Me & My Money: Conor Faughnan


Are you a saver or a spender?
I’m prudent on the big-ticket items, but I waste money on indulgences like take- away coffees. I don’t go mad, yet I always seem to check my balance with horror towards the end of the month.

Do you shop around for better value?
Not as much as I should. I’m a male cliché in that I have an irrational dislike of shopping. We have made the switch to cheaper supermarkets, though, and that actually makes a huge difference.

What has been your most extravagant purchase and how much did it cost?
We took the whole family to Paris for a week a few years ago, taking in an Ireland rugby match while we were there. We got an apartment in a nice area and did all the tourist things. Even though it put a large dent in the leisure budget for the year, I don’t regret a penny of it.

What purchase have you made that you consider the best value for money?
Probably our Leinster rugby season tickets. We have been going for years and we have got such value out of it as a family. We get a family package at the start of the year and, as far as our kids are concerned, it is the one luxury that is non-negotiable.

What way do you prefer to shop – online or local?
I buy very little online apart from flights. I should do more but I just never formed the habit.

Do you haggle over prices?
I’ve become much better at that. In previous years, it would not have occurred to me but now I’ll haggle all the time. The very worst that can be said is no, so it is always worth a try.

Has the recession changed your spending habits?
I don’t think I was ever very extravagant even while the economy was roaring – no jacuzzis on the patio or helicopter lessons. My kids are teenagers now and I have a kind of unconscious clock in my head looking at how much is needed to get them through their education and launched into the world, while keeping up with the mortgage and the bills.

Do you invest in shares?
Not at all. We joined the rest of the country in the Eircom debacle years ago and, although we didn’t invest much, it turned out to be a loss and a lesson.

Cash or card?
Both really. I always like to have some cash on me or I get irrationally anxious.

What was the last thing you bought and was it good value for money?
I got one of my kids a small tablet device recently and it is the business – €79 in Harvey Norman and it works beautifully.

Have you ever successfully saved up for a relatively big purchase?
Yes, we’re actually very good on that. My wife is highly organised, so we save up for things like holidays. We never take out loans for things like that. If you have the discipline, it is by far the best way to do it.

How much money do you have on you ?
About 40 cents in coins.

In conversation with Tony Clayton-Lea

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