• Rosemary Mac Cabe

How Much Did Katie, 39, Spend This Week? | The Guest Money Diary Returns

Photo by 🇨🇭 Claudio Schwarz | @purzlbaum on Unsplash

Good news! You’ve managed to miss out on the hundreds I’ve spent on the cat (again, yes, the same cat. If he was a person we’d have him committed), the €150 for a consultant follow-up and the €500-odd I begrudgingly dropped on flights, all in the January that was never, ever ending, so this week I am REALLY going to be good. No, honest.


I look at my bank account and it’s just a series of transactions from a bar I was in on Saturday which makes the headache come back a bit stronger. Bus to work (€2.25), and breakfast is toast and peanut butter I brought with me, so therefore not free, but also not quantifiable.

The day is uneventful, I’m busy at the moment so I don’t really move much. I have self-provided soup and toast for lunch (€0), get the bus home (€2.25) and head to Tesco for a couple of bits I need to make lunch for the next couple of days – soy sauce and green beans. This proves prophetic, and clearly I shouldn’t have bothered.

I also buy popcorn for me, and Maltesers for my boyfriend (€12.15). Dinner is toad in the hole which I make (I LOVE this, carbs and protein in one delicious package, yum – okay and also fat) with broccoli, and I also make a salmon teriyaki and rice thing for the next couple of day’s lunches, pack it in lunchboxes and pop it in the fridge. We chase dinner with three episodes of Narcos Mexico and the bag of Maltesers.

Daily total: €16.65


As I sit on the bus, I can smell a very strong scent of soy sauce. Yes, the fucking salmon teriyaki has leaked all over me, my coat, my scarf, my skirt. I am now a fishy, salty state and people are sniffing the air like interested cats. Bus costs €2.25 but my dignity is PRICELESS.

Breakfast is PB on toast and kitchen coffee and is free, so therefore wonderful.

I contemplate ordering a Sprout for lunch, but I suppose after all hassle I better eat what I brought, so I do. It’s fine. I guess. Harrumph. I also eat half a jar of gifted pickled onions (what can I say, I lead a life of solid gold glamour) and they are yum, but they absolutely fuck my stomach up and I spend the rest of the afternoon – TMI – gulping water and legging it to the loo. I had my gallbladder out recently and mostly food is fine but the odd thing I haven’t eaten since trips me up. Clearly my baes, pickled onions, are one such squitter-trigger.

My friends and I have decided to set up a Mills & Boon book club so I buy the book for that (€3.50). Obviously this will be like every other book club and will involve no discussion of the book and instead copious quaffing of wine. Yay!

I am really busy this week (and important) but I do track my ASOS order. WHY has it not arrived yet. I need it.

Bus home, €2.25, and steak and salad for dinner from last weekend’s food shopping. As we watch the last of the Narcos Mexico episodes, I spot a tweet from a friend notifying that the IFI has added another screening to its showing of Sonic Youth: 30 Years of Daydream Nation. The first sold out instantly and it’s on my birthday, so I leap for my bag and buy two tickets (€33). Steve Shelley in person! Daydream Nation! Once more I am reminded of how old I am – this record came out when I was FIFTEEN.

Oh, also, my ASOS order arrived.

Daily total: €41


I added a layer of tinfoil AND put the teriyaki salmon into a zippy bag this morning to prevent stinky spills and that a) did the trick and b) undid all the planet-based good I am trying to do by eating less meat. One step forward, etc. Regular bus shenanigans (€2.25), regular morning breakfast routine (€0) and a morning of meetings, emails and copy subbing.

I buy a ticket to see Bodega in Whelan’s in mid-February (€20.52 including fees), I eat my Salmonyaki (€0) and the rest of the day proceeds apace.

This evening post-work, I’m off to The Dean for the recording of Sophie Robinson and Kate Watson-Smyth’s podcast with DFS. I do not like many podcasts as a rule (I’m a journalist and editor and I don’t have the patience for your badly planned, shoddily constructed, poorly-researched and barely, if at all, edited gut-spill, sorry), but this pair Know Their Shit, speak their minds, are respected in their fields, funny with it and they have a production team. All things that tick my ‘will listen’ boxes. I’ve been at one of their recordings before in London and it was v enjoyable. I walk over from the office for the exercise, like.

The evening is fun and buzzy and I catch up with lots of interiors Instagrammers and bloggers – word to the wise, this is where it’s at influence-wise these days. Luas home (€2.05) and I fall into bed.

Daily total: €24.82


I’m tired this morning despite not drinking last night so I get a taxi to work (€16.10), also, it’s so teeth-chatteringly cold I can’t bear the thought of wilting at the bus stop until one comes along or alternatively decides not to bother stopping. Dublin Bus, you know yourself.

I have a lunch launch in Blackrock so I spend the morning getting shit done and book a cab on the work account for 12.30pm to take me there. It’s very nice, loads of interior designers, telly celebs and media peeps admiring new furniture in a very, very nice setting. There is apparently a cat, I make efforts to meet said cat, but the cat is away.

