Me & My Money: Fergus Sheil, Wide Open Opera and Opera Theatre Company
Fergus Sheil: “I really hate managing my own money. Doing my accounts each year, tax returns, sending invoices, paying bills etc – there’s nothing so boring as this.”
Are you a saver or a spender?
Definitely a spender. I’ve no savings at all, only overdrafts and Visa bills.
Do you shop around for better value?
Sometimes I would online. But I’ve no patience in shops. Generally, if I want to buy something I just buy it.
What has been your most extravagant purchase and how much did it cost?
In 2007, I bought a nearly new Toyota Prius for about €29,000. Before this, I always drove old cars near to their end of life. It was an amazing transformation for me. Six years later it still feels as good as new.
What purchase have you made that you consider the best value for money?
I bought a jacket a few years ago in a sale for €2.99. I think it was a mistake as it’s a really nice jacket and I wear it a lot. Best €3 ever.
do you prefer to shop – online or local?
I would never buy clothes online, but everything else I do on the computer – groceries, books, electronics, music, films etc.
Do you haggle over prices?
Never. I would be mortified, but my wife Maria is so unashamed about doing it.
I need to walk away and hope the earth swallows me up as she gets deal after deal.
Has the recession changed your spending habits?
Yes, of course, but it makes you feel guilty when you buy any little luxury, and that’s what I don’t like about it.
Do you invest in shares?
I do have a small pension plan, which is based partly in shares, but I wouldn’t know what to do myself and wouldn’t try.
What was the last thing you bought and was it good value for money?
I bought an iPad not so long ago. I’ve no idea if it’s good value for money because I never get to use it. My daughters have taken it over and only give it back to me when it needs to be charged up.
Have you ever lost money?
No, I haven’t lost money, but I had one occasion recently where I wasn’t paid for work I had undertaken. It got quite unpleasant.
Are you a gambler and, if so, have you ever had a big win?
National Lottery is as far as I go with gambling – I think I won about €5 once, but probably forgot to claim it.
Is money important to you?
No, I don’t think too much about it. I really hate managing my own money. Doing my accounts each year, tax returns, sending invoices, paying bills etc. There’s nothing so boring as this.
Wide Open Opera presents Gerald Barry’s The Importance Of Being Earnest at Grand Opera House, Belfast, October 30th, Cork Opera House, November 2nd, and the Gaiety Theatre, Dublin, November 8th/9th. wideopenopera.com
In conversation with Tony Clayton-Lea