Last week’s money diary was, for me, a sobering look at what life is like when you don’t spend every single penny you earn on yourself – and well worth a read if you are wondering how to plan better for your family’s budget. For a few short seconds, I thought it might even make me spend my ways. But then…
So what did I spend my money on this week?
Okay, so there was a lot of food. A friend of mine is seeing a nutritionist, right, who has told her that she suspects my friend’s copper coil (which I also have) may be unnaturally increasing her appetite, and honestly I am clinging to this possibility like nobody’s business. Imagine if my gluttony was not, in fact, gluttony but was the result of an alien object that I’d had inserted into my womb?! I CAN ONLY DREAM.
I also went for facial reflexology, watched a lot of great TV I’m going to recommend to you and you even catch me on the tail end of a minibreak-slash-staycation so honestly, what more could you want in your weekly financial voyeurism?
9am I stayed overnight last night in Hotel Kilkenny with a friend, so we’re up early and off to the breakfast buffet. I love a breakfast buffet, and will never allow myself to sleep in past breakfast time in a hotel. That’s blasphemous. I have lots of coffee and a full Irish (has to be done).
11am I’m booked in for a back, neck and shoulder massage in the Orchard Spa at Hotel Kilkenny. I always feel kind of ridiculous telling people I have a sore back – doesn’t everyone who works at a computer? If I earned more, I would go for two massages a week, no problem. It’s a press trip, so I don’t pay for it – and I don’t have any cash to leave a tip, which I feel bad for. When I get free treatments I usually try to give a good tip; when I got free hair extensions, I sent the salon owner a bunch of flowers. It feels like it’s only polite. (Except today; clearly, today I’m rude.)
12pm We had originally booked to go home on the 7pm train this evening, but the weather is a bit grim and we decide we’ll head back a bit earlier. Except I had booked the non-transferable tickets, so we’ve to buy two new tickets. Rage! Still, they’re not that dear. I pay. (€25.98)
4pm We get back to Dublin and head back to mine to drop our bags, then go for something to eat in Masa. I ate there for the first time on Saturday – er, two days ago – and am already dying to go back! It’s really cheap, really delicious and the interiors are great. Because I bought the train tickets, my friend pays.
7pm Home and I get myself ready for the week. I iron some clothes, put on yet another wash, tidy my room and clean up the dog’s food dishes. Fresh water, fresh food and so on. My housemate has made Roz Purcell’s marshmallow protein balls (yum!) and I have one of those before bed with a cup of peppermint tea.
Daily total: €25.98
7am I’m starting a new weightlifting course today at Lift – Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays at 5.30pm – so I need to work a little bit earlier to get off on time, so I’m up and out the door at 8am, in work for 8.20am. It’s so much quicker than the bus, but I still prefer the latter; cycling makes me really nervous, not to mention sweaty.
8.15am I park my bike by Two Pups – sometimes I feel like it’s safer to go for a semi-main road when you’re parking your bike in Dublin – and then pop in for my coffee-and-granola fix. (€9.40)
10am I finally hit publishon my review of my stay at Creacon Wellness Retreat. It took me ages because I found it quite hard to really express in words what the experience was like – bonkers, but utterly gorgeous.
12.30pm I take myself to lunch at Two Pups with my book, Sally Rooney’s Conversations with Friends*. I met my parents on Saturday night for dinner in Captain America’s (they were feeling nostalgic) and my Mum gave me a book token she’d found and, for some reason, been unable to spend – “I just didn’t see anything I wanted!” I, of course, had no such issues and had bought Conversations in Dubray as part of a three-for-two offer. I eat avocado on toast with a friend egg, and then get a slice of their banana and sesame loaf for my lunch-dessert. (€13.50)
3pm Today is Spotify day; I cancelled my Spotify Premium account last month and, within two days, repurchased it, when I realised I couldn’t just play David Bowie’s Dance Magic Dance any more, without playing shuffle on an entire playlist. Enraging. So the money is worth it, if you ask me. Sometimes you just want to listen to one particular song. (€9.99)
5.30pm I feel really unwell in the afternoon; I used to suffer really badly from IBS, which really flared up when I was stressed, and lately it’s making a disastrous comeback. When I’m eating super healthily – read, meat and vegetables, and little else – I have no issues, but clearly I have not been eating like that lately and so my stomach has been all over the place. I head home after work instead of going to class.
