‘The right price for quality and value is important to me and that philosophy creates wealth for others’

Me & My Money: Jim Durie, managing director Ireland, Energie Fitness Ireland

Jim Durie: The decisions I made that cost me money became my education, and so can’t really be adjudged as losses. They were instalment payments to make me smarter!

Jim Durie: The decisions I made that cost me money became my education, and so can’t really be adjudged as losses. They were instalment payments to make me smarter!

 

Are you a saver or a spender?

I’m a spender. My money must work for me, but I always build a six-month disaster recovery fund into all my development plans. These are my “savings” and provide a buffer if all else fails.

Do you shop around for better value?

Shopping around infers value is linked to price. I never go for the lowest price; I always go for the best value.

What has been your most extravagant purchase and how much did it cost?

I never spend extravagantly. A €25 bottle of wine in the right circumstances will taste just as good as a €2,000 bottle of wine in the wrong circumstances. Pretentiousness is the enemy of good business.

What purchase have you made that you consider the best value for money?

Recently, I bought an airline ticket to Australia for my wife and I to visit our sons. We also took them to Tasmania for Easter. They looked after us like royalty and we had the best time together, having not seen them for over two years. The expenditure bought us huge amounts of love, laughter and joy.

How do you prefer to shop – online or local?

I never shop for personal items online because of the lack of control I have over quality and value. I need to touch something or be sure of what I am buying. I use the internet for travel/holiday purchases and items where I can guarantee quality and value. Where possible all other purchases are local.

Do you haggle over prices?

I have found that I tend to get what I pay for in this life. The right price for quality and value is important to me and that philosophy creates wealth for others, too. Money goes around and around, and the way to create wealth is use good judgment to pay a fair price for what you need.

Has the recession changed your spending habits?

My business survives recessions and I always look on the bright side – there will always be a recovery. My advice is to diversify your earnings potential by upskilling in several areas of expertise, so that you are always a marketable commodity to someone, somewhere for some form of employment or business relationship.

Do you invest in shares?

I don’t play the markets because I’m not a good gambler. I have shares in my own companies over which I have control. This is a wealth creation strategy that has worked well for me.

Cash or card?

Mostly card. I seldom use cash for everyday personal or business purchases.

What was the last thing you bought and was it good value for money?

The last thing I bought was a grey jumper from TK Maxx for €22. I left the house in the morning wearing a newish yellow jumper that somehow didn’t feel right, so I stopped in Dundrum and bought an alternative. I felt better immediately, so it was great value for money.

 Have you ever successfully saved up for a relatively big purchase?

Owning “big stuff” by purchasing it outright has never really attracted me. I only fret about losing it or having it stolen! However, I have a TAG Heuer watch that is now 25 years old, which, as a young man, was a relatively big purchase. It’s probably my most prized possession.

Have you ever lost money?

It depends how you look at loss. The decisions I made that cost me money became my education, and so can’t really be adjudged as losses. They were instalment payments to make me smarter!

Are you a gambler and, if so, have you ever had a big win?

I gamble every day because I subscribe to taking calculated risks in my life. This is summed up in the Leo Buscaglia quotation: “The person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing, is nothing, and becomes nothing… Only the person who risks is truly free.”

 Is money important to you?

What money gives me – the freedom to achieve – is more important to me than money itself. Money without purpose is not attractive.

How much money do you have on you now?

€80, enough to survive for 10 days if all I needed was something nutritious to eat every day. It’s possible to eat reasonably well on €8 a day. It’s how creative you are with that amount of money that counts.

I once worked at a ski chalet, where guests paid a lot of money for their holiday, and €8 a day was what I was given to feed them. I never once had a complaint about the menu. I bought bulk base ingredients that lasted all season and topped them off with the likes of confit of duck, beef bourguignon, encrusted pork fillet, etc. My learning was that with a solid base, you don’t need so much fancy food.

in conversation with Tony Clayton-Lea