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WELL. Last week’s account of what I managed to spend in those seven days was by far the most popular post in the history of rosemarymaccabe.com – more popular than that blog post about the Gossies, or even when I wrote my scathing fashion critique of the VIP Style Awards. So I’m making it a weekly feature for the foreseeable future.
Last week’s spend didn’t exactly go down all that well, mind you. A lot of people were justifiably horrified by what I managed to spend on food in a week-long period – but I would argue that my overall total probably isn’t that much more than everyone else’s. It’s just that other people spend that money on Ikea trips, or trips with their kids, or clothes… It just so happened that, last week, I spent it all on food. So what about this week?
I spend it on Bey & Jay, self-defence and, er, food
As well as a very impromptu shopping trip. I was honestly so determined to show you all that last week’s spend was an anomaly. I’m not usually that bad! I was protesting to friends, family and anyone who dared question my exuberance. But, er, it turns out that I might just be that bad. Still! There’s always next week…
7am I wake up to my alarm making the world’s most irritating noise (there is no such thing as a nice alarm), but I basically haven’t slept at all because I’ve been coughing and blowing my nose at 10-minute intervals. Plus, apparently, snoring incredibly loudly. Oops! I text my boss to tell her I won’t come in; I’m working in content so I could, of course, work with a cold – but I really hate when people bring their sniffles into the office so I’m staying home. I’m sure I’ll be fine tomorrow.
8am I laze around in bed for a while but I’m really awake, and I keep having to blow my nose, so I decide to get up. I make a pot of coffee and quinoa porridge. I soaked the quinoa overnight in some water and a dash of apple cider vinegar (thanks to my Melissa Hemsley book!) and I cook it with a mashed banana and some almond milk, then add cacao nibs, three sliced strawberries, a dash of maple syrup and some peanut butter. Yum.
11am I decide to spend the day working on a project I’ve been pottering away at for a few weeks. If I really put my mind to it, I could just finish it. I have two slices of toast (my Mum brought home-made bread last night) with Glenisk butter – it’s the most delicious butter ever, but it’s too tempting; once this pack is done, it’s done. I can’t have it in the house!
12.30pm Another pot of coffee. I’m not hungry enough for lunch but I could drink coffee every minute of every day. I do mine in a Le Creuset cafetiere I got in Kildare Village. I love Le Creuset but it’s just so expensive, it breaks my heart – I can only buy it in KV where at least you’re saving on the regular price.
1pm I watch the new Beyoncé and Jay Z video (are we supposed to call them The Carters now?). I don’t get it. I don’t particularly like the song, either, although it’ll probably grow on me – I’m never cool enough to love things in the beginning, but I am just uncool enough to jump on the bandwagon once it reaches fever pitch so I have no doubt that I’ll be a big fan in a few days.
2.30pm The comments are still rolling in on last week’s spending diary and honestly I’m a bit embarrassed, so I decide to set myself a budget this week of €170. Kind of random, but I’m starting a self-defence course tomorrow and that’s €70, so I’m giving myself another €100. I put €100 on my Revolut card and decide only to bring that out and about with me this week – and once that €100 is gone, it’s gone. No more.
3pm Lunchtime! Grilled chicken and halloumi with grilled flat peach (I love flat peaches so much) and spinach salad. So so good and really healthy. I’m so glad I did the shopping yesterday; there’s nothing worse than being sick at home with no food. (Okay, fine, there are way worse things but you get my drift.)
4pm I spent the afternoon blowing my nose and working on some writing; I take a Solgar multivitamin in the hopes that it will cure me entirely, but I’m not convinced.
8pm Dinner’s kind of late today; Stephen didn’t get home until around 7pm and neither of us was very hungry. We have steak with green beans and roast baby potatoes, then I watch Love Island with my housemate and, afterwards, we start to play catch-up on Westworld. We’re two episodes behind and want to get up to date. I really like Westworld but the plots are getting more and more convoluted and tonight I just can’t keep my eyes open, so I go to bed around 9.30pm.
Daily total: €0
7am My alarm goes off and, as usual, I snooze it until 7.45am (such a waste), but when I get up and get ready to shower I realise that I’m still coughing a lot and feel really rubbish. I had some really vivid nightmares about my dog dying and woke up really upset – vivid dreams are one of the less enjoyable side effects of my antidepressants. Sometimes I wake up and I feel as if I’ve run a marathon in my sleep and I frequently feel really tired even though I’ve technically been asleep for eight hours. But I guess it’s better than feeling like crying every second of every day.
