Me & My Money


Myles Dungan, radio/TV presenter

Are you a saver or a spender?

Like most people, I’m a bit of both, though more of the latter now, in that I study the balance in my savings account.

Do you shop around for better value?

Not on weekly items. On anything out of the ordinary, I’ll have a look at prices on the internet versus the high street.

What has been your most extravagant purchase ever and how much did it cost?

Other than my house, bought five seconds before property prices began to decline, probably my lovely Apple MacBook Air computer. I could probably have got a laptop for half the price but . . .

What purchase have you made that you consider the best value for money?

My bicycle. Apart from a few puncture repairs, it owes me nothing and it saves me a small fortune. (I do have a car but I love not having to use it.)

Have you ever crossed the Border to shop?

I like visiting Belfast and I have bought one or two things there, but not in any cross-Border shopping sort of a way.

Do you haggle over prices?

Actually, never! I’m an Irish male. I roll over meekly.

Has the recession changed your spending habits?

Is the Pope a Roman Catholic primate? When your take-home income goes down significantly, guess what happens your spending?

Do you invest in shares?

No. Though as I am self-employed, I have a private pension, so I suppose a fund manager somewhere is doing it on my behalf. I just keep sending them money every month. Recently the results haven’t been very encouraging. Maybe I should stop.

Cash or card?

Both. Coin, paper or plastic where appropriate.

What was the last thing you bought and was it good value for money?

A plane ticket to San Francisco.

Have you ever successfully saved up for a relatively big purchase?

For a change of car every five-to-six years. I try and acquire something that’s still a bit away from its first NCT, though that is almost impossible nowadays.

Have you ever lost money?

Does the fact that my house is worth half what I paid for it count?

Are you a gambler and, if so, have you ever had a big win?

So seldom that I can actually remember. Highland Wedding in the Grand National and Wayne Westner in the Irish Open golf. I leave gambling to people who know what they are doing.

Is money important to you?

Not as long as I have a decent amount of it and the prospect of that continuing. Were that situation to change, it would become very important indeed.

How much money do you have on you now?

Nada. I’m sitting in a tracksuit with no pockets.

Myles Dungan, PhD, is the presenter of the History Show on RTÉ Radio 1, and teaches a family history course at Dublin’s City Colleges

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