If you enjoy reading all about how much I spend each week, would you consider paying $1 a month to become a patron? You’ll be supporting the work I do (podcasting, writing, the occasional YouTube upload) by paying for that content – and it will allow me more time and financial freedom to concentrate on writing, podcasting, YouTubing and God knows what else! Read more about how you can become a patron (and why you would want to) here.
Allow me to make some excuses for this week’s spending. Er, I was on my holliers. I bought a bike! I brought the dog to the vet. I’m also including my grocery spend, for the first time ever – because, really, why wasn’t I including it from week one? (Shame, that’s why.)
So what did I spend my money on this week?
I had a really nice, relaxing week where I chilled out at home, soaked up the last of the sun and, as per usual, ate a lot of delicious things. But I also went to therapy and I brought the dog to the vet and I did a decent grocery shop and cooked a good few of my meals at home. I feel like, this week, I did a better job of adulting than in previous weeks. (You can feel free to disagree.)
I would like to point out – and here I am getting defensive again – something a Twitter follower pointed out to me last week. She said, “as far as I can tell, you’re working about four jobs, so you can spend your money whatever way you want.” I clearly found that very comforting. I’m going to print it out and put it on my wall, so that every time my mother scolds me for my flamboyance, I can read it aloud to her.
Anyway, enough rambling – here’s the nitty-gritty.
8.10am It’s my week off, but for some reason I’ve set my alarm for 8.10am (random, I know). I wake up and then snooze it about four times, before I remember that I’d signed up for Flow Yoga this morning. I weigh up my options – get up, get dressed, walk to yoga; or stay in bed. I stay in bed.
9am I get up and toddle to the shops in my short shorts to buy some supplies. (That Irish Dairy ad has made me determined to wear short shorts as much as possible, to fly in the face of Daisy’s tiny tyranny.) I buy Kerrygold butter (always), bacon and yoghurt in Spar and then pop into the fruit and vegetable shop next door to stock up on blueberries, a mango, three flat peaches (one of which I immediately drop on the ground and bruise terribly) and spinach for the smoothie I imagine I’ll make myself later. It’s honestly the world’s cheapest fruit and vegetable shop – all of that is just €6. (€16.30)
10am I make scrambled eggs, toast and bacon for breakfast and eat it outside on the patio – then I grab my laptop and, before the sun ruins my workspace (until around 11am I can work outside, after which it gets too glare-y), I finish writing up some features I’ve been working on for House and Home. I do a little social media, too, resharing last week’s money diary and imploring people (again) to consider becoming patrons. In an ideal world, I’d be able to dedicate a lot more time to writing – I only managed one blog post last week – but right now it’s just not financially feasible, and Patreon is just one of the ways I could make it so, without resorting to doing ads on every second Instagram post.
11.30am I’m meeting friends for lunch in town, so I decide to get the Luas and, on the way, I trip and fall, twisting my ankle and cutting my knee. So, y’know, that’s just great luck.
12.30pm Lunch is delicious, which almost makes up for my life-threatening injuries. I have soy garlic chicken thighs and salad from Crackbird’s lunch menu. (€24)
1.30pm I have an appointment with my therapist at 3.30pm, so I head to Le Pain Quotidien to while away the two-hour break – but it’s not all that conducive to working (I’ve brought my laptop but it’s pretty noisy and very share-y) and the apple tart I order is not great. Disappointing – but the coffee is good. (€10.89)
3.30pm Therapy. Something weird has happened me lately in that I’m really enjoying therapy. For a while there I think I was trying to just “get on with things” and not focus on my feelings, and with that I really hated going to therapy because it felt like opening old wounds. But now that I’m kind of indulging myself, allowing myself to feel sad and really wallow when I need to, I feel like we’re achieving a lot more in our sessions. It feels really cathartic in a way that I always expected, but never quite achieved, from therapy. (€80)
5pm Clearly, I’m not cured just yet because I’m still smoking – I decided my week off would be a terrible place to start cold turkey, so I’m going to quit when I go back to work next week. (€12.20)
7pm My housemate Clare and I order Boojum – I pay. I think she paid for the last one, but she definitely paid for brunch a few days back and I know it’ll even out! (€18.84)
Daily total: €162.23
7.30am I’ve basically barely slept; my ankle is really sore and I had been slathering it in Difene gel (don’t ask where I got it, I think my Dad gave it to me!) and trying to keep it elevated but it’s agonising and really swollen. Wah!