8.30am I get up and make quinoa porridge again – this time with Alpro coconut milk, cacao nibs, toasted almonds, flat peaches and a little maple syrup. Ordinarily I would use honey, as the maple is a little too strong a taste with the coconut, but we’re all out. I vow to write a shopping list next time we go to the supermarket.
9.30am I read a piece on Lainey Gossip about Beyoncé and agree that she pretty much is a genius – and then decide that I really want to give The Carters’ album* a proper listen. I don’t want to subscribe to Tidal (I already have far too many subscriptions) so I buy it from the Google Play Store. Along with Lemonade*, it’s the only album I’ve bought in the past five years. So I guess I really am a Bey fan. (€7.99)
11am I have two slices of toast with the end of the Glenisk butter as my elevenses (surely the best part about having a sick day!). My friend Liam drops over with his dog, Rosie. He’s on his way to the Aran Islands for work so he’s asked me to look after her for the afternoon until his boyfriend comes to pick her up after work. She’s the most chilled out dog ever, so she sleeps on the bed for the afternoon while I drink coffee and sip today’s multivitamin.
2pm I got an email yesterday from a follower offering to buy me a copy of The Artist’s Way*. I was really touched – but also very encouraged, because quite a few people have recommended it to me lately. I don’t believe in signs, but if I did… (I’d be even poorer than I am now!) I buy it on Amazon* using my own Amazon affiliate link – that way I can recoup my losses slightly! Altogether it comes to £14.51. Then I email my lovely follower back to say thank you. She’s already a patron, so there’s no way I could take her money to buy this for me as well! Plus, I figure, I’ve already saved at least €50 by being home sick for two days. (€17)
3.30pm Lunch is really late (blame the elevenses) – and I kind of have a mix of leftovers. Roast potatoes and green beans from last night, grilled chicken breast, halloumi and some steamed spinach. It’s a weird combo but it works. More coffee.
5pm My mum calls over unexpectedly and brings a box of Maltesers – and, weirdly, a pair of rubber gloves – for her sick daughter. Maltesers, in my opinion, are always nicer from a box than from a bag. We have a cup of tea and she fills me in on how Coileán’s enjoying the countryside; she’s spending the week in Kildare, with my parents. I love my dog so much, but sometimes it’s nice to have a few days off, where you don’t have to worry about getting home to her right after work, or bringing her for frequent walks or, well, anything! Mum is very impressed by how laid back and relaxed Rosie is by comparison.
7pm I’m supposed to be starting a self-defence course tonight at Lift, where I teach classes, but because I’m sick I can’t make it to the first session. SO annoying. It’s a six-week course so I’ve to pay anyway – but it’s fine, I’ll still get five sessions and I’m sure I can catch up. It’s with Aisling Daly, who’s a former MMA star, and I did a few jiu jitsu sessions with her before so I’m hoping I’ll have a slight advantage and won’t be totally in the dark! (€70)
7.45pm Stephen gets home pretty late and we order burritos from Boojum on Deliveroo. I honestly think I would be rich – and healthier! – if I didn’t live in a Deliveroo area, and work near so many nice cafes! They’re out of chips and guac, so it’s just one burrito bowl each – and a Diet Coke for me – and we put the €15 on the joint account.
Daily total: €94.99
7.30am I get up after three rounds of snooze – it’s a miracle! I’m planning on cycling into work today, but when I look outside I realise it’s been lashing rain and I cannot face getting back on the saddle if the streets are wet, so the bus it is. I run downstairs and hard boil some eggs to add to a salad for lunch (spinach, sweet peppers, cherry tomatoes and feta) before doing my make-up super quickly (foundation, bronzer and mascara) and running out the door to get the bus at 8.30am. (€2.15)
8.50am Getting the bus adds about 30 minutes to my planned journey (cycling takes 15 minutes!), so I didn’t have time to make lunch. And old habits die hard, so I drop into Two Pups for my favourite granola, justifying it by telling myself that I brought my lunch in today. Of course, I get an Americano too. (€9.30)
11am We got a new coffee machine at work! It’s not quite as nice as the Americano you’d get from the barista down the road, but it’s still good – I can already tell this is going to save me a lot of money. Make myself a massive black coffee.
