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Dublin: 16 °C Saturday 11 July, 2020
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How I Spend My Money: A 27-year-old software engineer on €92,000 who does charity work in his spare time

The software engineer is trying to quit smoking

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 26-year-old recruiter on €40,000 in Dublin walked us through her week. This week, a 27-year-old software engineer on €92,000 writes about his week.

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I’m a 27-year-old senior software engineer for a multinational company in Dublin. I work remotely from home with occasional visits to the office for meetings. I’ve moved jobs quite a few times in the past three years due to promotions and better packages, but I’m loving my current position and hoping to stay where I am for the foreseeable future.

I’m currently renting in Dublin with my partner, and putting €2,000 into savings per month. I haven’t decided if I want to buy a home in Ireland or move abroad yet. I’ve roots and family here, however high taxes and the cost of living are putting me off making a commitment as big as a mortgage at the moment. I’m giving myself 6-12 months to decide what to do. Luckily, the company I work for have offices globally and are very accommodating with regards to transfers, so moving abroad wouldn’t be any major issue. 

Occupation: Senior Software Engineer
Age: 27
Location: Dublin
Salary: €92,000 + bonus (10%)
Monthly pay (net): €4,712

Monthly expenses

Transport: €0. I work remotely and live in the city centre
Rent: €1,950. I split this with my partner so my half is €975.
Household bills: €75
Phone bill: €60
Amazon Prime: €5.99
Health insurance: Paid for by work
Dental insurance: Paid for by work
Gym: Paid for by work
Subscriptions: Playstation Plus €9.99 , YouTube Premium €14.99
Pension: I pay 2% of my wages, the company contributes 12%

Monday

6:00am: I get up and run 5k at the gym. I like to go to the gym before 6:30am to beat rush hour. I forget my water, so grab some along the way for €1.99.

7:00am: I'm back at my apartment and I make a fruit smoothie for breakfast. I’m currently trying to live healthily, but a smoothie made from frozen fruit isn’t the most appealing on a cold morning! 

8:00am: I login and start work. There are a couple of small problems that emerged over the weekend so I fix up a couple of them before the morning meeting.

12:00pm: I make myself a coffee before joining the meeting. Although it’s technically a morning meeting, it happens at noon as members of the team work all across the globe.

12:30pm: The meeting is finished and I make myself a chicken sandwich and eat it while working. It depends on the day whether I take an hour out for lunch or not as my job is results driven, rather than time-based.

4:30pm: I'm finished work for the day, so I head out to the shop and pick up some cat food for the apartment boss and cigarettes (€19.98). Despite my best efforts at quitting, I still smoke between 5 to 10 a day, but I guess we all have some vice!

6:30pm: My partner has cooked some sort of pasta soup with chickpeas for dinner, so I chow down on that and have a glass of wine.

9:30pm: I check my work emails before heading to bed.  

Today's total: €21.97

Tuesday

6:00am: I get up and hit the gym for an hour.

8:00am: I'm back home and I make myself a broccoli, pineapple and spinach smoothie.

8:10am: I bought tickets to a show for myself, my girlfriend and my parents for my dad's Christmas present. My mother rings to say she has got the day of the show off so I book a hotel for them for the night for €144.50.

8:30am: I get a Starbucks for myself and my girlfriend for €9.75.

9:30am: Time to get to work!

11:45am: I’ve a bunch of calls today so I go and get an early lunch. I buy some bread and ingredients for a sandwich for €8.95 and have a quick lunch.

5:00pm: I finish up work for the day and make a pot of risotto for dinner. I realise I’ve no black pepper, so I run down to the shop and pick up some for 85c.

9:00pm: I get a work text asking me to take a look at something - flexible working swings both ways occasionally!

10:30pm: I finish up work, watch a bit of Netflix and go to bed.

Today's total: €164.05

Wednesday

7:00am: I get up a bit later this morning and give the gym a miss.

8:30am: I have to head to the office today, so I decide to walk there. It’s 25 minutes walk, so I don’t mind. There is a bus, but it’s actually quicker to walk.

11:00am: After a morning of meetings, we decide to go for coffee. My employee card acts as a credit card, which you top up by machines around the campus. The subtotal is subtracted from your pre-tax salary at the end of the month, which is great! I top mine up by €20, and buy coffee for myself and my college (€21.10).

