Me & My Money: Sinead Beirne

Sinead Beirne, Ireland AM resident doctor and GP


Are you a saver or a spender?
I am probably a mix of both. Over the last few years I have spent a lot of money on post-graduate education and travelling. I have become more frugal now and I try to save.

Do you shop around for better value?
I try to. These days I seem to be busier than ever and I have less time to shop around. Whenever I get a bargain I’m delighted.

What has been your most extravagant purchase and how much did it cost?
I bought a beautiful Tara Jarmon coat when I was a medical student in a shop called Cyan in the Swan shopping centre in Rathmines. I think it cost about €350 in the sale. My mum would probably be horrified. There were a lot more essential things I could have spent that money on as a student at the time.

What purchase have you made that you consider the best value for money?
My car, which is a Mini One. I bought it second-hand when I was an intern and learned to drive in it. It has served me well and I am still driving it eight years later!

What ways do you prefer to shop – online or local?
I don’t like to shop online – despite the thrill of a package arriving in the post. I have had more than a few online disasters when I received the wrong size or an item that wasn’t what I thought it would be. I prefer to shop local as at least I know what I am getting.

Do you haggle over prices?
When I haggle over prices, I get really embarrassed. However, in Beijing a few years ago with my sisters I really got into haggling for handbags and, by the end of the trip, my haggling skills had improved.

Has the recession changed your spending habits?
Yes, definitely. I am much more cautious spending money. I try to procrastinate rather than buying impulsively.
Do you invest in shares?
I don’t know enough about shares to know what I am doing, so I steer clear.

Cash or card?
I use both. The laser debit card is almost too easy.
What was the last thing you bought and was it good value for money?
A mop in Tesco for €8.50 – it did the job!

Have you ever successfully saved up for a relatively big purchase?
Yes – eye laser surgery with Prof O’Keeffe in the Mater Private.

It has been one of the best decisions I have ever made.

Have you ever lost money?
No, but I regularly find it in my husband’s piggy bank!

Are you a gambler and, if so, have you ever had a big win?
I’m not a gambler, so no big wins, unfortunately.

Is money important to you?
Money is important as it buys a type of freedom.

However, there are things that are much more important to me such as family, health and friends.

How much money do you have on you now?
€20. I’d better go to an ATM!

In conversation with Tony Clayton-Lea

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