Me & My Money
Elaine Geraghty, CEO Inspire Ireland Foundation
Are you a saver or a spender?
Up to a couple of years ago I would definitely have been classed as a spender. But, like many others, I’ve changed my habits and these days I’d say I’m somewhere in between being a saver and discerning spender.
Do you shop around for better value?
Definitely, and I enjoy doing it when I have the time. I think more about my purchasing choices these days, and my experience is that value is there to be had once you’re willing to do the legwork.
What has been your most extravagant purchase ever and how much did it cost?
A brand new Renault Megane Convertible in 2005. €33,000
What purchase have you made that you consider the best value for money?
Toby, my 12-year-old Rough Collie. There’s a return on that investment every day.
Have you ever crossed the Border to shop?
No, not even as a kid, when bus loads were heading to Newry.
Do you haggle over prices?
Not on retail in general. Mostly over services, such as car and house insurance and, more recently, dental.
Has the recession changed your spending habits?
Definitely. I seek out better value, so shopping around has become the norm. Luckily we didn’t go wild during the Celtic Tiger so, in general, the adjustment has not been that great.
Do you invest in shares?
No, and with 33 per cent capital gains tax, I don’t see myself doing that too soon.
Cash or card?
Mostly card. (Laser)
What was the last thing you bought and was it good value for money?
A Stevie G sports bottle at the Liverpool shop during a recent visit to Anfield. At £8 I’m hoping it will perform better than Liverpool are doing this season.
Have you ever successfully saved up for a relatively big purchase?
Yes – a three-week dream holiday in Asia. Worth every cent.
Have you ever lost money?
Apart from a hit on my pension – like so many others – I lost a fortune when I was nine on the slots in Bray on a family holiday.
Are you a gambler and, if so, have you ever had a big win?
Definitely not. I learned my lesson as a nine-year-old, but if there’s a casino where we go on holiday, we’ll usually try our hand on roulette, with the rule that we limit our spend and walk away even if we’ve lost it all. We struck lucky once with a €2k win in the casino on a cruise from Cyprus to Haifa in Israel.
Is money important to you?
Not on a day-to-day basis. I would honestly say that I have never been driven by money. But like everyone, I would be conscious about financial security in old age.
How much money do you have on you now?