By the time it ends, the day is almost done, so I head back into town on the Dart (€2.10), get a Luas home (€1.50 – shouldn’t have tagged off at the Dart but you have no choice) race into the house, drop my laptop, change my top for something warmer, much warmer – oh god, it’s cold – and get the bus back down town (€1.50). I meet my mum on Nassau St, as we’re going to the Bord Gais to see Calendar Girls, so we hop in a taxi to Grand Canal Square. Taxi is €9 and I add a euro tip - €10.

I’ve booked us, and my younger sister, a table in a Chinese for a quick meal before the show. We go early bird (I have a tofu blackbean which is yum). I pay – it’s €88.12 and add a €10 tip. My sister gives me €20 towards it so it ends up being €78.12.

My mum bought the show tickets which were actually extortionate - €60 each with booking fees on top – so I buy a round of drinks inside too. Three small Peeno Greejs comes to €24. Lol!

The show is very Brexit. Very OUR ENGERLAND’s green and pleasant land but an enjoyable way to spend an evening with your fam. My boyfriend collects us and drops everyone home. I fall into bed around midnight.

Daily total: €158.14


Bus to work, (€2.25) and I need to power through work as I’m on a half day today because I’m off to Glasgow for the weekend to see my friend. Breakfast is a bowl of muesli from the office stash and coffee. I head home on the bus about 1.30pm (€2.25), stop off in Penneys to buy warm PJs, tights and gloves because it’s going to be very cold (€30). I get home, have some lunch, pack my bits and order a MyTaxi to the airport (€22). It is really at this point in the week that shit starts to go south in my bank account.

I think, “I am on my holidays! Money means naathing! It is merely a commodity I can use in exchange for things in The Loop!” So I buy myself a new bottle of Dior foundation (€39.50) – basically an updated versh of one I already own and which is still half full – and a bottle of gin for my mate (€30). I manage to leave it at that, amazingly.

My Leap card auto topped up by €30 today; it’s late when I land so we just have some drinks and head to bed. We had contemplated going to see The Messthetics (who I’ll also miss on their Dublin leg due to landing too late on Sunday) but we’re too late for it so, whatever.

Daily total: €156


We’re going to Dundee today to visit the new V&A and we’re getting the train across. I love getting the train, it’s a total treat. As we’re only going because I’m here, I pay for the tickets, they’re €63 return, and we head off. On the way we get a few bits in Pret – water, coffee, I get a ham sandwich and an oatmeal cookie (€9.15) and we arrive in Dundee around 2pm.

The V&A is free, except for one exhibit – Ocean Liners: Speed and Style – it’s £12 and we actually give it a miss as we run out of time pottering around the design galleries (if you like the folklore stuff in Collins Barracks with a dose of fashion history you’ll like this) and having coffee and also lunch (I have haddock chowder and a glass of Sauv and my half comes to €23).

I also hit up the museum shop because you’ve got to, it’s the rules. And god I love a museum shop. I buy a David Shrigley greeting card for my boyfriend’s birthday, and a knitted seal for the couch, because I love seals (€43.04).

I nip to boots for tampons and a toothbrush, both terrible oversights on my part (€5.62).

We head back to Glasgow, have a quick change and brave the freeze for some food in a deadly pub called the Bell Jar in Govanhill. Good soundtrack, when I can make it out over the woman farting next to us, I hear MBV, Hookworms, Ride and more I now forget, but as old indie birds, we’re happy.

I can never get over the price of booze in, well, anywhere that’s not Ireland and G&Ts (nice ones) are like, about a fiver. Cry. We order small plates – prawn pilaf, an aubergine and tomato thingy, a pumpkin seed, squash and feta affair, a gratin and a salad and eat the lot. My share is €34.39 – WITH DRINKS.

Daily total: €178.20


We get up late and potter about before heading into town. We brunch at a place called Singl End Café in Merchant City where only one waiter can take the order for the whole restaurant because the kitchen can’t handle it otherwise. This leads to much hilarity - how does literally every single other eatery on the planet handle it, so? Anyway, bananas service aside, the food is good and plentiful with loads of meat-free options. I have vegan bread topped with eggs, avo and haloumi and it’s very nice. We have a couple of coffees and split a scone too. I pay for both of us to earn my keep (€39.09).

My flight’s not til later so we have a squizz around the shops; I always want to look in places we don’t have in Ireland such as OLIVER BONAS. I realise it must seem like I am always casually shopping for frivolous homewares in OB but I haven’t actually been in one since the last time, I, er, was in one. All I buy is a birthday card for my boyfriend from the cat. I already got him a card from the other cat so now I am 100% sorted for cards and I clearly need my head examined (€3.40).

Next, Monki. I buy a lot of clothes online from Monki but nothing catches my eye here except for a pair of earrings and a glass pot that looks like a boob, so I buy it, of course (€14.96).

It’s time to head home. My pal drops me to the airport, I check in and buy some magazines and a 10-pack of Tunnocks tea cakes as a gift from Scotland (a highly acceptable gift AFAIK) (€12.57). I also nip to Boots (again) because I forgot my lipbalm and my lips are scrabbled off my face so I get some balm, a sandwich and a bottle of water (€7.61) and that’s me done.

My boyfriend collects me, we motor home where one cat greets me, the other is sniffy as is her wont, I make a quick lunch for the next day and fall into bed.

Daily total: €77.63

Weekly total: €652.44

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