7pm I’m insane. I order Bombay Pantry; I’m feeling so miserable that I kind of feel like, I may as well eat something I love. I need help. (€18.40)
Daily total: €51.29
8am I get the bus (€2.15). My cycle to work plans never last long. I grab porridge – it’s winter now, right? Porridge is totally acceptable! – and coffee in Two Pups. (€7.40)
10am This week is the first round of our office table tennis tournament, which I signed up for because I decided I needed to make friends. However, I have not managed to play a single game and have to play my first game of the tournament this week, which is feeling me with horror. I chat to my opponent and we settle on playing our game on Friday, which gives me two days to practise. (Spoiler alert: I don’t practise. I lose.)
12.45am I meet my Mum for our regular Wednesday lunch date, which I love – she trots over after her Pilates at Lift. We go to Two Pups and she does that very irritating Mum thing of saying, “I’m not that hungry, I’ll just have a tea.” So I order avocado on toast again, with an iced coffee and a tea for her. (€17)
5.30pm I go over to Liam’s to record the latest episode of my podcast, which is so much fun. I’ve always been a bit nervous about having guests on if I don’t know them, as if the conversation will somehow be awkward, but somehow I think this is my best episode yet. My guest is Anna Sheils-McNamee, whose play, My Dad’s Blind, is showing as part of Dublin Fringe Festival.
7pm Liam, his boyfriend and I go to Boco for our dinner – we each have a pizza and share chips (the best in Dublin, honestly). It’s one of my favourite places for relaxed, delicious midweek dinner. (€21)
8.30pm On the way home, I head to Tesco to stock up on some veggies and meat so that, at some stage this week, I can cook for myself. (€35.90)
Daily total: €83.45
8am Bus again! For anyone who suggests I get a Leap card, rest assured: I have a Leap card! (€2.15)
8.30am It’s Scéal Bakery day at Fumbally, so I grab a cinnamon scroll and a large Americano to go. I’m chatting away to the waitress, who’s telling me all about how a group of kids threw a firework in the door the night before while they were serving dinner, and I don’t notice what happens but somehow I end up paying €9.40 for a pastry and a coffee. I don’t think it’s right but I come here all the time and, because I always pay by card and rarely have cash, I don’t tip all that often. So they can have it. (€9.40)
1pm Lunchtime and I’m in agony again. I’ve basically had really intense stomach pains, on and off, all week (I know, I know, why have I been eating pizza!) and today it’s really bad, but I’m also starving so I order a guacamole salad from Sprout, along with extra chicken and a green juice, on Deliveroo. (€16.95)
3pm Lunch didn’t help, and come 3pm I feel really nauseous and shaky, so I call my doctor to try get an appointment tomorrow (no chance) and head home early. I order a taxi via MyTaxi and, when it drops me off, my email tells me I only got charged €1.60. I contact MyTaxi via Twitter and they tell me that there’s no way to charge me once I’m gone – but they’ll make sure the driver gets the full fare. Lucky me! (€1.60)
3.30pm I withdraw €20 cash in Spar and buy some white bread and milk (for tea and toast, obviously) and then nip next door to the fruit and veg shop where I buy some ingredients for green juice: celery, cucumber, ginger. And some raspberries just cos I love them. (€14 total approx)
6pm I sit on the couch all evening, drinking tea and eating toast. I feel better. Could toast be the way forward?
Daily total: €41.95
8am I totally forgot to get cash for the cleaner last night, so I run to the corner shop and take out €40 – it’ll mean I have a tenner in case of emergencies, I think. (€30)
8.30am My emergency turns out to be a scone and an Americano from Two Pups. Typical. (€5.50)
12.30pm I’m starving earlier than usual so I meet Liam for lunch at Daniel. I have the black and blue toasted sandwich: black pudding with blue cheese and red onion jam. I also order a filter coffee and I top it all off with a cinnamon danish. I don’t know what’s wrong with me today – I am ravenous. (€11.80)
5.30pm I walk home from work for a change. It’s really balmy and I don’t mind the walk, although the foot traffic around College Green has gone totally bonkers with the construction work on the new Central Bank building, and I drop into Starbucks for a refreshing frappuccino. I went through a few weeks there where I was drinking about five a week! Now I treat myself to one, for money, but also health, reasons. (€4.80)
6pm I’m home and hungry earlier than usual, and a friend has called over – we’re going to watch Ozark, right from the very start – so we order pizza and dessert (cannoli, amazing) from Da Mimmo on North Strand from Just Eat. It’s pretty pricey, for two people (we get sides as well, no judgement), and I put it on my card. I then give the delivery woman €1 tip, which feels so cheap, but delivery already cost me €2.50 so I justify my stinginess to myself. (€51.95)
7pm Liam drops over with his greyhound, Rosie – she’s going to spend the night because she’s got a bit spooked by fireworks going off where they live. She’s a really docile dog, so it makes zero difference to me to have her in the house, except when it comes to bedtime and she and Coileán fight about who’ll get up on the bed. (Rosie wins.)
