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Money Diaries: A warehouse worker on €22K living and working in Dublin

This week, our reader is working late shifts and managing health and wellbeing.

TheJournal.ie reader

WELCOME TO HOW I Spend My Money, a series on TheJournal.ie that looks at how people in Ireland really handle their finances.

We’re asking readers to keep a record of how much they earn, what they save if anything, and what they’re spending their money on over the course of one week.

Are you a spender, a saver or a splurger? We’re looking for readers who will keep a money diary for a week. If you’re interested send a mail to money@thejournal.ie. We would love to hear from you.

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, so let’s be kind.

Last time around, we heard from a finance company employee on €24K in Kildare. This week, a warehouse worker living in Dublin on €22K.

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I’m a warehouse operative living in a studio apartment rented with my fiancée, am currently living and working in northwest Dublin city, arriving in Ireland just two years ago found myself having to focus away from a career and properly focusing on settling down in Ireland first.

I started working in distribution services about one and a half years ago, unfortunately, Covid hit Ireland and found myself having to postpone my university studies, and since then have focused on managing my expenses and investing as much as I can.

I get paid weekly, my expenses are primarily limited to basic necessities, such as rent and electricity, I try to avoid spending on things I do not need, used to be a member of a gym however due to the current restrictions resigned myself to exercising at home.

Occupation: Warehouse worker
Age: 28
Location: Dublin
Salary: €22,040
Monthly pay (net): €1,680

Monthly expenses

Transport: €0.00 (On the occasion that I have to travel by bus I would spend on average €10.00)
Rent: €450.00 (my share of the rent, as it is split between me and my fiancee)
Household bills: €35.00
Phone bill: €20.00
Health insurance: €0.00
Groceries: €180.00
Subscriptions: Netflix subscription €12.99 per month. Playstation Network €8.99 per month.

Savings Monthly

€ 200.00 allocated into a low volatile Index Fund for hedging
€ 200.00 allocated into cryptocurrency assets (left staked whenever a coin shows promise, some left in more stablecoins)
€ 200.00 allocated into blue-chip stocks
€ 100.00 (set aside monthly for emergencies)

***

Monday

9:00 am: I am the first one awake, I have a quick breakfast (usually the same every day unless it’s close to grocery shopping days), have some nice coffee, put on my music on headphones, take my sports supplements and begin my workout routine.

10:30 am: After finishing exercising I go on with a computer science course I’m taking for about an hour.

11:30 am: Cooldown time, relax for about 30 minutes reading a bit of the Book of Five Rings.

12:00 am: Around noon I start to get ready for work, set up my clothes, and have a little snack of nuts and a Protein and Vitamin Smoothie, and pack my lunch of rice, breaded steak, a salad, and a sandwich for my second break. (I normally cook lunch for the next two days of work to save time and pack it on the day).

1:00 pm: I leave the house for work. It’s a 6km cycle to the distribution centre, takes me about half an hour at a stable pace (I have done this commute every day since I worked there save for a couple of times when my bicycle had issues), I get to work quite early though, it’s a holiday so there was no traffic, gives me time to change in the locker room and drink some tea before starting my shift.

2:00 pm: From 2:00 pm until 10 pm I am at work, it’s a calm day and all the routes get done quick and effectively. 

10:30 pm: I get home from work. I get a quick half-hour workout and stretch done, grabbed a bite to eat, and then watched Netflix until midnight.

                             Today’s total: €0.00

Tuesday

10:30 am: It’s my day off so I sleep a little more, checked my emails and brokerage accounts. I have my usual breakfast before starting my workout routine. Have a shower and get my grocery list finally ready.

1:30 pm: We head off for a walk, the weather seems to be a bit more agreeable today after all so why not? After that we go grocery shopping, this time spending €21.79. On the way home I grab a kebab meal costing me €9.20. Once home I proceed to study until around 8 pm.

8:30 pm: I start prepping my meals for the next days, cooking dinner while I’m at it as well, after that, I sit down to have some dinner with my fiancee.

10:30 pm: I watch a few episodes on Netflix until around 11:30, then play some games before bedtime, at 1:30 am.

                                   Today’s total: €30.99

Wednesday

9:30 am: Wake up, feeling a little sleepy due to my blocked nose, proceed to have breakfast and morning exercise and lifting, it had helped me breathe better. 

10:30 am: I listen to a podcast as I try some coding exercises. Keeping a routine feels right to me especially during such difficult times when most people find themselves feeling trapped. Oftentimes it’s difficult to stick with it but good habits tend to build up.

12:00 am: Head out for some fresh air, the weather is mixed but it is oh so nice to feel the sun, I then pack my lunch and get ready for work, I have my smoothie, eat a cereal bar, take my vitamins and I’m out the door by 1 pm.