8.30am I get up and have breakfast of granola with Greek yoghurt. I go through real phases with breakfast; sometimes I eat eggs for days in a row. Right now it’s granola.
9.30am I start icing my ankle – which pretty much continues for the whole day. We had been meant to go down to Dungarvan – myself and my housemate – today for two nights, but I’m beginning to think I won’t be able to go. Cycling the Greenway was in the plan and I definitely won’t be able to cycle!
11.30am I read and listen to podcasts all day. The weather is really nice so I’m sitting outside, but my ankle is really sore and I can’t really bend it. I can walk – hobble – but whenever I try to go up and down stairs, it’s just agony. I cancel our trip to Dungarvan and we decide we’ll do it in August instead.
6pm Liam comes over – Clare’s gone out – to have dinner with me and we order from Ciao Woodfire Pizza on Deliveroo. I pay, but he transfers me his share. After dinner, it’s time for Love Island, but within 10 minutes Liam has politely asked, “do you mind if I leave?” I guess Love Island isn’t for everyone, after all. (€24.69)
Daily total: €24.69
8am Awake early with a very sore ankle again, but the swelling has definitely gone down – obviously yesterday’s icing did achieve something! I make a pot of coffee and sit out in the back garden for a while. It’s full of bees at the moment and I find the noise really calming, although when I was young I was really afraid of them.
11am Clare’s up and we decide to go for brunch to Cloud Cafe, our new favourite. I have the avocado on toast with a side of bacon, but we both decide it’s too hot for coffee so we stick with water. This is very unlike me. (€9.50)
1pm We pop into Lidl for the weekly grocery shop. I stock up on meat, buy some veg (I prefer to buy it in the veg shop but sometimes Lidl just has great deals, and they have nicer things like vine tomatoes and a greater selection of berries). (€63.66)
2pm I get home and unpack my groceries. I’m trying really hard not to end up throwing things out all the time; I always end up with meat and/or vegetables that go off, and they end up in the bin, which infuriates me. So I divide things out between the fridge and the freezer and make a bit of a plan about what’s going to be eaten when. As per usual, I totally pretend that I don’t have a Deliveroo addiction. “Steak tomorrow, chicken on Friday…”
5.30pm Start as you mean to go on, right? I’m meeting my friend Kirstie later on to see the new Dwayne Johnson film, Skyscraper, in the Odeon, so I make a plate of pasta with home-made bolognese to eat before I go.
6.30pm I meet Kirstie at Mayor Square and leg it into M&S; I want to buy some caramel to recreate Two Pups’ glorious granola at home. I also get a white chocolate chip cookie and, for good measure, some chopped mango to eat tomorrow. (€10)
9pm The film is amazing and I’m home in time to see the last 3/4 of Love Island, so altogether it was the best evening ever! (In all seriousness: if you like action movies, Skyscraper is really good fun.)
11pm Bedtime! I always think I’m going to read before bed, but the lamp beside my bed isn’t good enough for reading and if I put on the overhead light, then I’ve to get up and turn it off so I usually just mindlessly scroll Instagram for about an hour, which is not ideal. Still, I rarely have trouble getting to sleep, so it works for me!
Daily total: €83.16
8am Hallelujah! My ankle seems to be almost completely better. It’s still a bit tender if I stand up quickly or sit on it funny, but the swelling has gone down and I can walk pretty normally now, which is great.
10.30am My friend and her son come over – she brings pastries and I make coffee. It’s a pretty good deal for me! I’d laid out a whole bucket of Lego I robbed from my parents for him to play with, but as soon as he walks in he spots my special Lego Ghostbusters set and wants to play with that! Typical! I actually don’t mind at all; I’m from a family that believes toys are for playing with (and money’s for spending, clearly) – so I’m delighted that he likes it! Plus, it means I get to talk to him about all of the female Ghostbusters. Getting ’em on that feminist track early!
12.30pm They head off and I tidy up a bit; because I’m geriatric, I’ve to root out the Lego instructions to figure out how to put the top back on the car, but I get there eventually!
