#Open journalism No news is bad news

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support The Journal
Dublin: 5°C Monday 24 January 2022

How I Spend My Money: Sales manager on €67,000 in Kildare saving for unpaid maternity leave

The mother-of-one is trying to save in order to take extra unpaid maternity leave in January

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 31-year-old doctor on €68,000 recorded how he worked long hours to pay off his Dublin mortgage. Today, a sales manager walks us through her week which involves paying childcare costs for her young son and saving for her upcoming unpaid maternity leave.

imageOccupation: Pharmaceutical Sales Manager
Age: 32
Location: Kildare
Salary: €67,000
Monthly pay (net): €3,060
Children’s allowance: €140

Monthly expenses

Transport: €0 as I have a company car 
Mortgage: €500 (our mortgage is €1,140 which is deducted from my husband’s account)
Household bills: €907 (€800 for childcare, €70 for electricity every second month, €28 for bins, €29 to DFS for a couch, €15 for pet insurance)
Phone bill: €0 as it’s through work
Health insurance: Husband pays for it through work
Groceries: €500 on average
Subscriptions: €7.99 for Netflix



7:30am: I wake up and get myself and my son ready for the day. I make him breakfast but I never usually eat anything until lunchtime. 

8:30am: I drop my son off at the childminder and I go to meet a customer. 

10:00am: After the meeting, I run into Penneys to pick up a few last minute bits we need for a wedding on Friday and I spend €32.54.

12:00pm: I need the use of good WiFi before my next meeting so I head into a Costa for a coffee (€3.80) and do some work. After my big coffee I don’t need lunch until later in the day so I just go into Aldi and pick up a pre-made wrap and while I'm there I get a bit of fruit and veg for the next few days as I got the meat in the butchers over the weekend. This comes to €19.47.

5:30pm: I get home and my husband finished work early so he has dinner ready. It’s a nice evening so we go for a walk in the park beside us.

8:00pm: We put our son to bed and spend a few minutes tidying up before sitting down to watch last night’s 'Room to Improve'.

10:00pm: We head to bed.

Today's total: €55.81


6:30am: I wake up early today as I have a meeting in Dublin at 9am.

1:00pm: I brought a packed lunch so I have that in the car between meetings.

5:00pm: My husband collects our son today so I get my nails done after work for a wedding we have coming up. Parking is €1 and my nails cost €22. I don't regularly get my nails done but I try do them for a special occasion if I have time.

6:00pm: We have fish for dinner which my son loves so he wolfs it down. I'm in the middle of clearing out the attic with the hope of converting it into an office at some stage so I spend an hour after dinner on that. 

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

Today's total: €23


7:30am: I get up and I'm out the door by 8:30am. I have a bit of driving to do today so I bring a homemade coffee with me for the car.

1:00pm: I meet a customer for lunch and they pay. After lunch I have a couple more meetings.

5:30pm: I collect my son from the childminder and head home. My husband makes the dinner and afterwards I wash up and do a bit of hoovering.

8:00pm: We put our son to bed and I read for a while before going to sleep.

Today's total: €0


7:30am: I get up and I have my morning coffee before I leave the house. 

1:00pm: I've been working with a colleague all day today and they get lunch.

5:00pm: I run into Lidl after work to pick up baby wipes and a few bits for €8.35. I go to an ATM to take out money (€260) for the childminder and for the wedding tomorrow.

5:30pm: I arrive home and I start dinner while my husband collects our son.

7:00pm: After dinner, we drop our son over to my sister-in-law as she is minding him while we're at the wedding.

Today's total: €268.35


8:30am: I get up and do a bit of housework before I get ready for the church. I had the outfit from a wedding last year and I’m driving as I'm pregnant so it's a fairly cost effective day! I buy a round of drinks for my husband and his friend for €16 and we drive home at 1:00am.

Today's total: €16


10:00am: We have the luxury of a lie-in today with no toddler to wake us up so we don’t get up until 10:00am.

12:00pm: We have breakfast at home and then head in to collect our son. On the way I take out €600 as my sister-in-law’s husband is going to fit a stove for us before winter.

2:00pm: I bring our son swimming which I had paid for in advance.

6:00pm: I should really be doing a big groceries shop today but neither of us have the energy so my husband gets us a take-away and my son has a dinner which I had frozen last week.

8:00pm: I unpack his overnight bag and sort out the swimming gear.

9:00pm: We all head to bed as we're wrecked from the previous night.

#Open journalism No news is bad news Support The Journal

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support us now

Today's total: €600


12:00pm: I have a lie-in and meet some friends for lunch today which is a nice treat (€20).

2:00pm: I pick up a birthday card and a present for my brother for €43. I’m going to London with work next week so I decide to get some sterling when I am passing a currency exchange (€100.57). I also pass a homeware store so I can’t resist going in and I spend €13.98 on some kitchen accessories.

3:30pm: I then go to Aldi on the way home and do a shop for the week which comes to €73.49. It’s more than usual as I need to stock up on nappies and cleaning supplies.

5:00pm: At home I make a curry and we watch a kids' movie on Netflix before our son goes to bed.

8:00pm: Once he is down we watch some TV and have some treats before bed.

Today's total: €251.04

Weekly subtotal: €1,214.20


What I learned:

  • This week was probably pretty average aside from the stove costs. If I just spent that every week (minus the stove) I would be able to set aside €500 a month easily.
  • I’m pretty good at not buying take-away coffees out but normally I would have at least one lunch out a week. Luckily this week I had lunch bought for me a couple of days so that saved a bit.
  • Obviously the expense of the stove was a big amount but I would normally have some sort of house-related expenditure every month which impacts on trying to save.
  • There are still a few big jobs we would like to do with the house but if I do them I fear I wouldn’t be able to afford to take unpaid leave next year after our baby is due in January so I will have to try and be good until then.

About the author:

TheJournal.ie reader

Read next:


This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a commentcancel