Me & My Money: Chris Judge, Illustrator/designer


Are you a saver or a spender? I would probably be more of a spender, while my wife is a great saver. I like to think that balances everything out.

Do you shop around for better value? For some things I would, but I generally prefer to pay that bit extra for quality. Especially for art and household supplies, and that kind of thing.

What has been your most extravagant purchase and how much did it cost? A couple of years ago, I worked on a big illustration project with a company in the US and they paid me via Paypal, and as we all know Paypal credit is really just internet tokens to buy junk, right? I ended up buying a quarter scale T-Rex replica skull, a three-foot handmade Tintin rocket, a vintage Godzilla toy from Japan and several other daft purchases on eBay. A year later we bought our house and we really could have used those funds to refurbish it.

What purchase have you made that you consider the best value for money? I bought an old racer for €60 a few years ago that I love and cycle everywhere. I have replaced and tweaked every bit of it except the frame over the years so in the end have probably spent closer to €400. It’s probably only worth about €150 if I sold it, but I don’t mind.

What ways do you prefer to shop – online or local? When I discovered online shopping, I guiltily did what most people probably did and binged on buying stuff with great savings. But recently I have cut down on that a lot and have started enjoying browsing in bookshops, art supply shops and clothes shops again. There’s nothing quite like quietly browsing a bookshop for an hour on a rainy day.

Do you haggle over prices? Myself and my brother used to get incredibly embarrassed when our Dad used to haggle for things in shops. He got a great kick out of getting a bargain, and still does. I now realise I have started to do it as I get older. Has the recession changed your spending habits? Definitely. My wife and I used to dine out a couple of times a week and buy new clothes and shoes willy-nilly, but that has completely changed. It’s way more of a rare treat these days, which I prefer. Do you invest in shares? God no, I have no idea about any of that stuff.

Cash or card? Both. I generally have a few quid in my pocket, but I use my credit card to buy any business purchases so that I have them all in one place.

What was the last thing you bought and was it good value for money? When the good weather arrived last week, I went to the attic to get a bag of summer shorts and socks and couldn’t find it, so the last thing I bought was a pair of shorts in TK Maxx. They were very good value for money.

Have you ever successfully saved up for a relatively big purchase? We saved for the deposit on our house, which was tough – but other than that I am useless at saving.

Have you ever lost money? I’ve left money in the ATM on several occasions and I lost €50 a few weeks ago, which was very frustrating.

Are you a gambler and if so have you ever had a big win? The only time I ever gambled was at the dogs about two years ago. I came away with €30 or so, which was nice.

Is money important to you? The only time it is ever really important is when I don’t have any. I went freelance about 10 years ago and was pretty much broke for the first five years. It’s only in the last few years that I have felt comfortable and not had to worry constantly about where the next cheque is coming from. It still does happen from time to time, mind you.

How much money do you have on you now? I have €12 and some shrapnel in my pocket.

Chris Judge takes part in Damn Fine Print Exhibition as part of Laya Healthcare’s City Spectacular, Filmbase, Temple Bar, Dublin, July 9th-17th.

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