‘If we have enough money to be happy and comfortable, that’s fine. It’s passion that drives us now’
Me and my money: Brian Fitzpatrick, managing director, Oriel Magnesium and Mineral Supplements
Brian Fitzpatrick: ‘If you haggle, you will always get a better price or even a smile – a laugh means you got something more than just a purchase.’
Are you a saver or a spender?
A bit of both, I like to save so that when I really want to I can enjoy the spending.
Do you shop around for better value?
Absolutely. Except on Christmas Eve when it is a whistle-stop, gift-buying go-with-your-gut purchase.
What has been your most extravagant purchase ever and how much did it cost?
A difficult one, that, but it would have to be our home. At the time it was the greatest thing we ever did, and was worth every penny. It’s probably worth 10 times as much now, but it’s all relative. We wouldn’t move anywhere else because it’s home.
What purchase have you made that you consider the best value for money? Probably has to be our home again. Great location, great gardens, great neighbours. You could never get this again for the money.
What ways do you prefer to shop – online or local? It depends on what I’m buying. Everyday stuff is local, the rest depends on how much time I have. If I’m busy, it’s online for sure.
Do you haggle over prices? Whenever possible. It’s just something that was bred into us as kids by our dad. If you haggle, you will always get a better price or even a smile – a laugh means you got something more than just a purchase. When we are on holidays, I make sure our kids never accept the asking price and look for a bargain. It’s good to pass these things on.
Has the recession changed your spending habits? Absolutely. We were literally wiped out at the beginning of the recession and had to seriously sit back and look at everything. There is nothing like a good dose of harsh reality to make you realise that you need to watch how and what you spend. Tough as it was, I think it was a good experience to go through, as we can all get caught up in superficial realities. Do you invest in shares? The only shares I ever invested in was when Norwich Union went public – or was it Canada Life? I’m not sure, but one of those life insurance companies. I had an option to buy about £IR1,300 worth, I think. I might have made a small profit on them after a few years.
Cash or card? I love cash, but I can’t live without the card.
What was the last thing you bought and was it good value for money? I just bought €20 credit for my daughter’s Leap Card, so yes, good value. Have you ever successfully saved up for a relatively big purchase? Ahh, we’re back to our house again. We went to the US for four years and were lucky enough to come home with enough for a deposit, to gut the house and rebuild it. It’s almost 100 years old.
Have you ever lost money? When I was about 14 years old, I lost £IR50 my mam gave me for shopping. That was a huge amount then, and it meant I couldn’t pay for the weekly shop in the old Superquinn in Finglas village. I had lost it in the shop but no one could find it. I was upset but the manager was really nice and allowed me to take the messages home; he actually gave me a lift so that he could explain to my mam what had happened. He agreed to let us pay for the shopping over a few weeks.
Are you a gambler and, if so, have you ever had a big win? Once a year on the Grand National is my lot. My biggest loss was about a tenner and the biggest win was about a score (€20).
Is money important to you? Not really and definitely not as much as it was in the past. If we have enough to be happy and comfortable, then that’s fine. It’s passion that drives us now. How much money do you have on you now? Actually, nothing, because I just gave my daughter my last €20 for her Leap Card top-up.