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Sunday 29 January 2023 Dublin: 5°C
How I Spend My Money A 28-year-old engineer on €40,000 trying to save money while renting in Dublin
The young engineer is trying to balance saving while enjoying an active social life

WELCOME TO HOW I Spend My Money, a series on 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.

Today, an engineer living in Dublin walks us through his week as he tries to save for the future while renting.

imageOccupation: Civil Engineer
Age: 28
Location: Dublin
Salary: €40, 457
Monthly pay (net): €2,764.6

Monthly expenses 

Rent: €600
Transport: €86.66
Phone bill: €35
Groceries: €60
Subscriptions: €5 Spotify student
Private Pension: €216.66


8:00am: I get up, shower and get ready for work.

8:45am: I head to the newsagent and top up my Leap Card by €50. I hop on the bus and I'm in work for 9:25am.

10:00am: I go to the canteen with my team and buy a coffee and scone for €2.30.  Afterwards, I book a night in a hotel for me and a friend this weekend for €130.

1:00pm: For lunch, I buy a sandwich for €2.45 and a coffee for €2. I pop into the barbers and get a haircut for €14.

6:30pm: I finish work and walk home. 

7:45pm: I pick up some Quorn for dinner which costs €3.50 and make a veg and Quorn pie. 

8:30pm: I iron my shirts and then shower and watch Netflix before bed.

Today’s total: €204.25


8:40am: I sleep in after staying up too late watching Netflix and get ready for work before grabbing the bus.

9:55am: I get to work and I head straight to the canteen for breakfast (€2.30).

1:00pm: I buy a tuna sandwich for €2.45 and then head back to work for the evening. 

6:30pm: I finish work for the evening and walk home.

7:45pm: I clean up a little around the house, do some ironing and make dinner with the shopping I got from Lidl last week before having an early night.

Today's total: €7


7:30am: I wake up early and get ready for work. I hit the morning traffic on the bus, but make it into work for 9:00am.

9:00am: I grab breakfast in our canteen for €2.70 before starting work for the day.

1:00pm: After a slow morning, I buy lunch in the canteen for €4.

3:30pm: I leave work and meet my girlfriend. We go to the cinema for €22 and afterwards, my girlfriend picks us up a takeaway.

11:00pm: We head to bed.

Today's total: €28.70


6:30am: I'm up early this morning because I have to be in work for 7:30am.

1:00pm: I skip breakfast and have a carvery for dinner in the canteen for €5.50.

6:00pm: It was a busy day in work today but I eventually leave the office and meet a few friends for pints. It turns into a late night and I get a taxi home. I'm €80 lighter without knowing where it went.

Today's total: €85.50


8:00am: I get up and get the bus in to work for 9:10am. 

10:00am: It's Friday so I treat myself to a fry and tea for €5.20 in work.

1:00pm: I got to a nearby cafe for lunch and spend €3.20.

4:00pm: I leave work and meet my girlfriend. We get pizza for €27 and then go to the pub for a few drinks which also comes to €27.

11:30pm: We catch the last bus home and go to bed.

Today's total: €62.40


10:00am: I get up and pick up my friend because we're going away for the night. He had coins for the toll and paid for breakfast for us.

1:00pm: We walk around the town and check into the hotel. We have lunch for €18 and then joined a guided tour for €11.

6:00pm: We go out for dinner and drinks (€70) and get a taxi (€8) back to the hotel.

Today's total: €107


10:00am: We both have a lie-in and then go to a museum which costs €22. 

3:00pm: We go to TGI Fridays which costs €17 and we pay for overnight parking (€18).

5:00pm: We drive back to Dublin and my friend pays for the tolls. 

7:00pm: When we get home, I unpack and prepare for the week ahead before heading to sleep.

Today's total: €57

Weekly subtotal: €549.60

What I learned:

  • A random weekend away and after-work pints are probably a waste of money. I'd be better off exercising and using the money for a big holiday or saving for the future.
  • I think I'll get a Revolut card so I can track my spending more.
  • This wasn't a typical week because I don't always drink mid-week or go away for the weekend but I'm happy to eat and drink out and just enjoy my life.
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