A manufacturing technician on €55K living in Dublin

WELCOME TO HOW I Spend My Money, a series on The Journal 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 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 an insurance consultant on €35K living in Munster. This week, a manufacturing technician on €55K living in Dublin.


I’m a 23-year-old currently living in Dublin. I live with two housemates, but we don’t see much of each other. I’ve had a hard time trying to save over the last few months with holidays, birthdays and generally living my best life, but I’m getting better at it.

The current goal is to save €1,400 per month for the next few months. I’m saving up to hopefully take a sabbatical year. I love travelling, so I’m happy things have finally opened again. I’ve already gone on four holidays since August – nothing makes me happier!

My week is an eight-day week. I work in shifts: four 12-hour days (and nights), but I also get four days off, which is great. The workdays can be quite exhausting, but I like the time off. This is also my first professional job since finishing at university. 

Occupation: Manufacturing technician
Age: 23
Location: Dublin
Salary: €40,000 base, plus 33% shift allowance = €55,000
Pension: 2.5%
Monthly pay (net): €3,400 approx.

Monthly expenses

Rent: €650 (including bills)
Insurance: €150 (Paid at the start of the year)
Transport: Petrol – €100, Leap card – top-up as I need it
Phone bill: €20
Health insurance: Paid by employer
Groceries: €200
Subscriptions: Amazon Prime – €9, Spotify premium – €10, Adobe Lightroom – €10, Netflix – €0 (I use my sister’s)


6.00 am: I wake up and get ready for work. I start at 6.45 am, so I’m happy I only have a 10-minute drive to work.

6.45 am: I get to work and start my shift. The first two hours are straightforward enough. Getting information on what the rest of the day will look like etc. I have a busy day ahead of me. I’m used to this since it’s typically the same on the day shift.

8.00 am: I didn’t bring food with me today so I grab a fry for breakfast from the canteen, which costs me €2.00. I also have a smoothie with me, which I made at home.

1.00 pm: There’s a hold-up during manufacturing and we need to wait for the go-ahead from the big bosses, so it’s the perfect time to grab lunch. I grab a sandwich and a Coke from the canteen. (€4.60)

7.00 pm: I finish up at work. Restrictions have all been lifted, so after battling with myself for half an hour about whether or not I want to go out, I decide that I’d be doing myself a disservice by not going out.

9.00 pm: After getting ready, I head out to get the bus (€2.50) and join some friends at a bar in the city. I did not miss queuing for drinks, nor did I miss the sweat boxes that are nightclubs. However, it still turns out to be a great night. I spend €30 on drinks

1.00 am: The club closes, so we head to a friend’s house for a few more drinks, which turns into a lot more drinks. I stay over, but I don’t go to sleep until about 7/8.00 am.

Today’s total: €39.10


2.00 pm: I have barely slept, but I’ve to head home. I have a long night ahead. My friend went to the shop downstairs earlier and grabbed me a muffin and a banana because “you have to eat”. I’m not feeling very hungry, so I just have half the muffin. I take two quick buses home. (€4.50)

5.00 pm: I get a much-needed nap in. I’m up at 6.00 pm and get ready to head into work for the evening.

6.45 pm: My shift starts. There’s not a lot of us in today but it does seem like it’s not going to be an issue. I like working the night shifts. I find there to be way less pressure/requests on us from management. They are home after all.

9.00 pm: I’m on my dinner break. I’m not a fan of today’s dinner menu, so I just grab a reliable chicken sandwich (€3.50). I’m still very tired, so I decide I don’t really want to be at work today. I chance my luck and ask for a half night, which I’m given.

12.30 am: I head home. I’m exhausted, yet I choose to watch something on TV. And, just like that… I’m down the rabbit hole. Choices, right?  I start off on Netflix and catch up on a few episodes of ‘The Circle USA’, and rewatch some episodes of one of my favourite Kdramas  ‘It’s okay, that’s love’. I would recommend the app ‘Viki’ for any K-drama/J-drama/C-drama fans out there. I’m asleep at around 5.00 am.

Today’s total: €8.00


12.00 pm: I’m up and ready for the day. Well, not before I stay in bed for an hour. I get up and do a bit of yoga to help my body to further recover from the night out. I started Yoga a few months ago and I really enjoy it. Really helps with self-reflection and helps me feel grounded. I don’t really do it as regularly as I would like to.

2.00 pm: Quick concoction of tomato soup and cheesy naan bread. The agenda today is just to chill until I have to head to work.

3.00 pm: I have a look at some homework for my French class. I only look at it for 30 minutes and I decide watching random videos on YouTube is a better shout. Can’t say no to new episodes of Jubilee.

4.30 pm: I cook a quick dinner of rice and chickpeas for work and I’m out of the house by 6.20 pm. I’m ready for this last shift. ‘Alexa, play Dubskie – It’s Friday’ (It feels like Friday for us).  We end up getting pizza at work for the second break, courtesy of our lovely manager. Nothing interesting for the rest of the night.

Today’s total: €0


7.00 am: I finish work and I head home. I really felt the night’s work today. I get home and it’s my water bottle and straight to sleep.

2.00 pm: A few alarms go off, but I’m honestly way too tired. It would be great for my days off if I could get up now, but it isn’t going to happen today.