8pm I’d tried to watch Ozark before, but never got into it – but it’s really good! Our one side + one pizza + one dessert each tactic was, however, a mistake. Each portion of cannoli comes with two cannoli and we really only needed one each. (I still eat both of mine.)
Daily total: €104.05
9.45am I’ve set my Saturday alarm to get up for Liam and his boyfriend to pop over and pick up Rosie. They’ve gone to Dollard & Co en route to buy Danish pastries, so I make tea and coffee for us and we have a little breakfast picnic.
11am It was raining this morning, but now it’s cleared up so we decide to go to Dollymount with the dogs for a run (they will run; we will walk). I take my housemate’s car.
11.15am I’m bursting to go to the loo, so I use the public toilet at Dollymount, which is this mad futuristic thing that cleans itself in between users. You’ve to pay for it, though, which always bothers me. (€0.30)
2pm Home later than I thought we’d be, we wash both dogs in record time, dry them off and then I have to go – I’ve an appointment in Raheny at 3pm.
4pm I go to River Holistic Centre for a facial massage, after I saw Laura talking about it on her Instagram Stories. I grind my teeth really badly in my sleep and, in general, my jaw is really tense – I’ve been thinking about getting Botox in my jaw because I’ve heard that helps, but thought I’d try some facial massage, reflexology-style, first. My therapist, Katie, says that my jaw is indeed pretty tight and recommends I come back in two weeks for another session. It’s a really nice experience – I love all massage, tbh – and Katie was super nice, but I think I’m going to wait to see if notice any improvement over the next few days before I book in again. The treatment is €60 but I buy some incense, too. (€65.50)
5.30pm I meet a friend for dinner and a quick catch-up – she pays, because I’d paid the last time. I’m pretty zonked after my treatment, though, and we decide that we’ll do another, better catch-up soon!
7pm I pop into Tesco on my way home to buy some, er, essentials: sweets and sparkling water. I’m mature. (€17.94)
Daily total: €83.74
10am I hear my housemate pottering around downstairs and I get up, more out of guilt than anything else (why can’t I just lie in bed when I hear someone else up being productive?!). I make us both scrambled eggs and mushrooms in butter and tarragon, and also make a massive green smoothie with spinach, celery, apple, cucumber, ginger and lemon. It’s actually pretty tasty, but still tastes like health, if that makes sense!
12pm The first of my Sunday washes goes out on the line. It’s a nice morning so I decide to take the opportunity to re-pot my plants – I have a few succulents, orchids and so on, that have outgrown their little pots, so I shuffle them around into different pots and one of them, which has kind of become some kind of weird Little Shop of Horrors style growth, goes in the bin.
2pm Lunch: I cook myself a steak, and another one for lunch tomorrow, and have it with steamed broccoli. It’s not exciting but it’s tasty – and if I don’t cook it today it’s going to go off, which is pretty much the story of my life.
4pm The second Sunday wash goes out on the line and I hoover my housemate’s car, full of sand after yesterday’s beach run. Thankless job tbh.
5pm My Sharp Objects marathon continues. It is, hands down, the best TV series I’ve seen… maybe in years. It’s up there with Westworld anyway – so, so bleak and miserable and horrifying and so very good.
6.30pm Dinner is chicken curry I made yesterday with basmati rice and some Greek yoghurt. The fridge is looking pretty empty which makes me really happy (but only when I’ve actually eaten its contents, not when I’ve had to throw them away).
7pm My housemate orders Zambrero. I am furiously jealous (but also full). I decide to make shortbread biscuits, but substitute coconut flour for all-purpose flour without Googling this idea, and they end up very dry and cake-y. Still totally edible, obviously.
9.30pm I finish Sharp Objects and sit, staring at the screen, for about two hours. I finish writing my money diary. Another week, another extortionate food bill. Onwards and upwards.
Daily total: €0 [am bastion of frugality]
Weekly total: €390.46
*This is an affiliate link. If you click through and buy, I’ll get a small percentage. Read more about affiliate links here.
If you enjoy reading my work, 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.