Embarking on a journey to work abroad is a significant step for Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs), and one destination that has increasingly captured their attention is the enchanting land of Ireland. Known for its lush green landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and warm hospitality, Ireland beckons OFWs with promising opportunities and a unique quality of life.
However, the pursuit of a brighter future comes hand in hand with the need for practical considerations, and understanding the cost of living is paramount for any OFW relocating to Ireland. As they prepare to carve out a new chapter in their lives, it becomes essential to delve into the intricacies of daily expenses, housing, transportation, and other facets that shape the overall financial landscape.
Disclaimer: The information posted here is based on the personal experiences shared by the OFW in the video below. Please let this post serve as a guide only. If you have specific questions, you may ask the OFW by commenting on their video on their accounts.
A Practical Guide to the Cost of Living in Ireland for OFWs
The information presented in this article comes from a YouTube video by the OFW vlogger “Papa and Penpen.” If you want to watch the full video, then click on the link below:
The vlogger discloses the real costs incurred in November 2023, as these expenses generally reflect their monthly spending pattern. The grocery and dining expenses remain consistently stable each month. However, shopping and leisure expenditures fluctuate, as they are not incurred on a monthly basis and depend on the availability of funds.
The list below outlines the vloggers’ monthly expenses in detail. It serves as a comprehensive breakdown, revealing where their money is allocated. Regular expenditures like groceries and dining out exhibit a consistent pattern, maintaining stability month after month. On the other hand, variable costs such as shopping and leisure activities fluctuate, depending on factors like timing and available funds. This disclosure provides a transparent overview of the vloggers’ financial habits, allowing for a deeper understanding of how they manage their expenses.
Summary of Expenses
- Rent: 1800 euros
- Vodafone Service: 35 euros
- Garbage Collection: 30 euros
- Gas Bill: 56 euros
- Electricity (November): 60.50 euros
- Groceries: 400 euros
- Asian Store Groceries: 100 euros
- Garbage Collection: 30 euros
- Health Insurance (Wife): Provided by employer
- Health Insurance (Father and Child): 121 euros
- Dining Out: 137 euros
- Toys Budget: 61 euros
- Leisure (Shopping, Cinema, etc.): 500 euros
- School-related Expense: 40 euros
They allocate 1800 euros per month for their living expenses. This amount works well for them, considering recent rates in their area, which are around this figure or even higher. The family consists of three members in a two-bedroom setup, and the location is deemed satisfactory by them.
They use Vodafone as their service provider, and the monthly cost is approximately 35 euros. While this is a slight increase from the previous year when it was 30 euros per month, it is still considered reasonable. Moreover, the quality of service has been excellent, with no reported issues prompting them to contact customer support so far.
They currently incur zero expenses for their phone plan since the company they work for covers the costs. However, if they were to opt for a prepaid plan, the monthly expenditure would be around 20 euros..
Gas and Electricity
They typically spend around 112 euros every two months on their gas bill, which breaks down to an average of 56 euros per month. This expense covers their usage of gas for various appliances and heating needs.
In terms of electricity, their bill for November was 60.50 euros per month. It’s essential to consider that during the winter months, when they rely more on heaters for warmth, the electricity bill tends to rise notably due to increased usage. This fluctuation reflects the seasonal impact on their energy consumption.
They currently incur no costs for specific services as these are covered by the government. In other words, they receive these services without having to pay any out-of-pocket expenses. This arrangement helps alleviate financial burdens and ensures access to essential services without direct financial implications on their part.
Their regular grocery expenses amounted to 400 euros, covering the typical household essentials. Additionally, they allocated an extra 100 euros for Asian store groceries, a monthly indulgence that provides them with specialty items.
The Asian store expenses are relatively higher due to the majority of goods being imported. Import costs often contribute to the overall expense, making items at specialty stores a bit pricier compared to locally sourced alternatives. Despite the higher cost, these purchases offer a unique and diverse selection of goods not easily found in regular grocery stores.