12:30pm: I grab some lunch in one of the on-site restaurants after another meeting. I get beef curry with chips and rice. I also treat myself to another coffee and a bottle of sparkling water. The total comes to €3.45. 

2:00pm: We’ve one more meeting to go to. It’s an architectural meetings so it's only attended by developers, which generally means we wrap up within the hour.

3:20pm: I draw up some guidance documents for the junior developers to take a look at. This takes an an hour, after which I take my leave.

6:00pm: I meet some friends at the new and improved “Grafton Quarter” for a glass of wine for €7.

7:30pm: I buy some cigarettes on the way home for €13.50.

8:00pm: I microwave some risotto and chill out for a couple of hours before bed.

Today's total: €45.05

Thursday 

6:00am: I get up and head to the gym. No pain no gain!

7:00am: I make myself a smoothie when I get home and get straight to work. I usually work a longer day on Thursday to round off as much as possible, so I can take it easy on Friday.

11:00am: I meet herself for coffee. My loyalty card means I occasionally get a free coffee, and this is one of those glorious occasions, so I get mine and my partner's for €4.

12:30pm: I get back home, work for an hour and make myself a sandwich. 

1:00pm: Back to work!

10:00pm: I finish up work, and head to get some ingredients for dinner for €17.55.

10:30pm: I make a quick dinner and I settle in to do some volunteer work for a charity based in the city centre. I built the website for them for free and I maintain it, so every week I generally do an hour or so depending on what needs to be done. I find it incredibly rewarding!

12:30am: I hit a brick wall! Toast, tea and bed!

Today's total: €21.55 

Friday

6:00am: You can probably guess at this point, but I hit the gym!

8:00am: My partner and I decide to grab breakfast in a local cafe after the gym. It’s her treat.

9:30am: After a quick morning meeting and status update, the team is pretty much in the clear for the day.

10:30am: I do code reviews until lunch, and then pretty much finish up for the day. (You are on call for the whole day however).

12:30pm: I meet the other half for lunch and we get a burrito. It comes to €18.45.

2:30pm: I buy tickets to Tenacious D for €133.30.

7:00pm: My partner and I meet some friends for dinner and a drink. I grab a fillet steak with pepper sauce, medium rare of course! We head to another bar and have two glasses of wine and then head home. This comes to €57.80.

11:30pm:  Tea, Netflix, bed!

Today's total: €209.55

Saturday

8:00am: We get up a little bit later today, and I give the gym a miss. We head to Stephen’s Green and get a couple of smoothies for €8.70.

11:00am: After walking around by the canals, we head for a tour of an old tenement house. The missus had booked tickets online, so I grab us both a coffee in the cafe afterwards for €4.65.

2:00pm: We grab a quick sandwich and head to the museum for a couple of hours before it closes. We try to pack as much into the weekend as possible. There’s a €5 suggested donation, which I pay for. Lunch and the museum comes to €19.45.

6:30pm: I make a curry with ingredients I had. We then go out for a medium-sized shop which comes to €78.55.

11:00pm:  I do some chores, watch a film and head to bed.

Today's total: €111.35

Sunday

7:00am: I get up and head to the gym. It’s a 24-hour gym so it’s open early on Sundays!

8:00am: I head back and buy some ingredients for smoothies for €11.35.

10:00am: After breakfast, I do some chores and head out for a walk. 

12:30pm: I grab lunch with herself (she pays) and after we meet up with a friend of mine and grab coffee and cake for €7.40.

3:30pm: I pick up some cigarettes for €13.50.

7:00pm: I buy a 6-pack of sparkling water for €1.40 and help herself make dinner. 

10:00pm: I spend the rest of the evening doing chores and then I head to bed for the night.

Today's total: €33.65 

Weekly subtotal: €607.17

***

What I learned:

  • Obviously I need to give up smoking. It’s a stupidly expensive and unhealthy habit.
  • I don’t really spend a lot on alcohol nor do I understand why people enjoy getting drunk. I think a lot of people my age have an unhealthy relationship with alcohol.
  • I could definitely put more money into savings, and/or pensions, so that’s definitely something that I could look into.
  • This week was a particularly expensive week, but generally I think I’m rather careful about my spending.

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