The whole of Thursday afternoon is a blank chasm in my memory. I mean, I’m pretty sure I did nothing – but I couldn’t swear to it in a court of law! This is one not-so-fun side effect of my antidepressants: memory loss. It’s like I was really drunk and have a gap in my memory, except there was no drink imbibed. The one thing that comforts me is that, according to my bank balance, I did not spend a thing. Thank heavens for small mercies!
8pm I order a late Zambrero from Deliveroo. I have always been a loyal Boojum fan, but tried Zambrero recently and I like the fact that there’s so much variety in terms of sauces – and you can even get black rice, which is yum! They actually recently reached out to me and offered me a free meal “for you and some friends”, in exchange for posting about them… but I always feel like that’s just a bit of a shit deal. If you want guaranteed coverage, that’s an ad. If you want to give me a free meal, that’s a gift. Is that mad? Anyway THAT’S JUST HOW I FEEL OKAY. I didn’t take the free dinner. Maybe I should have. (€12.39)
Daily total: €12.39
8.30am Today, for the first time in ages, I wake up feeling vaguely motivated to do things – and I actually have things to do, so that’s pretty helpful! I get up and have my granola with M&S caramel (omg I must never buy this again because it is so delicious). Then I get to ticking some things off my to-do list, starting with paying for a bike I agreed to buy from a friend. I’d been cycling a fixie, but want something lighter and easier for my commute, so I bought her racer from her. (€150)
11am I have to do a few things on the northside – drop back my library books, pop into Lift to drop back the keys and drop a broken handbag into the leather place in the Jervis Centre – so when my friend texts to say she’s having coffee in Smithfield, I hop on the Luas and meet her and her baby for a half hour. She’s bought me a cinnamon bun from Scéal Bakery because she’s an angel, so I buy the coffees in Costa. (€5)
11.30am Before I leave, I pop into Proper Order to buy Scéal Bakery‘s weekly sourdough drop. It’s, hands down, the best white bread I’ve ever tasted (it might draw with my mum’s brown for best bread ever). It’s expensive but it’s delish. (€6)
12pm I pop into Jervis with my handbag; it’s really old and really gorgeous, so I don’t want to bin it, but the handles are quite literally falling apart. The nice man says they may have to layer them with black or brown leather to support them, and I say fine – I pay €20 and can pick it up next week. (€20)
12.15pm I pop into Boots and buy a mascara (I’m not saying which as honestly I think it’s crap so far) and a new bottle of Perspirex, the miracle cure for perspiration. It’s this mad shit, right; you wash your pits, you dry them (you must dry them, otherwise it stings to high heaven), then you apply a thin layer and let it dry. The next morning, you shower as usual and then you just do not sweat. It’s bizarre. But it’s really strong and if I use it every day my underarms feel really tender, so I probably do it twice a week but it is genuinely helping reduce my sweat levels. (€20.77)
12.30pm I drop my library books back to the Dublin Central Library in the Ilac Centre. I only joined a few weeks ago and have got into a terrible habit of taking out five books and only reading one. I need to just start popping in once a week, or once a fortnight, and getting one book. Five is overwhelming!
12.45pm Coileán has been getting shaggier and shaggier lately, and I don’t want to groom her for a few weeks (because we’re still doing the occasional beach swim and that makes her filthy), so I go into the Pet Palace on Parnell St (lol at the name) to buy two grooming brushes and some poo bags. Dog ownership is very taxing. (€23)
2pm As predicted, Coileán hates being brushed and keeps trying to bite me. Still, I get a good deal of fur off her and she looks nice and neat for approximately five minutes, so I consider that a win.
4pm My parents drop over for dinner and to bring Coileán and me to the vet. She’s due her second booster so we drive down to Fairview and I take her in. She hates the vet’s and spends the entire time trying to leap off the table. (€45)
4.30pm Afterwards, Mum and I go to the bottle bank and drop in the enormous stash of bottles we’d accumulated over the past few months. I feel very cleansed.
6.30pm I have made a vague offer of making dinner – I have steaks and sourdough and could do steak sandwiches, but I’ll confess it was kind of a half offer because I know my mum hates meat on her sandwiches, so she suggests we either go to Boco or get a takeout. I opt for Bombay because, y’know, I haven’t had one all week! Plus, I had pizza with Liam on Tuesday. We order two mains, two naans, one rice and two starters between three of us and it’s the perfect amount of food (i.e. loads).
