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Dublin: 5 °C Friday 15 November, 2019
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How I Spend My Money: A doctor in Galway on €62,000 who lives at home to save money

The young doctor is living at home in Galway in order to save money to buy a house

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 28-year-old Dublin engineer on €40,000 walked us through his week. Today, a doctor in Galway writes how he saves €2,000 a month by living at home with his parents.

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I’m currently living in Galway. At the moment I’m saving for a mortgage and aiming to put away €2,000 a month. I’m fortunate to be living at home while I’m saving so my outgoings are minimal and I’m able to reach my target savings on most months.

I have no dependents so most of my outgoings are on food, socialising and travelling. I like to get away a couple of times a year. I like to keep fit and stay outdoors so I really enjoy running and cycling. With work and the weather I usually don’t get to do as much as I should.

Occupation: Doctor
Age: 32
Location: Galway
Salary: €62,000
Monthly pay (net): €3,150

Monthly expenses

Transport: €75 on petrol
Rent: €0
Groceries: €80
Household bills: €0
Phone bill: €20
Health insurance: €25
Car Insurance: €59
Credit card: €100
Subscriptions: €6 for the Irish Times

Monday

7:15am: I have a regular morning routine and get up every day at 7:15am. I shower, get ready and reheat porridge that I made the night before. I throw in different fruits every day to keep it interesting but I’m usually not fussy for breakfast.

8:00am: I drive to work as it’s raining outside. Work is only ten minutes away but with school traffic it can take over 30 minutes. While work starts at 9:00am, I head in early to beat the traffic and get a parking spot. I buy a cup of coffee (€2) to wake myself up.

1:00pm: For lunch I bring in a packed lunch with fruit, salad and bread that I prepared the night before.

5:00pm: I finish work and drive home. I have dinner with my family and prepare my meals for the following day.

8:00pm: I go to watch the Rugby World Cup and buy a round of drinks for €18.

Today’s total: €20

Tuesday

7:15am: Same morning routine and I drive to work as the weather is terrible.

8:30am: I start work early today so I grab a very quick coffee at work (€2) and get straight into it.

1:00pm: I work until lunch but we have a lecture so I only get to eat a bite or two.

5:00pm: I finish work and head home to eat with my family.

6:00pm: I make my lunch for the following day. The weather is awful today so I decide against a run.

8:00pm: I go to visit my friend and her new baby and bring her a little gift (€15.54).

Today’s total: €17.54

Wednesday:

7:15am: I get up, shower and make breakfast before leaving early again for work.

8:00am: I start my work day with a lecture. Fortunately they have breakfast and coffee at it so I skip my normal morning coffee.

9:00am: I have a pretty relaxed morning at work and have my packed lunch later on in the day.

2:00pm: I work in a different service in the afternoon so there is a nice change of pace.

5:00pm: I finish work and head home and have dinner. I get my things ready for the following day.

9:00pm: I head to a pub with a friend and we have a couple of drinks (€18) and head home relatively early.

Today’s total: €18

Thursday

7:15am: I get up and shower before making breakfast.

8:00am: It is an absolute washout today so I’m delighted to have the car to go to work. No coffee today as I’m helping one of my colleagues until 8:30am and then I have to start my day.

1:00pm: I work through until lunch but only get to eat a bit of my packed lunch as there is an emergency case.

5:00pm: I work through the afternoon and then head home for dinner. I buy tickets to see Jason Byrne at the upcoming comedy festival in Galway (€59.54).

8:00pm: I watch some TV before bed.

Today’s total: €59.54

Friday

7:15am: Thankfully it’s Friday and I go through my usual morning routine. I buy my morning coffee (€2) and get to work for 8:00am.

1:oopm: Everyone at work has the Friday feeling so the day flies by. I have my packed lunch and head back for a few more hours in the afternoon.

5:oopm: I head home and cook myself dinner. I realise David O Doherty is playing in Galway and buy two last minute tickets (€32) to go and see him.

9:oopm: I get a taxi into town (€10.80) and meet my friend for a drink before the gig (€15). The show was great and we go for a couple of drinks afterwards (€31.60) and get a taxi home after (€10.50).

Today’s total: €101.90

Saturday

8:00am: I get up early and take the dog out for a walk. It’s a really nice day today so I head for a run after bringing him out.

10:00am: I’m on my own in the house this weekend so I head shopping for some groceries that come to €17.87.

1:00pm: I have a very relaxed day and cook myself some food. I do some cleaning, reading and general life administration.

5:00pm: I spend the evening relaxing watching a movie before getting an early night.

Today’s total: €17.87

Sunday

10:30am: I have a lazier morning today. I have great ambitions of being active for the day but the weather is just horrific so I decide to have yet another lazy day at home.

11:30am: I take the dog out for a walk and spend the day reading and relaxing.

2:00pm: I cook some food using the ingredients I bought yesterday.

5:oopm: I head to my friend’s house and spend the evening relaxing. 

Today’s total: €0

Weekly subtotal: €234.85

What I learned:

  • My spending this week would be about average. Living at home in the short term allows me to save most of my income towards a deposit for a home. I was recently paying a pretty modest sum for rent and it’s amazing how much you can save when rent isn't an expense.
  • At the moment I am meeting my savings goals but that is only because I am at home and not paying rent. If I was renting I’d likely have to cut down on my more frivolous expenses like coffee and socialising.
  • I’m pretty happy with my routine. I’m not too fussy when it comes to food so I’m really just functional with my meals. At the moment I’m just geared around boosting my savings until I can get my mortgage situation sorted out.
  • I do try to have a little budget so I know roughly how much I should be spending every month. That said you have to be a bit flexible. May and December tend to be very expensive months so thankfully they are spread out from each other.
  • My car is definitely one of my biggest expenses and with tax, insurance and maintenance it costs about €1,500 a year - even before petrol. Most of my travelling is done to and from work and in all honesty I should be cycling in and out. It’s hard not to use something when you are paying upfront for it every year.

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