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Monday 6 February 2023 Dublin: 8°C
How I Spend My Money A 27-year-old compliance officer on €46,000 who keeps busy in his spare time
The Dublin man gets extra income by making 3D props for movies

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.

Last time, a HR manager living in Melbourne wrote how she balanced an active social life while trying to save to return home to Ireland. Today, a compliance officer and prop maker walks us through his week as he plans to travel the world.


I currently live in Dublin and work full-time in compliance. This basically means I ensure large multinational companies comply with the Central Bank of Ireland regulations.

I live with my partner in a rented two-bed apartment and I'm trying to save for a trip around the world. My plan is to travel from Ireland to Japan by train going through Mongolia and China. We're trying to save €7,000 for this or as much as possible every month so that we can head off in April.

In my spare time I'm a prop maker and I'm active in the Dublin Maker community, which is a place for people who make things to come together and make things and run events throughout the year. I have a pretty active social life, so often it’s tough to make sure everything runs smoothly.

Occupation: Compliance Officer
Age: 27
Location: Dublin
Monthly pay (net): €2,880

Monthly expenses

Transport: €50 on buses, €150 on taxis
Rent: €600 (my partner pays the other half)
Household bills: €60
Phone bill: €45
Health insurance: Paid for by work
Groceries: €170
Subscriptions: Spotify €10, Netflix €8
Gym: Paid for by work


7:00am: I wake up and check my phone for about 10 minutes, then hop up and turn on my 3D printer. My partner doesn’t like me running it overnight - for fear of me burning the apartment down. I load a file onto the printer and keep an eye on it to make sure it’s working okay. I like starting my week with a project and regularly make props for films.

7:30am: I shower and then check that the printer is working ok. I walk about 10 minutes to the bus stop and wait patiently for two full Dublin Buses to drive past, eventually get one (€2.25).

8:30am: I arrive in the office and eat my breakfast of some fruit and a yoghurt. I'm attempting to be healthy at the moment but I'm unsure if I'm succeeding.

9:30am: The head of my department is in the office today so I have some meetings throughout the day.

12:30pm: I head out for some lunch and to pay the rent. There was a mix up in the bank so I had to manually lodge it this month. It’s for a two-bed apartment in town so it’s a steal for the price at €1,200 a month.

1:00pm: I grab lunch which is a side salad and a sandwich (€7.50).

6:00pm: When I finish work it's raining so I meet my partner and we get a taxi home (€15.50).

8:00pm: My partner pops on some dinner and afterwards I do the washing up. We relax for the rest of the evening and I check to make sure the printer is still working well.

10:30pm: I read for about 15 minutes before going to bed.

Today's total: €25.25 (not including the rent)


7:00am: I wake up and check the printer which appears to be damaged from when I removed an object last night. It will need to be replaced in the coming weeks and could set me back €30.

7:30am: I shower and I'm out the door. I manage to catch the second bus that passes me this morning (€2.25).

8:30am: I arrive in the office and check my emails before grabbing some fruit for breakfast - so far, so good on the healthy food.

12:30pm: My aunt texts me and suggests we grab some lunch so I grab some sushi and salad and meet her in the park. This comes to €13. We eat our lunches and go for a walk before I head back to work.

2:30pm: I order some supplies from Amazon for my prop making hobby. I sometimes sell my props so it can be a handy way to make extra income. The supplies come to €42.

6:00pm: After work I go to meet my mentee from university. I took on a mentee to learn some management skills and to give back. We go for three pints and I get a taxi home afterwards (€37).

10:30pm: I get home and my partner has left fajitas in the fridge for me. We watch some TV before heading to bed at 11:30pm.

Today's total: €94.25


6:40am: I have an early start today as I need to be in work early. My printer isn't looking great so I decide to leave any further work on it until the weekend. 

7:15am: I shower and leave the house to catch the bus (€2.25). I'm not feeling great this morning after just three pints last night.

8:00am: I break my healthy eating plan and buy a breakfast sandwich in Spar for €3.50. Living my best life. 