1pm I promised Liam I’d go walk his dog Rosie today at lunchtime, so I dutifully head over to his house to take her out. I was feeling really lazy beforehand, but she’s so excited to see me that it makes it worthwhile. We go for a stroll around Dublin Castle – she’s a greyhound but when she’s on the lead she kind of just plods along – and she does her business, then I drop her back.
1.50pm Back in the office, I eat lunch at my desk. I even cleverly brought in dressing in a tiny little Tupperware! I feel like a domestic, money-saving goddess.
2.30pm Another coffee! While making it in the kitchen, I realise that, while I missed yesterday’s office bake-off, there is still an array of cakes in the fridge. I take a few little samples – coffee cake, chocolate sponge and some kind of tiramisu-banoffee hybrid – back to my desk.
5.30pm I’m teaching a class at Lift this evening, so I walk over to Smithfield from work. I go into Costa, planning to buy a coffee and something to eat before class, but then realise that, if I do that, I’ll have to write it down. I’m not sure where this decision sits on the willpower scale (is it willpower if my precise motivation is the fact that people will know?!) but I feel smug.
7.30pm Drop into Super Valu on the way home to buy raspberries, quinoa, almond milk and Kerrygold garlic bread (aka the world’s most delicious thing) to go with pasta Stephen brought home for me. He gets his lunch free every day at work, but today he met his mum so he’s donating his Da Mimmo sausage pasta to me. Groceries come to around €24 and I put that on the joint account. I put about €1,000 into the joint account each month to cover my portion of the rent and bills – but this month we’ve had quite a few unforeseen expenses, like last week’s vet visit and an unexpectedly high electricity bill, so I’ll probably have to put some more in at the end of the week.
Daily total: €11.45
8am I had a dentist appointment today at MyDental; I’m having one of my teeth internally bleached. It died, so I had a root canal, and now I have a temporary filling while we’re trying to whiten it up a bit. It’s definitely got a lot whiter in the two rounds of bleaching, but today I decide to postpone my appointment as I still have a cold – I hate the idea of subjecting my dentist to my snotty little face!
8.30am I literally had 30 minutes to get ready this morning after way too much snoozing, so I grab two hard-boiled eggs I prepared yesterday and pack them in a Tupperware with some spinach and head out the door. It’s my first time cycling to work and I’m pretty nervous. I have to cross over at least three sets of Luas tracks, plus it’s peak traffic time, but it’s actually fine. I get a lot sweatier than I’d like and it takes longer than I thought (around 25 minutes), but I think that might also be down to the revival of my smokers’ lung. (I haven’t smoked since Sunday though!)
11am I make my second coffee of the day. This coffee machine is so great, but it does mean I’m way less likely to leave the office – and I do kind of hate spending the full eight hours in the same space. I really want to pre-order Busy Philipps’ book*, but again, I stop myself because of the horror of having to write it down. I’ve followed her on Instagram for ages and adore her. I’ll buy it eventually, but it’s on pre-order anyway so it can wait until next week.
1pm I meet a friend for lunch and we go to Salt & Stove, a new gourmet food shop and café on Clanbrassil St. They’re doing free iced coffees to celebrate the summer solstice, and I order a foccaccia toastie with Gubbeen cheese, chorizo and sun-dried tomatoes. It’s really good, and far better value than my usual gourmet lunches in D8! (€7)
5.30pm I get home relatively early – I finished up this week’s tasks in record time, motivated no doubt by the gorgeous weather. Stephen’s late at work, and we have fish in the fridge but neither of us feels like cooking so we order Bombay Pantry. I pay for his and he transfers me his share on Revolut. (€16)
11.30pm I get to bed pretty late; I usually like to go to bed at around 10.30pm, but the nights have been so bright and we ate dinner pretty late so it’s no wonder I’m not that tired. When I get into bed I toss and turn for ages; our neighbours have been AirBnBing their house for a few months now and the current guests are very loud Americans who are having a mega chat outside my open window. Rage.
Daily total: €23
9am It’s my day off! I was meant to go to Lift this morning with Stephen to train, but I wake up in a funny mood and feel tired and grumpy, so I let him go on his own and I have what feels like a mega lie in. When I get up our cleaner is here, which makes me feel incredibly guilty. Having a cleaner is such a great middle-class luxury, but I wouldn’t be without her; BC (Before Cleaner), cleaning was the only thing we ever really argued about. Having her here takes that pressure off. I run to Spar on the corner to get cash for her (we pay her €30 for two hours, from the joint account).
