After last week’s failed attempt at budgeting, I thought I would
let myself off the hook hand over the reins to an anonymous contributor (that asterisk = name has been changed) to see how she gets on with this budgeting lark.
So what did you spend your money on this week?
This is payday week, I have a reverse bank balance and I literally cannot wait to get paid. WAH. That means this week I’m probably more parsimonious than I’d normally be. Also, I’ve become really conscious since January that my money is absolutely not going as far as it used to, so I’m trying to be more careful – with varying degrees of success.
I am still hungover from Saturday night and the strugs to func is real, so instead of getting the bus to work, I get a taxi (€13). Stop judging me.
We are lucky to get breakfast at work (a selection of cereals, fruit, bread and eggs), though I usually bring my own bread and hide it on my desk under a pile of crap, so I have coffee and some toast in the kitchen which costs me zero pee.
I DO (mostly) bring my lunch, because there are very few lunch options near my office so I usually meal prep on a Sunday evening for the week – or a decent portion of it. Last night, I lay in my bed of doom, sweating, so I took leftovers from Saturday to work. A Quorn taco thing (I made it for the vegetarians, yo) small wholeweat wraps and cheese. Obviously this did cost some money but I paid for it last week so, hey. It’s free!
I get the bus home (€2.15) and I am so utterly beside myself after the world’s most humid day I have two packets of Hunky Dorys for dinner, which I eat in bed, groaning about the heat. My boyfriend buys them for me on his way home from work so they were free! I read my book until about 11pm, before turning off the light, utterly glad this shite day has ended.
Daily total: €15.15
Bus in (€2.15 – and don’t you hate these pricks who sit in the seats for mammies and people with special needs?) and I have breakfast in work.
You’ll be glad to know I feel a lot better today which is good because I have shitloads of work to do. I juggle projects and at the moment I have three on the go, which can give me sleepless nights. To counteract, I try not to drink on school nights and I take a lot of supplements, most of which will need replacing later this week.
For lunch, I still have some of yesterday’s weekend leftovers in the kitchen fridge, so I prep two small wholewheat wraps and eat them at my desk while I subedit and copy check, and then spend the rest of the day at that, in between running up and down the stairs to the photography studio upstairs where I have a shoot tomorrow.
I get the bus home (€2.15) and because my boyfriend is out with work, I can’t be arsed cooking so I take two Donegal Catch fillets from the freezer, cook them and eat them in front of a particularly tug-at-the-heartstrings episode of DIY SOS. I disgust myself sometimes. Both with my choice of food and telly.
Daily total: €4.30
I need to be in the office early for a shoot, and the bus is too unreliable, so last night I pre-booked a MyTaxi for 8.30am. It turns up at 8.16am, but I’m ready so I head out. (€13.40). All the way in, the taxi driver – A MAN OF COURSE – regales me with things. It never ceases to amaze me the way men will just talk shite at you as if you’d be remotely interested. This morning’s specialist subject? Billy Connolly. Give. Me. Strength.
I have a quick free work brekkie of toast ‘n’ coffee, send some emails and hit the studio for my shoot. After a busy morning of intermittently legging it up and down the stairs (I’m juggling this and page edits on two projects as well as some writing today), I realise I didn’t bring anything for lunch, so I Deliveroo myself a burrito box from Little Ass, which I far prefer to Boojum. I get the Pukka Poya, which is a really nice chicken box with tangy things. It’s €12.19 including delivery.
Later, a message goes around about a work colleague’s birthday, who’s on my team so I drop €20 into the envelope.
I don’t get the bus home because there are delays on the NCR, so I walk a couple of kilometres to the Luas instead. I don’t love getting the Luas home because I can never get a seat and, as an aside, it’s slightly more expensive too (€2.50), even though it’s not as convenient, which makes no sense. So basically the upshot of this is I had to take exercise, pay more money and sweat all the way home. Shit buzz tbqh.
I head to Tesco for a few bits (a cooking apple I need for dinner, some salady stuff and cooked and smoked salmon for the next two day’s lunches plus a jar of Meridian peanut butter (€18.71)), before nipping into the chemist to renew a monthly prescription and to stock up on my supplements, of which I take many and various. That comes to €141.80 – apparently, I save €8.80 on 3-for-2s on vitamins.
Dinner is a confection of pork chops, roasties and home-made applesauce and I chase it with a Calippo from my freezer stash.
Daily total: €208.60
Occasionally the planets misalign and there’s no direct bus to where I work for like, 29 minutes, so I end up getting a bus half way and then connecting on to another. Today is one of those days, so the bus journey is €4.30 and at the halfway point I nip into a Centra for a coffee and some gum (€3.70).
I have been blessedly paid, oh sing hosannas (though August is a five-week month, cry) so I log into my bank account to do some lifemin. I pay my half of the mortgage (€1,200), transfer back €60 I owe the joint bank account from last weekend and pay my boyfriend €100 for a trip we are taking next year but which we’re paying for ahead of time.