12:30pm: For lunch I grab a wrap from the shop (€4.50) and a free Diet Coke from the fridge in the office. 

5:00pm: I leave the office and head down to the gym to attempt a short run on the treadmill. I have been meaning to exercise more regularly.

6:00pm: I get the bus home (€2.25) and start making dinner.

7:00pm: After dinner, I work on some of my props for a project and chill out for the evening.

10:15pm: I watch Netflix before going to sleep.

Today's total: €12.50


7:00am: I wake up and shower before heading to catch the bus at 8:00am (€2.25).

9:00am: It's a typical morning, I check my emails before grabbing fruit for breakfast and starting work.

12:45pm: The head of the department takes everyone out for lunch and I have a pork belly BLT with fries.

5:00pm: After work, we all go for pints. The way rounds went, when it was my turn most people had left so I bought pints for the last man standing and myself (€12). I feel awkward about this so I make a mental note to get pints in early next time. 

10:00pm: I hop into a taxi home which costs €15.

10:15pm: My partner ordered some Chinese food (€12) for when I got home and I tear into the food mercilessly.

11:30pm: I head to bed.

Today's total: €41.25


7:30am: I wake up and feel a little worse for wear this morning but I soldier on and shower and catch the bus (€2.25).

8:30am: For breakfast I grab a breakfast sandwich, a bottle of Coke and a Boost bar. Everyone’s cure is different. (€8)

12:35pm: My partner suggests we go for lunch together so we grab some Thai food. We both work pretty busy jobs and have a lot going on so it’s nice that we have some time together. I grab the bill - I get it sometimes and she gets it other times and it generally works out - and it comes to €18.

1:35pm: I buy my partner a jumper she was looking at for €27.

5:30pm: After work I meet with my partner again and we pick up some snacks for the weekend and some glue and a light bulb for a project I'm working on (€14.50).

6:00pm: We grab a taxi home for €15 as we're tired and want to get out of the rain.

8:00pm: We stick on some dinner and have a quiet evening in. A friend calls over and we talk about how we want to travel in the coming months.

11:00pm: We head to bed.

Today's total: €84.75


8:00am: I get up and make some breakfast.

10:00am: My partner has yoga (I should go myself) and I get working on the bed of the 3D printer. I manage to get it running again so I'm delighted.

1:00pm: I take the bus to Liffey Valley shopping centre (€2.25) just to get out of the house for a while.

2:00pm: I pick up some supplies that were on offer in B&Q for €20.

2:15pm: I have some lunch (€4) and get the bus home (€2.25).

7:30pm: I spend the evening building and painting a prop. There is nothing I enjoy more than working with my hands.

9:00pm: I relax for the night with my partner and we watch some Peaky Blinders.

Today's total: €28.50


9:00am: I have a bit of a lie-in and then spend the majority of the day making props. 

1:00pm: I catch up with my partner over lunch.

4:00pm: My friend rings me and asks if I can print them a 3D prop. They send me €30 for the supplies and for my time. I will get to work on this next week.

9:00pm: My partner and I head to bed early and put on some TV. I'm not a big fan of TV but it’s a nice thing to spend time with my partner at the end of the day and just hang out before heading to bed.

Today's total: €0 (€30 earned for making the prop).

Weekly subtotal: €286:50 – €30= €256.50


What I learned:

  • I spend a lot on my prop-making hobby. I always knew it was a lot but it’s also a side business for me and allows me to fund new machines and supplies and it’s something I would never give up due to how happy it makes me. Everyone should have a hobby, especially young men.
  • Taxis are a major expense. I know I should take the bus more but in my defence I don't own a car and Dublin Bus can be unreliable.
  • Generally I try and keep expenditure to €250 a week and bills at around €1,000 so I can try save €800 a month. Some months I might have a large expense and that wipes out the savings.
  • This week was a bit of an outlier for drinking, but I don’t think I need to curb it in - all good things in moderation.

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