Me & My Money


 Liz Nolan, Lyric FM presenter

Are you a saver or a spender?

I’m a spender – not on big purchases, but if there’s money in my purse, it disappears. That being said, I’ve never been in debt, aside from the inevitable mortgage.

Do you shop around for better value?

Not really. For me, time is even more precious than money, so for daily purchases I just run by the same shops. When it’s the time of year for sales, I tend to run a mile. Can’t stand crowds, can’t find what I want, and don’t want to buy things just because they’re cheap. If I really want something, I’ll buy it. If the money’s not there, I won’t.

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

A Karen Millen leather coat with fur trimming. Back in the day, I think it was around €350. Not the most horrendous sum, but at the time I was busking around between teaching jobs and scrounging for rent money, so it took a big bite out of my income.

I still go prancing out in the coat every chance I get. Nothing wears as well as quality.

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

At risk of coming across as the complete Irish mammy, I’d have to say my son’s McLaren buggy. One of the cheaper buggy options when we bought it, over the years it’s taken endless abuse and is now being passed on to another little person, still working perfectly.

Have you ever crossed the Border to shop?

No! Lots of reasons to head up North, but shopping wouldn’t occur to me.

Do you haggle over prices?

On the contrary, I have to fight down the urge to get the transaction over with as soon as possible. I don’t know why, I just feel a bit embarrassed when it comes to money.

Has the recession changed your spending habits?

It has. But there’ve been a lot of other life changes taking place for me over the past years – principally becoming a mum! So my spending habits would have altered in any case.

Do you invest in shares?

God, no! It’d be like playing darts blindfolded.

Cash or card?

Both, but I invariably pay off my credit card each month.

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

I’m just back from a deep tissue massage for my back, which had gone into rigor mortis for some reason.

In terms of pain relief – excellent value!

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

In my 20s, I’d put aside some of my teaching money each month to take off euro-railing at the end of summer term. It was my big reward to myself, and I did that for about seven years.

Have you ever lost money?

Negative equity on my house, but I think that’s a common complaint.

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

I’ve never even bought a scratch card.

Is money important to you?

My family’s safety is important to me, and for that you need money. However, I was brought up to value education as the chief goal in life. Money comes and goes, but it’s what you learn that stays.

How much money do you have on you now?

About €80 in cash, including a zillion of those fiddly coppers. My handbag is like a deadweight.

LIZ NOLANis the presenter of Lyric FMs Classic Drive and Tales from the Opera programmes on 96-99 RTÉ Lyric fm.