This blog post relates to Start position of the Stoic Paddy Game.

When you are at the start you are trying to achieve financial independence for accommodation and income.

This can be a tough place to be if you also have mountains of debts, credit cards and loans from friends and family.

You need to treat this as a Financial Emergency – and take a serious approach to combating and resolving the emergency.

The good news is that financial emergencies are temporary by nature. We want to get you out of this situation as quick and painlessly as possible.

Stoic Paddy would prioritise all expenditure with the following for you or your family unit.

  1. Food
  2. Accommodation
  3. Light/heat
  4. Ability to earn (transport, motor, internet)


1. Food

At a minimum you are sitting down once a week and doing out a list of 21 meals per person. 7 x breakfasts, lunches and dinners. If you have ever done meal planning for fitness and body composition like bulking/cutting – this will be easy for you. If not – learn.

I don’t know if you’re vegan, carnivore, vegetarian, paleo, Atkins (yeah I’m old) – and I’m not about to judge here (or care for that matter). Food is way to individual for me to start lecturing you. The point is you can eat healthy according to your diet for cheap.

Grains are cheap, vegetables are cheap, grass fed and free range meats are cheap – Real food is cheap. Processed shite is expensive.

  • Do a list for the week
  • Buy in low cost supermarkets only
  • Use reusable containers for ALL external meals like work and school lunches.
  • Cook in batches
  • Don’t leave the house without a (non-plastic) bottle of water and some small snack
  • Stay out of all small convenience stores, newspapers agents and garage forecourts

If you are really hardcore then you can try some Intermittent Fasting with me to get sexy abdominal muscles and save more money.


2. Accommodation

If you are paying some contribution to rent or some government scheme, it is vital to keep this up to date. To paraphrase an old Irish economist – You are living at the mercy of others.

Let’s keep a roof over our heads. Homelessness is real.


3. Light and Heat

Lets keep ourselves and loved one warm with home cooked meals

4. Ability to earn

Once you have your basic food and shelter costs covered we must maintain our focus on completing this level. We have to ensure that we can apply for a job, get to a job and keep a job.

This means bus cards, bicycles, basic internet connections for CVs etc.

5. Nothing Else!

Any remaining cash must be kept for next levels emergency fund.

Here is a list of things Paddy wouldn’t do during Level 1 – (Remember this is TEMPORARY before you start rolling your eyes)

  • Pay for non-essential subscriptions (Spotify, Sky Sports, Netflix etc.)
  • Buy gifts for anyone outside of immediate blood family unit (One of the hardest)
  • Take a vacations/holiday (You’re broke – get a grip)
  • Eat in restaurants/ fast foods / Order Takeaway Foods (All food should be bought in one go and home cooked prepared)
  • Leisure activities (cinema/bowling/dance lessons etc)
  • Non-essential grooming (fake tans, nails, hair, barbers)
  • Upgrade non-essential items like furniture, interior (You’re broke – get a grip)
  • Private Health Insurance
  • Gym memberships/fitness classes (Try running the beach, do pull ups in the park, dance/aerobics to online video)
  • COFFEE (Seriously. You’re buying expensive takeaway coffees as a “treat” no wonder you’re skint)
  • Cocaine, alcohol, cigarettes, angel dust, meth, heroin, Ibuprofen, Fisherman’s Friends, St Johns Wort and chocolate. (You know what you’re up to)


Stoic Paddy Emergency Spending Example

Below is a sample of what I have done. It’s probably not for you food wise but if you are in a genuine financial emergency give it a try.

If you are on the dole and you’ve been in a McDonald’s, a Chinese takeaway and a Starbucks this week look away now…

Dole €198 per week (one person – customise to your circumstance)

  • Food €30
  • Accommodation €100
  • Internet/Phone €10
  • Transport €10 – Cycle for free and some bus fares for job interviews
  • €48 Emergency Fund Savings

Breakfasts x 7 Porridge Oats

14 Meals for Dinner/Lunches – Make 4 batches of any 4 meals (16 meals with 2 spares). Cook on Sundays, store in containers, freeze and thaw when needed

  • Free range chicken/rice/broccoli/peas
  • Beef/potato/carrot
  • Lamb/couscous/spinach
  • Soups/Stews
  • Salads

€5 – Keep a fiver for a cheat meal once a week to keep you sane.

Note: As with any example given by Paddy – take it as a guide and build your own.

In conclusion, this is not supposed to be fun. It is a tough frugal method of combating a temporary Financial Emergency until you get steady employment.

But there is satisfaction to be had in taking on the personal responsibility of undertaking the challenge once you have a clear purpose and vision to move to the next level. It will make it all worthwhile.