They allocate 30 euros per month for garbage collection. Unlike some housing arrangements where landlords may cover this expense, or in apartments where it is often included in the overall maintenance, the vlogger’s location requires them to bear the cost independently. In their case, the garbage collection service is not provided for free, making it a distinct monthly expenditure.
Insurance as a Family of 3
The vlogger’s wife enjoys complimentary health insurance, provided by her employer. Meanwhile, the father and child collectively contribute 121 euros per month for their medical coverage.
Although children under 6 years old typically receive free healthcare through a health card, the vlogger’s family opted to secure separate insurance for their child with the company Laya. This decision was influenced by the convenience offered by Laya, allowing for medical checkups even during holidays or at night.
For general practitioners (GP), there are limitations in terms of accessibility. GPs operate during specific hours, are closed on weekends, and require appointments rather than walk-ins. To address these constraints, the family chose Laya insurance, which provides flexibility in scheduling medical appointments.
Additionally, their company provides a valuable perk – free consultations with Web Doctor. However, it’s important to note that the cost of medicines is not covered. Some medications can be reimbursed by the government for taxpayers, offering a partial financial relief for certain medical expenses.
They allocate a portion of their monthly budget for dining out, considering it a way to unwind and pamper themselves amidst the stresses of work. In the month of November, they spent 137 euros on dining out, reflecting their commitment to occasional indulgence and relaxation through shared meals outside the home.
With an only child and the father working from home for most of the week, the family has opted not to hire a child minder. Instead, they invest in toys to keep their child engaged and entertained. They allocate a monthly budget of 61 euros for these toys, recognizing the importance of providing their child with enjoyable and stimulating activities within the home environment.
Their monthly budget of around 500 euros covers various leisure activities, including shopping, cinema outings, and family movie time. Even their 4-year-old enjoys cinema, and their shared love for movies makes them avid moviegoers. While these leisure expenses are not fixed and depend on factors like budget availability and special events, they find joy in watching animated shows to entertain their child.
The budget also considers shopping, which serves dual purposes – not only for personal needs but also for the father’s travels. Although travel is not a monthly occurrence, it is a frequent activity for them. Hence, their budget takes into account the occasional but significant expenses associated with travel, adding a dynamic element to their overall financial planning.
In November, they incurred an additional cost of around 40 euros due to their child’s school, as the school is located far from their house.
If we project this monthly spending pattern throughout the year, the estimated total cost of living for 2023 would be 2341 euros per month. This calculation assumes that their expenses for each month remain consistent with the amounts spent in November. It provides a rough annual estimate based on the observed spending patterns during that particular month.
Money Saving Tips
- Budgeting: Create a detailed budget outlining fixed and variable expenses to better understand where the money is going each month.
- Compare Utility Providers: Periodically review utility providers to ensure the best rates for services like internet, gas, and electricity.
- Explore Discounts: Look for discounts or loyalty programs for services like mobile plans or insurance to potentially reduce monthly expenses.
- Limit Dining Out: While occasional dining out is enjoyable, reducing the frequency can significantly cut down on expenses. Consider trying homemade versions of favorite restaurant meals.
- Entertainment Alternatives: Explore free or low-cost entertainment options such as community events, movie nights at home, or outdoor activities.
- Online Shopping Discounts: Take advantage of online sales, discounts, and cashback offers when shopping for both essentials and non-essentials.
- Smart Energy Use: Implement energy-saving practices at home, such as turning off lights and appliances when not in use, and using energy-efficient appliances.
- Invest Wisely: If possible, consider long-term investments to grow wealth over time. Seek advice from financial professionals for suitable investment options.
In conclusion, the vlogger and their family navigate a diverse range of monthly expenses in Ireland, offering insights into their lifestyle and financial priorities. From essential bills like rent, utilities, and insurance to discretionary spending on leisure activities, dining out, and family indulgences, their budgeting reflects a balance between necessary costs and personal enjoyment. Notably, they strategically allocate resources for their child’s education and entertainment, demonstrating a thoughtful approach to family life. The transparency in their financial choices underscores the importance of adaptability and planning, creating a holistic perspective on their cost of living in 2023.