10am I’d totally forgotten a plumber was coming to fix a leak behind the oven – and I’ve just put my rashers on the grill when he arrives! That plan is soon abandoned as he pulls out the oven, fixes the leaky pipe and then instructs me to leave the oven out and on its front until the floor dries out. I’d forgotten I told the landlord I’d pay the plumber and take it out of the rent, so I run to the shop (again!) and take out the €50 (bargain plumber!) he’s charging for a flying visit.
11am I go to Proper Order to meet a friend for coffee, but when I get there I realise I’ve forgotten all of my cards (my personal bank card, joint bank card and Revolut card) after this morning’s ATM antics. Luckily, I have a free coffee on my loyalty card. My friend pays for a cinnamon roll that we share, and then she spots me another coffee. When I offer to transfer the cash back to her she says not to worry about it. I’ll make sure to buy her coffee (and treats!) next time we catch up.
12.40pm My parents are calling over to return Coileán – and even though they said they’d be there at 1pm, they’re early and I’m still on my way home. They set off the alarm and we have a frantic few minutes of back and forth calls, but it’s all fine. Mum brought salads and a scone from Avoca and we eat those on the patio. Then my dad and I begin to discuss what we should do with our castor oil tree (it’s enormous and right over the pond in the back garden, dropping leaves and black berries into the water and making a lovely feature look grotesque) and, before you know it, we’re out back hacking branches off. When we’re done, it’s all rather bare but the garden looks way bigger. The only problem now is that the compost bin is totally full and there’s no space for the huge pile of leaves now gathered on the patio. Oops!
3pm Today is payday, so I have a few bits to move around – I’m not going to include these in my weekly “spending” total, but I may as well fill you in; I transfer €800 to the joint account, finally pay Stephen the money he lent me to do my personal training course last year (I had €1,160 left on that debt) and pay my accountant €449 for doing my 2017 taxes and calculating my 2018 pre-tax (plus VAT). I paid my taxes last week (when you’re self-employed, you’ve to do your own taxes – or get someone to do them for you – and, though the payment isn’t due until November, I wanted to get ahead of myself). It’s the first time in about four years that I am totally debt-free – I even have a lump sum put aside for this year’s tax and the VAT I’ll owe for the first six months of the year, which I’m going to figure out this weekend. I feel very happy with myself. Although, worryingly, I am starting to wonder what I should buy myself as a reward…
6pm I go to a friend’s house for dinner and drinks. She lives out near the Red Cow so I meet another friend and we get the Luas together. On the way, I grab a bottle of wine and pay by Revolut. I have it set up so that Revolut rounds up all of my purchases to add my “loose change” to a savings account, so my €10.99 spend becomes €11. I’ll have a mortgage in no time! (€13.49)
10pm I’m teaching tomorrow morning so I need to get home at a semi-reasonable hour. I use the MyTaxi app to get a taxi home – it’s expensive but I think, perhaps erroneously, that I’ve had a pretty frugal week so I don’t feel guilty about it. (€19.80)
Daily total: €33.29
8.30am I’m really sluggish this morning and, even though I’d have loads of time to walk to Smithfield, I decide to get the Luas instead. It means I’ll have more time to set up – and to drink a pre-class coffee. (€1.94)
9.30am I get a black coffee and a croissant in Third Space. Again, I pay by Revolut and it rounds my €4.70 up and adds 30 cent to my savings. It’s a pretty clever way of putting money aside and I doubt I’ll really notice it going (worrying). (€4.70)
11.15am After class I have a coffee and a Scéal Bakery cruffin in Proper Order with an old client. I buy her coffee; I owe her one from a few weeks back. Proper Order’s coffee, at €3.50 a pop, is pretty dear – but it’s some of the best coffee in Dublin, in my opinion, so it’s worth it. (€10.50)
12.30pm I’m going to a friend’s daughter’s birthday barbecue today and then to Stephen’s friend’s housewarming, and it’s roasting, so I get myself into a total flap about what I’m going to wear and leg it to Marks & Spencer* to try to find something suitable. I have a really eclectic wardrobe full of unwearable things that don’t fit me and don’t go with each other and, as a result, I can never find anything to wear! I find a really cute little sundress*, leather sandals I adore*, a pair of amazing jewel yellow linen mix trousers* and some knickers (I’ve run out of comfy pants to wear in bed – once they start to leak those tiny little elastic threads, I bin them) and I also find an adorable unicorn-themed paint-it-yourself clock kit* that I buy as a birthday present. (Kids like painting, right?!) I spend way more than I’d planned. (€182.80)
