Me and My Money - Stacey Scoulding
Are you a saver or a spender?
I used to be a spender. I regularly ate out for lunch or dinner and took two foreign holidays during the summer months. Now things are different. Having learned my lesson (a few times) and thinking about the future, I am now a saver.
Do you shop around for better value?
Yes. I have brought my profession of selecting the best quality diamonds for the best possible price into my everyday life. There is always a cheaper option but this does not mean better value.
What has been your most extravagant purchase and how much did it cost?
My previous car: a BMW. I had dreamed of owning one since I was a little girl. It cost me more than just money but a great deal of stress. Be careful what you wish for!
What purchase have you made that you consider the best value for money?
My mobile phone. I use it for everything, from entertainment and work, to reminders, an alarm clock and my grocery shopping list! If I misplaced it, it would be like losing a limb.
What ways do you prefer to shop – online or local?
I enjoy browsing the internet, I research my desired purchases and regularly book my holidays and cinema tickets online, but more times than not I end up buying local.
Do you haggle over prices?
I have a black belt in haggling. Haggling is part and parcel of the diamond industry, and thankfully is a part of my job I thoroughly enjoy. I gained a great deal of confidence in haggling while travelling alone through Asia in 2008.
Has the recession changed your spending habits?
Yes. The money is just not there anymore. On a plus note this is why my business is doing so well. My clients save an average of 40 per cent on their purchases. I feel as a nation we have become more savvy with our money.
Do you invest in shares?
I don’t understand enough about investing. I have heard some horror stories concerning volatile markets in stocks and shares. I have invested heavily in diamonds as I understand them, and know the price of diamonds has increased exponentially over the past 20 years.
Cash or card?
Currently my debit card. It helps me to keep track on what and where I am spending my money. Though this may change to cash as, like most people, I am growing increasingly frustrated with bank charges.
What was the last thing you bought and was it good value for money?
I bought bottles of bubbles for my niece and nephews. They were great value for money at 50 cents a bottle. I had many hours of enjoyment watching and listening to their laughter. Priceless!
Is money important to you?
Money is important for living, but not nearly so much as health. Your health is your wealth. I am practical about money though, both negative and positive.
Stacey Scoulding is a gemologist and owner of Loyes Diamonds (loyesdiamonds.ie)