Truly, being paid as an adult is one of life’s big cosmic jokes. “Wahyey,” you think, “I’m riiiii…. oh no, I’m absolutely, definitely, categorically not,” as all the bills and obligations race out of your bank account faster than someone looking for the shift in Coppers at close of play. It’s shite.
As lunchtime approaches, I get an email from Leap card notifying me of an autoload of €30 – I have my card set up so that if it goes below the €10 mark, it automatically tops up by €30. It’s really handy and you’re never scrambling for change or worried about not having enough credit.
Lunch is a kim chi slaw and chili salmon fillet from Tesco I bought yesterday, which manages to be both bland and tongue-searing. It’s a mystery.
I spend the rest of the day switching between projects – I am SUCH a multi-tasker, me, before getting the bus home (€2.15). We have a quick dinner – chicken, spuds and veg – before heading to the Vodafone Comedy Festival at 9ish. We’re seeing Neil Hamburger for the third or fourth time, who I love because he is so massively offensive. I get the cab – it’s just €10 because the driver takes a wrong turn so he does us a solid and switches off the meter before taking us on a magical mystery tour to get to the Iveagh Gardens. Oh well, it’s a nice night for a drive?
My fella pays for drinks because basically I’m a cashless society and there are no card machines at the bar – odd and peculiar in this day and age. I only have two beers as I’m so tired this week. Have I mentioned this?
Daily total: €1,410.15
I’ve a meeting in Wicklow this morning so I get the Luas to Kilmacud (€2.50) to meet a colleague, and we drive from there. I get her to pull off at Carrickmines because I can’t think straight until I’ve had coffee. I get an Americano, a granola slice and two waters – one for her (€9.65). On the way back, we pop into Avoca in Kilmacanogue. Okay. Here’s the thing – I have been on an Avoca ban for well over a year, since the Pratt family sold to Aramark.
I don’t support Aramark businesses because they run direct provision centres and any company that profits from human misery is not okay by me. However, when someone is giving you a lift, you pick your battles and life must be occasionally about compromise, right? I am also, er, starving and get a quick salad box which is €8.95.
I get back to the office around lunchtime to a serious to do list and before I tackle it, I contemplate a little Monki* splurge – I am a sucker for its new drop emails. But I really can’t; it’s a five-week month and I have a weekend trip at the end of August I need to account for in this month’s pay packet so I’ll just have to struggle on, won’t I? Being an adult is very hard altogether.
Dinner is a baked ham with a honey and mustard sauce and broccoli – I’m not on cooking duties tonight, TG. Everything comes from previous shopping and all I can say is thank god for the freezer, it’s probably the only thing that keeps us fed most weeks. I’ve no plans for this evening, bar sitting on the couch watching telly. My boyfriend is heading off for the weekend from tomorrow morning so when he’s away I generally use that time to just veg. And vegging is what I definitely intend to do!
Daily total: €21.10
My fella leaves at 6am and I roll over and go back to blissful sleep. When I do wake up properly at about 10am, I stay put. I wanted to have the laziest day ever so that’s what I do: I lie in bed until about 3pm, drinking coffee and eating toast, and read my book, under a blanket of cats. It’s raining – I’m delighted, and they are not as this has curtailed their fun summer of hanging out in the garden chasing flies. Oh well, sorry cats.
I finally get dressed and head to Tesco in the afternoon as a friend is coming over this evening to drink wine, eat cheese and watch rubbish on Netflix. I get cheeses, olives, crackers and nuts – I have loads of wine at home. (€29.68).
We want to watch Hurricane Heist but it’s not on Netflix or available for rent through the Virgin store – bah – so we end up watching Zoolander 2 (grand, but not a patch on the first) and Lady Ghostbusters, which I’ve seen before and which is great.
Daily total: €29.68
I’m taking my parents out for lunch today – we’re trying Botanic House which has just reopened in Glasnevin and is now owned by the same people who own Aqua in Howth. The menu looks good and they’re always into a new place for lunch, too. It’s quiet, as it’s the opening weekend, but the place is lovely – they’ve resisted the urge to go ‘pub hipster’ and it’s comfortable, nicely decorated in greens and William Morris-alike prints and is nicely spacious. Food’s good too – I have fish and chips and it’s delicious. For three of us, the bill comes to €91.55 which I pay and my dad does the tip.
Before they arrive, I do laundry, give the place a quick tidy and nip out and get milk and a cake in Spar (€3.70 – it’s a pretty crappy cake).
I walk home via Legit Coffee on the NCR, and get a takeout Americano (€2.80). I haven’t eaten here yet but this place is so nice inside and the menu looks good too.
Daily total: €118.85
Weekly total: €1,807.83
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