1pm Legging it home at high speed, until I get distracted by a top I’d seen online in River Island*, and before I know it I’ve forked over the cash and the top is mine! (€35)
2.30pm I truly believe that being late is incredibly disrespectful – and yet. We leave the house at the time the barbecue is due to start. Stephen is “starving”, so we run into 147 Deli en route so that he can buy a sandwich (before a barbecue, go figure) and then we Luas out to the end of the red line, from which point we get a taxi to my friend’s house. I pay for it on my account; Stephen can get the return leg. I’m delighted when we get there and find out that we’re actually among the earliest guests. It doesn’t excuse my bad manners, but it helps a little. (€13.70)
6pm Time to Luas back into town for Stephen’s friend’s housewarming – the tram is full of people going to Billy Joel and so very, very hot. By the time we get off I feel slightly ill – not sure if it’s the crowd or the copious amount of sugar I ate at the party… (€2.50)
6.45pm We clearly have mad notions about ourselves because we head into Dollard & Co to buy a housewarming gift – a bottle of gin. As they’re Stephen’s friends, he pays, although I would happily have put that on the joint account. His friends are my friends etc. I get a bottle of Prosecco – I don’t like white wine and I’m not a big beer fan, but it seems too warm for red wine and I’d been drinking Prosecco earlier so it seems like the safest bet – and Stephen gets some beers, but they’re pretty much the same price so we pay with the joint account card.
9.30pm I leave the party early and meet Liam for dinner in our beloved Eddie Rocket’s. I always want to spend more time with Stephen’s friends because I feel like we don’t know each other all that well, but it feels like it’s been such a long day and the sun and the Prosecco have made me feel very sleepy and very foggy-headed. I eat quickly and then head home. (€19.50)
9.45pm At the last minute, I grab a Luas to go two stops on the way home. I’m so ashamed! Not really – my new shoes have given me really bad blisters and I just can’t face walking any further. (€1.54)
9.55pm Clearly I’m on a sugar bender because I drop into Spar on the way home to pick up a Diet Coke and a bag of Cadbury’s Nibbles I’ll eat while I play Love Island catch-up. (€4)
Daily total: €276.18
10am Despite the arrival of the friendly – and bargaintastic – plumber on Friday, the leak in the kitchen has got worse and we can’t put the oven back upright (it’s been on its face while the floor dries out), so we’re forced to go out for breakfast. I’m devastated (clearly).
11.30am After much back and forth, we decide to go to Storyboard in Islandbridge for brunch. The menu is really interesting: the usual eggs on sourdough, but also mixed potatoes with spices and some kind of garlicky sauce, and peaches with ricotta, which is what I go for – with black pudding on the side. I have two Americanos and four of us share three desserts (carrot cake, home-made crunchie, which is amazing, and a delicious chocolate brownie) – Stephen and I put our share (€37.50) on the joint account.
2pm We get home and, for some reason unbeknownst to any of us, decide to clean the windows. Between three of us, it only takes about 20 minutes (that’s probably a lot, but domestic gods we are not), but it’s exhausting work in this intense 24-degree heat.
4pm I cycle to a friend’s house in Ringsend for dinner and to help her put some stuff on Depop – I offer to sell them through my account as I already have a following (see how to make Depop work for you here), and spend the entire cycle worrying about how exposed I am, wearing a wrap dress and cycling an enormous men’s Dutch bike. (I’m wearing my anti chub rub shorts from Big Tights Company, which are very effective, both at preventing chub rub and at preserving one’s modesty.) She cooks roast chicken and we eat it with salad before very efficiently photographing and posting a host of things.
7pm I cycle home – slowly – very warm and suddenly feeling very tired. I’m not even sure if I can stay up late enough for Love Island!
8pm I sit out in the back garden writing an account of all I spend in a week; it’s pretty eye-opening (and worrying, to be honest!). I’ll have to delete these posts if I ever apply for a mortgage…
Daily total: €0
Weekly total: €438.91
I’ll be uploading a diary of my weekly spend every Sunday evening; check back next week to see if things (ever) improve!
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