Bride-to-Be Spending Diary: Lorna, 26, Dublin, Marketing

Inspired by Irish bloggers and their spending diaries – namely Amy Mulvaney’s weekly Insta-roundups, Only a Wedding has started a series on the spending habits on brides-to-be. We’ll see what saving looks like for women planning weddings across the UK and Ireland.

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About Lorna

We’re paying for the entire wedding and honeymoon ourselves while saving for a house, so we’re fairly frugal. I find the basics easy, but I have a grá for luxuries. Like, I make a stew that costs -33c per portion, then pop onto Mimi Holliday to window shop €40 knickers. So, I try to keep day-to-day costs low, get my saving done and then treat myself when possible. I’d rather one fancy thing than a cup of to-go tea every day.


7:15am It’s my first day back at work since Christmas week, so I wake up worried that my boss will have gone off me over the holidays, changed the locks on the office and put my novelty mug in the bin. This worrying is free of charge, TG.

8:15am I get two buses to work but use a leap card, which is capped at €27.50 per week. I spend an Audible credit (€8.99) on Esther Perel’s Mating in Captivity. She’s a psychologist and couples’ therapist, and her work absolutely fascinates me. This particular book is about sexual desire in long-term relationships. It’s insightful, witty and exciting. I know I’ll power through it.

12:45pm The shop beside works sells these massive rock buns the sizes of your head. I pick one up (99c) for my fella because I don’t think he believes just how big they are. I buy myself a pot of ready-made strawberry jelly (98c) because I wasn’t thinking about how this spending diary would highlight my weird taste in snacks.

6:30pm I scroll ASOS on my phone and order a dress (€38) for work (I wasn’t sacked!). I like to look polished and be comfy, so midi dresses are my thing.

Daily Total: €76.46


10:00am I dice some tropical fruit, put some over my porridge and save some for tomorrow. My ASOS order arrives. I paid €18 for unlimited next-day delivery in 2018 and I’ll definitely be using it again this year. It’s so handy! I have a quick look at the dress and I’m out the door, walking to my GP.

11:15am I’m €60 poorer but I have my health. I pop into Iceland to pick up some groceries for my dad (€8.75). I meet him on his lunch break and give him the goods. He offers to pay, but I don’t let him.

2:30pm I’m home, milling into a batch-cooked pasta thing as soon as it’s hot. I am to putting cheese on stuff as Tan France is to half-tucking shirts into jeans.

4:40pm I had a few different shampoos and conditioners on the go but they’ve somehow all run out at the same time. I always buy haircare on Look Fantastic because the savings are too good to pass up. Kérastase, for example, is always around 30% cheaper from here than in stores.

I browse around, intrigued and tempted by a Joico cleansing conditioner that promises amazing curls. A few of the deadly hairdressers I follow online work with Joico, so I’ve been working my way through the range. In the end, I plump for a Joico co-wash that does everything, apparently. I’m excited to use it!

My hairdresser recommended that I use a clarifying shampoo a few times a month to combat the effects of living in a hard-water area. I stick to what I know and choose one from the K-Pak range. Finally, I get a 10-in-1 conditioner by Shea Moisture because it’s relatively affordable and well formulated. My total is now €37, so I creep on some extra styling products but check out before I can add them to my basket.

5:25pm Having spent the guts of an hour buying shampoo, I get down to the kitchen and roast a chicken with some veg and spuds.

Daily Total: €105.75


8:15am Another two buses spent listening to Mating in Captivity. I’ve fallen in love with Esther Perel, which is maybe not an endorsement for a book about sustaining passion within a monogamous relationship? She’s so brilliant!

1:30pm I pop out to Supervalu to stock up on Pink Fizz tea because it only comes out at Christmas and I love it. Two boxes set me back €5.96.

5:00pm I want a hot drink but complain that it’s nearly a fiver a mug in the local coffee shop. My boss says she’ll treat me if I do the leg work, which is a fair trade. I get a coconut-milk hot chocolate and she gets a flat white. It’s almost a tenner for the two, my glasses practically steam over at the till. Scandalous!

Daily Total: €5.96


9:00am I’m doing out-of-office work today, so I have a bit of a lie-in and go to a weight-loss group with my dad. We usually pay for ourselves, but he covers me this week, so that’s €9 I’m not spending.

12:00pm I spend an hour chasing a lost dog around and calling animal rescues to no avail. I get home soaked and covered in mud, so I quickly wash and head back out. I meet a friend for lunch and buy her a coffee, then a can of fizzy orange. I get tea. It comes to €12.95.

4:30pm I keep meaning to buy some reusable period products but I never order them in time. I’m stuck spending €2.50 on Boots-brand tampons, which doubly annoying because I don’t even like using them as much as I enjoyed the Mooncup.

I also buy a €3.99 tube of Sensodyne, because my teeth don’t care that I’m saving for a wedding and a house with an array of pets. I’m starving so I pick up a €4 fruit mix in Dunnes and my friend has me back to her Talbot Street flat.

6:00pm I was supposed to do a grocery shop today but chasing that wayward dog took up too much time, so I hastily spend €3.50 in Iceland and pull together a meal with what we have left in the fridge.

Daily Total: €26.95


12:30pm My period arrives and absolutely wrecks me. I talk myself out of a large hot chocolate with a side-serving of more chocolate and buy two more of those shameful jelly pots (€1.96). They taste like cough sweets. I think I’m over ’em.

6:30pm I visit the pink and red Gucci bag of my dreams on the bus home. I run the numbers on how long I’d have to save up to afford it, close the tab to watch some You on Netflix instead.

Daily Total: €1.96


9:00am We have a quick breakfast at home and then go walk dogs at the pound, which is free, obvs, and a lovely thing to do. There’s a shop beside the pound, so I stock up on loose-leaf tea bags (€2.95) for my Wall and Keogh favourites.

11:00am I’m saving for a few different things at the minute. A wedding, obviously, but also a house in Dublin. We do digital transfers for the monthly deposits, but today we’re bringing all the cash we’ve saved in tins and jars to the Credit Union. I also cash out €150 from my Revolut savings vault, which costs me 12c at the ATM.

11:30am Belated grocery shopping. It’s just over €35 but my fiancé covers it.

5:30pm Spent the rest of the afternoon doing boring prep for the week; the washing, batch cooking, that kind of thing. We have some more chats about the wedding and email a potential vendor. We’ve crossed one off the list because he just didn’t get back to emails. Eye roll.

Daily Total: €153.07


11:30am We drive about an hour to visit family in a commuter town and spend the day playing the Nintendo Switch. I am incredibly unskilled but my small nephews rally round me with lispy little words of support. The eldest offers to lower the difficulty level of the game for me.

6:00pm We’re watching all the Harry Potter films. I’m not proud of it, but we are where we are.

Daily Total: €0.00

Weekly Total: €370

Weekly Review

Ok, the first working week in January was never going to be wall-to-wall parties, so it wasn’t a struggle to keep my socialising budget down. We are making an effort to do free or low-cost things though, and I think this weekend was a success, for sure.

The GP visit couldn’t be helped, and I needed that work dress. Shampoos were a splurge, but if you had to get a comb through my wet hair, you’d be buying top-of-the-line stuff too.

I don’t think I can make any more savings than I already am, aside from ditching tampons for a sustainable option. This is good for my ego but bad for the notion I had about saving up for the Gucci arm candy. So, will I make changes? Nothing major, but it was nice to see everything laid out!


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