5.00 pm: I’m awake. I go downstairs and I have a small package of clothes that I ordered waiting for me. I’m excited, so I try them on ASAP. I’ll return one of the items another day.

7.00 pm: I’m meeting a friend in the city, so I head out for the bus (€3.50). We go to a restaurant bar where I have an avocado and prawn salad and two cocktails. (€31.70)

11.00 pm: I get the bus home (€2.50 – different times = different prices).

11.45 pm: Once I get home, I listen to a juicy podcast and a meditation. I listen to a quick episode of  ‘My favourite murder’ podcast and a meditation. I’m asleep by half 12.

Today’s total: €37.70


8.00 am: I wake up early, which is quite unusual for my days off. I have some granola, yoghurt and fruit for breakfast, and afterwards, I finally unpack my luggage from my holidays two weeks ago (yeah… I know). I do the laundry and do a bit of cleaning up around my room.

11.00 am: I have a virtual one-to-one French lesson. It feels a bit intense at times, and this time, I come out of it feeling like I know less than I thought I did before. Overall, I’m happy I’ve finally copped on and started these lessons. I love French! The lesson costs me €10.

12.00 pm: I definitely need to relax after that lesson! I watch something for a while before deciding to edit my CV and look at a few jobs abroad. I love my job but I’m a Curious George. I end up on online shopping (what are the chances?) and I come out of it spending €41.63 on Amazon for kitchen items. I’m thinking of doing a solo trip later this year, which I haven’t done in a while because of Covid. Nothing planned just yet, but I decide to renew my Couchsurfing travel app subscription. (€2) It’s a great app for anyone looking to travel and would love to meet locals and have that experience. I’m super careful about who I choose to stay with, being a young woman. It’s very safe if you use it correctly and you get to explore things you might not when staying in a hostel.

5.00 pm: I have leftover pizza and drive down to my friend’s as I haven’t seen him in a while. We end up taking the Luas to a bar in the city (€2.40). I start feeling exhausted after the second pint, so I decide to go for another. My friend pays for my last pint, so I only spend €11.30.

9.00 pm: We walk back to his house as I’m staying with him tonight. We continue to catch up and I’m in bed by midnight.

Today’s total: €67.33


6.00 am: My friend has work at 7 am, which means I’m up super early (I hate mornings…can you tell?) to head home.

7.30 am: I’m home, and want to get an extra lie in. However, my body has other ideas. I can’t sleep, so I browse my phone for quite some time. At least I’m on LinkedIn as well.

10.00 am: I do some yoga as my body has been aching. Afterwards, I have some poached eggs and avocado for breakfast. I end up online shopping – I buy some cosy bits, but mainly holiday clothes. I have a holiday in Spain coming up in two weeks. The total ends up at €188.60.

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5.00 pm: I head to my hairdressers to get a quick hair mishap fixed. It doesn’t cost anything as it was the salon’s mistake. I was meant to meet up with a friend afterwards, but I’m proper wrecked, so we reschedule for another time.

8.00 pm: I’m nearly home, so I stop by the local Camille and grab myself dinner (€15). A friend rings me as we need to book a concert next year in Paris before it’s sold out. The ticket is €70.

11.00 pm: I listen to some meditation and I’m fast asleep in no time.

Today’s total: €273.60


10.30 am: I’m awake, but I don’t want to get up yet. I scroll through my phone for a bit. I talk to a friend and we decide to go to a haunted house later today. The ticket costs €34 – a bit expensive, if you ask me.

12.00 pm: I’m out of bed. I make myself a smoothie and try my best to do my French homework in a rush.

1.00 pm: I have the French lesson for the hour. Unfortunately, we don’t even look at the homework. Why is life like this? €10 for the lesson again.  I started the lessons not too long ago but I knew a bit of the language before starting. It does take me a bit of time when trying to say things the proper way. I can only try my best.

2.00 pm: I have a quick lunch before I get ready and head out.

3.30 pm: I drive to a friend’s house. The plan was to go to a museum but by the time I got to hers, had cups of tea, etc., it was too late. We stay at hers and another friend joins us. We chat for the rest of the time.

7.00 pm: I drive to pick up another friend and we head to the haunted house. We’re there by 8 pm. I’m quite a jumpy person, even when someone walks into the same room as me… and I see them coming. With this, I was expecting to really get scared shitless but I came out a bit disappointed.

10.45 pm: I’m nearly home and I haven’t eaten since this afternoon. I need to start setting ‘Time to Eat’ alarms. I stop by the local takeaway and get a stir fry, which costs €15. I watch something, listen to some meditation and it’s sleep time by 1 am.

Today’s total: €59.00

Weekly subtotal: €484.73


What I learned –

  • I’ve spent quite a bit this week. This is more than I would usually spend in an average week, but I’ve had some irregular expenses this week, so I don’t really mind i.e. clothes for a holiday and a concert ticket.
  • I’m not happy with the number of takeaways I’ve gotten this week. I’m usually good at cooking at home, but I’ve fallen into a bad habit the past month or so. I will definitely start trying to cook more at home. Reduces my spending and I don’t know, I really enjoy cooking things for myself.

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