‘Many women will spend €150 on highlights every month, but vanity seems far away when you’re at rock bottom in a hospital bed’

Jennifer Rock, skincare expert, theskinnerd.ie

Jennifer Rock: I take risks and push my comfort zone daily

Jennifer Rock: I take risks and push my comfort zone daily


Are you a saver or a spender?

Spend mainly. I’ve always had quite a relaxed attitude to money. I make sure I have the basics plus a safety net, and then I spend to enjoy life and live it as comfortably as possible.

Do you shop around for better value?

I have a rule of three. I’ll price the company I believe to be the best and then compare it to two others to ensure I’m neither over nor underpaying. I always look for value for money.  

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

My house. I think it’s ironic how we don’t see it as a purchase because it’s comfortably hidden behind the word ‘mortgage’.

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

The best value for money I’ve ever had would have to be my car. I love it and I rely on it for my independence and accessibility. Second to that, I brought my son on a four-month holiday around Australia a few years ago. I saved for a considerable length of time in order to give us both a memorable experience and cultural lessons of a lifetime.

How do you prefer to shop – online or local?

Online. I have limited time, as do we all. Being a single parent, I adore the flexibility of shopping from the comfort of my home without the guilt of having my son minded for shopping as well as when I need to work.

Do you haggle over prices?

In business, 100 per cent I do. I have learned to value my own company’s margins as opposed to thinking more of other companies’ margins! If you don’t ask you don’t get, but be polite doing so. Yet once, on a holiday in Thailand, where everyone was haggling down on price, I was offering more as I wanted the family to earn more. I believed they were undercharging! I’m a softie and will always be fair.

Has the recession changed your spending habits?

I am more cautious and think if I really need what I purchase. Quality over quantity has become the theme in my home.

Do you invest in shares?

My company gets all of my shares, both financially and emotionally, at present.

Cash or card?

Card. I’m a disaster with cash!  

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

I renewed my VHI policy, and yes it was 100 per cent value for money. I have suffered some ill health of late, which has offered me an insight to the overused yet under-appreciated phrase ‘your health is your wealth’. Many women will spend €150 on highlights every month, but vanity seems far away when you’re at rock bottom in a hospital bed.

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

I save for goals. The millionaire home with swimming pool and ready-made chef and butler is next on the list! I jest. I’m realistic, but I love to dream. My main objectives are to make memories for my son and myself.

Have you ever lost money?

Yes, daily! The sensation of finding a crumpled note in old coat pockets still has a glorious feeling.

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

I take risks and push my comfort zone daily, which effectively is gambling with life decisions, so gambling financially for pleasure is not a concept I turn to. It’s not an adrenaline I understand or enjoy.

Is money important to you?

Is this a trick question? Money dictates the quality of life you lead. Not happiness or materialistic items but destinations, taste buds that can/cannot be tickled due to your bank balance. But I’m not money hungry or sales orientated as such; I’ve had to teach myself to be conscious of that aspect of life.

How much money do you have on you now?

None! I have bank cards! 

in conversation with Tony Clayton-Lea