Me & My Money

Clare Dunne, MD, president Irish Travel Agents Association


Are you a saver or a spender?
I’m a saver. I have always believed in being prepared for a rainy day and I’m certainly glad now!

Do you shop around for better value?
Yes, of course I do. Travelling around the world has taught me to always look for the best value in everything and that’s exactly what I do for our customers, too.

What has been your most extravagant purchase and how much did it cost?
I treated myself to a really lovely gold bracelet in Dubai a couple of years ago, but mostly I prefer to spend any spare money travelling and seeing the world.

What purchase have you made that you consider the best value for money?
I once worked for Aer Lingus and, when I left in 1983, I got a small redundancy payment which I spent on my first car. That was great value for me.

What ways do you prefer to shop – online or local?
I prefer to shop face to face and see what I am buying. I also very strongly believe in shopping locally and supporting local enterprise.

Do you haggle over prices?
For big purchases yes, of course I do, but for everyday shopping I don’t. I know how difficult it is to make a living running a business, so I generally look for good value offers and then pay the price.

Has the recession changed your spending habits?
I think the recession has made me very aware of value. It isn’t surprising to know that “value” is the one word that keeps cropping up in my business, too. It’s not about the price, necessarily, it’s more about the value we are getting.

Do you invest in shares?

Have you ever successfully saved up for a relatively big purchase?
Yes, it was for our first house. We saved very hard for two years to get the deposit together.

Have you ever lost money?
Yes. I made a property investment in the middle of the Celtic Tiger years, but it is now worth very little. That said, you never know – if I wait long enough maybe it will all come good in the end.

Are you a gambler and if so have you ever had a big win?
Every year, I go racing in Downpatrick with friends and enjoy a couple of bets. If we win, we buy champagne, so there’s really no net gain!

Is money important to you?
Yes it is, in that I am extremely focused on ensuring my family’s financial health and security. Once that is okay, though, money is not my main motivating factor. I love my work and get great satisfaction from talking and listening to our clients and working with my great team.

How much money do you have on you now?
I have €40 in my purse now – and my cards, of course.

In conversaiton with Tony Clayton-Lea

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