and a few nuts before heading to the gym. I try to go as much as possible at the start of the week because I would rarely go at the weekend.
9:00pm: I have a quiet enough evening. I eat some of the paella from the night before and watch a bit of TV.
10:30pm: I read for a bit before going to sleep.

Today's total: €4.48


8:30am: I'm working from home today as I need to meet the landlord, so I get up late. I have two slices of toast and a cup of coffee.
12:00pm: I head to Lidl to get something for lunch and pick up some tortellini and a chocolate croissant (€2.38)
3:00pm: My landlord comes over with the new lease and a reference for me. He informs us that he is increasing the rent by 4%. I’m moving out soon so it doesn’t really affect me. I know that my rent is nothing compared to most – I spend less than 20% of my take-home wage a month on my rent. 
5:00pm: I have a banana and a few nuts before going to the gym.
7:30pm: I get home and eat the rest of the paella. I get a message about going for pints with some friends.
8:30pm: I cycle down to the pub which is about ten minutes away. I have six pints and between buying a raffle ticket and getting a few rounds, I end up spending €56.70.
1:30am: I cycle home and go to bed.

Today's total: €59.08


8:30am: I wake up late but thankfully work isn't too strict about the time we get in. My bike has a puncture but I have a spare bike that I can cycle to work on.
9:30am: I go for breakfast in the canteen with one of the lads (€2)
12:00pm: It’s Friday so we treat ourselves to lunch in a Thai restaurant. I get a prawn red curry, rice, prawn crackers, cone and a drink for €10.95 and it's stunning.
3:00pm: I head down to the bike shop to grab a spare bike tube for my bike for €6.
5:30pm: I get the Luas home (€2.27) and run into a friend so I decide to go to his apartment for a bit before heading home.
7:00pm: I meet a friend who is just back from South America for food and a few drinks at a pub. We split the bill and then I buy us two cocktails afterwards (€43.50).

Today's total: €64.72


10:00am: I head to the shop to grab a coffee and some snacks (€7.30) as I'm going mountain biking in the afternoon. There is someone collecting money outside the shop so I give them €2.
1:30pm: I rent a mountain bike in Ticknock for a few hours. It’s usually €30 but as there are six of us it works out as €25. The craic is mighty and we feel a few pints are hard earned.
5:30pm: I grab a burger and chips (€9.75) before heading down to the pub to watch the All-Ireland Final. 
6:30pm: I head to a few different pubs for the evening and have a few pints and some more food (€116.30) before walking home.

Today's total: €160.35

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12:00pm: I get up late and have coffee and toast.
3:00pm: I head to Lidl to pick up some stuff for dinner and lunch for work. The total comes to €16.20.
4:00pm: I have a sandwich and a few wedges in the house before going for a cycle to shake off the cobwebs. I pick up a bottle of water on the way for €1.20.
7:00pm: I pick up another few snacks in Centra and head home to have a quiet night in and sort myself out for the week ahead (€7.75).

Today's total: €25.15

Weekly subtotal: €344.23


What I've learned:

  • I don’t think I did too badly! I’m fairly good at being stingy at the start of the week but I probably came into the weekend a bit too hot there on the Thursday night.
  • If I didn’t go out drinking I would have loads of money but there’s no fun in that.
  • Cycling around the place saves me a good bit of money at the end of every month. 
  • One of the main reasons I'm leaving Ireland is that I don't think the salary in Dublin corresponds to the cost of living. I've found it very hard to save anything in my three years living in Dublin. 

About the author:

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