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How I Spend My Money: A 26-year-old banker on €35,000 who owns two properties in rural Ireland

The young banker worked two jobs in order to purchase his first property

TheJournal.ie reader

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’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 24-year-old software developer in Limerick on €35,000 wrote about how he tried to balance saving with an active social life. Today, a 26-year-old banker who owns two properties in Munster walks us through his week.

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I’m a 26-year-old bank official in Munster and I own two properties in my rural town. I bought my first apartment when I was 23 as the cost of property in rural areas is much lower than the bigger towns and cities. I was able to afford this by working two jobs and living at home with my parents. After buying the apartment, I rented it out in order to save money to buy a bigger house.

Earlier this year, I bought a house at an auction and was able to do this my using my savings, my rental income and some help from my mother who I aim to pay back. One big tip I have when trying to save for a house is to live at home if possible.

Age: 26
Occupation: Bank official
Location: Munster
Salary: €35,000
Monthly pay: €2,350
Monthly rental income: €550

Monthly expenses

Mortgage for my house: €510
Mortgage for my rental property: €380
Electricity: €80
VHI: €76
Bins: €20
Phone: €20
TV licence: €13
Netflix: €8

Monday

7:40am: I get up and make some breakfast before hopping into the shower and getting ready for work.

8:20am: I usually leave the house just before 8:30am as my commute to work is 35-45 minutes depending on the traffic. I'd love to take public transport instead of driving but there are limited buses in my area and there isn't one in the evenings to get home from work.

8:40am: I stop quickly on the way into work to buy petrol (€50.02) and a scone for my tea break later (€0.70).

12:00pm: It's lunchtime and I brought in some food from home. I usually do a big shop in Aldi on Sundays and then make lunches for the start of the week afterwards. Today I have a vegan meal and an apple.

1:00pm: I head back to work for the evening until 5:30pm.

6:00pm: I arrive home and make some dinner. Today, I make wedges and haddock goujons.

7:00pm: It's a nice evening so I go for a 40-minute walk around the town.

7:40pm: I settle in for the evening and watch The Circle on Channel 4 before heading to bed.

Today’s total: €50.72 

Tuesday

7:55am: I get up a little later today and grab a yoghurt for breakfast and then head out the door. I drive to work as usual. 

9:00am: Before starting work, I pop into the supermarket next door to buy some pastries and doughnuts for my colleague's last day at work today. There's only a small group of us at work so the total comes to €8.40.

9:15am: I start work for the day. I work in customer service in a small branch for one of Ireland's biggest banks. I have been working here for the last seven years and I enjoy it but since I started, branch banking has changed so much. The branch I work in has become much quieter over the past few years as online banking becomes more popular. We know most of the customers by name as many of the same customers visit the branch frequently and today I'm working at the cash counter.

1:30pm: I go for lunch and pick up a Euromillions ticket and go halves on it with a work colleague (€3.50).

6:00pm: After a crazy day at work, I get home and have two kale and quinoa burgers with frozen mixed vegetables for dinner.

7:00pm: The weather is still nice so I go for a quick walk.

8:00pm: I have a relaxing night and watch some TV before bed.

Today’s total: €12.90

Wednesday 

7:45am: I drag myself out bed and make some breakfast and get ready for work. I hop in the car and make the commute to work for 9:00am.

10:00am: Wednesday is one of our quieter days in the bank so it's a slow morning in between serving customers. 

1:30pm: It's lunchtime and I have a chickpea and spinach meal from Aldi for lunch today.

6:30pm: After work, I head to my parent's house for dinner which I usually do once or twice a week as they live less than 10 minutes away from me. My mother has made salmon and a vegetable stir-fry for us. I spend the evening catching up with my family and then we watch some TV. I like calling over to my parents because they have Sky but I eat far more junk food at their house!

10:30pm: I head home and go to bed.

Today’s total: €0

Thursday

7:55am: I drag myself out from my warm bed and have some breakfast and head to work.  

1:30pm: For lunch I go for a wander around town and pick up a vegetable falafel wrap from Centra for lunch (€4.50). I head back to the office and eat my wrap, an apple and a KitKat from our biscuit stash at work.

6:00pm: After work, I pop into Aldi to get some prawns and vegetables (€5.75).

6:30pm: For dinner I make a delicious prawn and cashew stir-fry and then I spend some time cleaning up around the house.

8:00pm: I grab a quick shower and watch some TV for the night before heading to bed. 

Today’s total: €10.25

Friday

7:45am: I get out of bed and get ready for work before facing the crazy Friday commute - the drive to work is always much busier on a Friday morning.

9:00am: For a nice treat, one of my colleagues brings in pastries and scones for us which we devour before starting work for the day.

1:30pm: I head out on my lunch and buy a sweet potato salad and falafels from Centra (€5.50). 

6:00pm: On the way home from work, I call into Lidl and Centra to get some groceries, chocolate and most importantly wine. This comes to €24.79.

7:00pm: I spend the evening enjoying a very unhealthy combo of pizza, wine and chocolate.

Today's total: €30.29 

Saturday 

10:00am: I have a lie-in and then shower and head into town. I get my hair cut (€15) and then pick up some more groceries (€15.99). 

12:30pm: I make a nice brunch and then go for a long walk for the afternoon.

3:00pm: I do some online shopping and buy a new table for my hall from Next (€286).

4:00pm: I spend the evening doing some chores and then make some dinner.

7:00pm: I walk to shop to buy a chocolate bar (€1.50).

Today’s total: €318.49

Sunday

8:30am: I get up shower and then take my mother to mass. I used to go every weekend when I was younger but now I go whenever suits me. I put €2 in the collection box after mass.

11:00am: My mother and I go shopping and I buy a kitchen weighing scales in Aldi (€5.99).

1:30pm: After shopping, I treat my mother and my brother to Sunday lunch (€104.05).

5:00pm: I head home and iron some clothes for the evening and prepare for the week ahead.

7:30pm: I drive to a Lidl to pick up a bottle of sparkling water (€0.45) and then relax for the evening before Monday comes again.

Today’s total: €112.49

Weekly subtotal: €535.14

What I learned:

  • I spend a lot of my money on food but I am trying to reduce this by buying lunches in supermarkets or by bringing in homemade lunches to work.
  • I am very lucky to have been able to buy two properties at my age.
  • I save a fortune by not drinking coffee!

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