7.30pm Afterwards, Mum goes to Spar and gets a tub of Ben & Jerry’s, from which we each have one scoop. “That’s very sweet,” says Mum. “You couldn’t eat an awful lot of it.”
8.30pm Mum and Dad head home and I finish the Ben & Jerry’s. Then I watch Love Island and go to bed. Rock ‘n’ roll.
Daily total: €269.77
9am I’d set my alarm today to go to the gym, but when I woke up I, er, just didn’t feel like it. That seems to be happening quite a lot lately, and I’m going to have to just snap out of it sooner or later! But today I let myself off the hook.
10.30am I make myself a bowl of natural yoghurt, granola and salted caramel from M&S (be still my beating heart but it’s unreal). Then I have a slice of sourdough, because I have some leftover from yesterday’s loaf. Deeee-licious.
11am I get to doing some gardening; the garden has been much neglected lately and there are leaves and branches everywhere from a tree I pruned but, er, didn’t get around to tidying up. Before I know it, I’ve spent an hour in the garden in shorts and a vest and I haven’t put on my suncream yet. Oops!
12pm I whack on the factor 50 and sit in the sun, reading, for the afternoon. I’m reading Maja Lunde’s The History of Bees* (currently £5 on Amazon). It’s really brilliant, but also making me very worried about the aforementioned bees.
1.30pm Lunch! I cook myself a fillet steak (I love myself!) and have it on sourdough with Kerrygold butter. There’s a strong chance that I’m not getting enough vegetables of late, but there’s an even stronger chance that I don’t care.
3pm More sunbathing, reading The History of Bees and listening to the latest episode of Call Your Girlfriend, where they speak, for almost an hour, about, er, poo. It’s more interesting than it sounds.
5.30pm I’m really sunburnt. Great.
7pm My housemate is gone to her friend’s for a house party – she invited me, but I’m incredibly anti-social so I said no. I consider eating something from the fridge (like the tonnes of vegetables I bought this week), but instead, I decide to order pizza from Cotto on Deliveroo. Because of course. I also order the focaccia and dips, along with the aubergine starter (all amazing, albeit a bit extortionate). (€25.99)
Daily total: €25.99
10.30am I wake up really late for me, but I kind of love when that happens at the weekends – I like to think of it as my body’s way of catching up on rest! (Although, granted, I didn’t have a hugely exhausting week…) I get out of bed and make myself a big pot of coffee before making breakfast: streaky rashers, scrambled eggs, avocado with feta and chilli flakes. Yum.
12.30pm I got a speeding fine a few weeks ago – I had borrowed my parents’ car while they were in America, and that would be the time I’d get caught doing 60km/h in a 50km/h zone, so I have to head down to the GPO to pay it. It’s due tomorrow, because that’s the kind of person I am. (€80)
1pm I wander into Arnotts after my fine-paying debacle and pick up a bra in the sale. The best bras I’ve ever bought have been from Arnotts, and it’s reduced from €55 or so to €25.20. Then I go into Boots and buy some denture tablets (glam, I know) to wash my night guard each day. After that, it’s into M&S* to pick up some bits for the week ahead – they have 3 for €12 on meat and I get some Parmesan to have with my dinner. (€45.20)
1.30pm I’ve been on the hunt for a battery for my vibrator for a while (I know, I know) but it’s a really awkward size and apparently they only sell them in camera shops – so I pop into the Camera Centre and, lo and behold, they have it! Hurrah! (€10 for two)
2.30pm I’m home nice and early but it’s raining – so I can’t hang out clothes, my favourite Sunday pastime – so I decide to get some work done. Sometimes I get into a nice flow where I can just sit down, work away and get into the groove. So I’m at my computer until about 5pm, when I get peckish.
5pm I make dinner: pasta with bolognese I made during the week, Parmesan from M&S and apple tart for dessert, made by my mother. I make a huge mistake and put salt in the custard instead of sugar; having used the end of the milk, it’s my last chance so, no custard for me. I nearly cry. The tart’s good anyway.
7pm Back to work for a few hours before Love Island! Oh, and, of course, I’ve to write this blasted thing.