Me & my money


Mary Brennan, jewellery designer

Are you a saver or a spender?

By nature I’m a saver, what with three post office accounts, one credit union account and one bank deposit account, but with not a huge amount in any of them. However, I think that qualifies me as a saver.

Do you shop around for better value?

Sometimes. If I were shopping for something important for the house or my workshop/display gallery, I would tend to shop around for better value.

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

My Opel Corsa, which was the only new car I ever purchased, in 2007. It cost approximately €15,000 and I still have it.

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

A travel ticket to southeast Asia taking in flights from Dublin- London-Hong Kong- Bali-Singapore, back to London-Dublin, and hotel accommodation for three weeks in 1997. The whole thing cost £1,500. I was quite pleased with that!

Have you ever crossed the Border to shop?

Yes I have, just once a number of years ago to Newry for grocery shopping, which is approximately 25km from where I live. I like to shop recreationally in Belfast for a change, whenever I visit.

Do you haggle over prices?

If I’m shopping at home, I don’t haggle over prices. However, I have done so while on holiday, which seems to be part of the travel experience.

Has the recession changed your spending habits?

Yes, I think twice about unnecessary treats generally. This isn’t always the case, however, and sometimes I have to make that purchase.

Do you invest in shares?

I don’t purposely invest in shares, although I have two life assurance policies that are linked to shares.

Cash or card?

I use mostly cash, given the easy access to ATMs.

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

I recently purchased a jacket- cardigan that cost €5 from a charity shop. It wears very well, is very good value for money and has helped a good cause.

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

The Opel Corsa that I purchased in 2007.

Have you ever lost money?

Yes, it was a non-refundable deposit for work to be carried out on the house, which I subsequently couldn’t go ahead with. Ouch!

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

I never gamble. I have to be reminded to place a bet on the Grand National and even then I never had a win.

Is money important to you?

I’m not obsessed with money. It’s just necessary when I need to purchase something.

How much money do you have on you now?

At the moment I have €60 in my purse.

In conversation with TONY CLAYTON-LEA

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