10:30 pm: Get home from work, the day was not that busy but it felt like a long shift, get home, have a nice shower, then prepare some vegetable fried rice, after dinner, I get ready for bed and cosy up reading some Seneca before bed.

                              Today’s total: €0.00

Thursday

10:00 am: I get up after having a rather poor night of sleep, but after having a morning tea and getting some fresh air I am starting to liven up, get my headphones, blast some jams and get a good workout, at which point my fiancee wakes up, prepare her a nice tea, and it’s dancing time! We have tried different types of dancing over time, it feels nice to have more balance and control overall, and dancing helps with it.

12:20 am: I head off to work, on my break I fall into temptation and buy some chocolate and crisps from Centra and Coke too for €4.30 because well, why not!  On my second break, I take the time to do some financial research.

10:30 pm: Back home from love my fiancee cooked a nice chicken roast, then we watch Benidorm until what turned out to be only a couple of episodes spiralled well into midnight, I then head off to bed.

                          Today’s total: €4.30

Friday

9:00 am: I’m up early to get myself some me time, have my yoghurt and grains and meditate for a bit of headspace, organise the room and get a cup of coffee. I had to take the day off to head to the bank, I needed to update my key – deciding whether to cycle or not felt like rolling a dice! One just can’t predict the weather so I just cycle anyways.

2:00 pm: I deal with the bank issue and treat myself to some subway €8.00, since I already know I will have to cycle back under hail, yikes! After getting home I do a workout routine while I’m still on that fast pace, check my assets in crypto and double-check whether I should short some coins and what the sentiment is around staking pools. I then proceed to work on my project for my computer science course for the rest of the day.

10:00 pm: After work is done it’s puzzle time! My fiancee and I grab an old puzzle box we had and have some fun trying to crack these two puzzles we’ve been trying to solve for a while. I then play some strategy pc games until a bit after midnight.

                   Today’s total: €8.00

Saturday

7:30 am: Even though I’m off woke up quite early, had trouble sleeping soundly, rise and get myself a glass of water, it’s pleasant to stay in silence sometimes in the morning, so just enjoy this half-sleep moment to reminisce about whatever I was dreaming, get some fresh air, and grab some tea before doing some stretches, after my fiancee wakes up we make some pancakes with jam and try and figure what’s the game plan for the next week.

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1:00 pm: We are ready and head off to the market, usually we typically have two shopping days a week, it’s good to separate the basics and the extras, helps save money too, we get some veggies, fruits, carbs (rice, potatoes) and some milk €19.00. She then reminds me we have to go buy some essential toiletries for the month, ended up going to Boots and getting a nasal spray and something for myself too €14,40 After arriving home she devotes the rest of the day to her work, I go through a lecture from my course and then play some old-school video-games until nighttime.

9:00 pm: I start preparing my meals for the next two days, I try to keep the basics covered so rice is always on my lunchboxes! I prepare some vegetables, some slow-cooked chicken in the oven, and manage to get a few sets while passively watching some Snowpiercer, I always had a thing for dystopian sci/fi flicks! I go to sleep at half-past midnight.

                         Today’s total: €33.40

Sunday

10:00 am: Wake up to the sound of the neighbour’s dog. I am the only one awake so I pray for a bit in silence, have a nice cup of coffee and since there was still some time before work booted up my console to play some Hitman before work, time flies by and around 11:30 get in a quick workout before getting ready to work.

1:15 pm: I leave for work a bit later than usual, no bother though, as Sundays are a breeze to cycle, change between a couple of different tasks at work, Sunday is not as busy so once one route is consolidated I move on to something else, keeps work from being boring,  after everything is done I manage to go home earlier than I expected (thankfully!). 

8:30 pm: I get home and get to work on greek style wraps with pork, vegetables, yoghurt and garlic sauce, a decision that I would come to regret later! After dinner we watch some Netflix, my stomach starts to feel a bit disagreeable so I just drink some tea and head off to bed, do a couple of exercises for my course and then fall asleep.

                          Today’s total: €0.00

Weekly subtotal:  €76.70

***

What I learned –

• Your best asset is yourself, so it’s important to make yourself employable with valuable skills. This exercise made me realise how much extra time have been spending on entertainment and how to better manage my free time. Because as the saying goes, time is money.

• Reading about other people’s stories and looking back on my own week made me realise that it’s important to also spend time on yourself and your own wellbeing, health is wealth. As well as keeping my compounding consistent.

• Often whenever I am not engrossed in my routine and focused it gets easier to be distracted by all the noise and be financially inconsequential. This exercise helped me shed light on those occasions.

About the author:

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