‘Buying a car is the most expensive thing I’ve ever purchased’

Me and My Money: Andrea Gilligan, presenter, Newstalk

Are you a saver or a spender?

Honestly, I’m probably a spender, but I save as well. I have two different saving accounts – one that I’m “never” allowed to touch and one that I “shouldn’t” touch. I dip in and out of that one far too frequently. I’m definitely spending more than I’m saving. I should revisit that!

Do you shop around for better value?

I’m really bad at shopping around, and I don’t like big shops/stores. I’m all about convenience, so I like to go into shops and know where everything is. I’m a creature of habit, so I tend to go to the same shops over and over again.

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

Aside from a car, it’s probably a holiday. Most recently I went to the US for two weeks. We travelled around the southern states and ended up in Las Vegas. The trip itself cost about €1,200 (for flights and accommodation), which probably isn’t that bad considering everything that we did. I didn’t book any of the holiday – like I said, I’m not great at shopping around and sizing up the best hotels/flights, so I left that to my friends.

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

I bought a paid of black, flat, leather boots in Buffalo about four years ago. They were €300, but I think I paid €150 in the sale. Probably the only bargain I’ve ever got, and they are still on the go! They worked a treat during the snow earlier this year.

How do you prefer to shop – online or local?

In a shop, no question about it. I purchased my first online item ever just last Christmas, and the process of tracking it and waiting for it to arrive pre-Christmas – which it didn’t – was a disaster. I won’t say never again, but I’ll definitely go to a shop first.

Do you haggle over prices?

I don’t/can’t haggle. My mum is brilliant at it. She’d nearly talk you out of charging her. I just can’t do it. I feel extremely embarrassed about even asking.

Has the recession changed your spending habits?

It has a bit, yes. I am putting a little bit more money aside every month, but nowhere near a fraction of what I should be. Like everybody else experiencing the Dublin rental market, it’s difficult to put money aside on a monthly basis.

Do you invest in shares?

I don’t. I wouldn’t have a clue what I’d be doing, but I’d love to get my head around it. Although, that said, you’d probably need a lot of excess cash that you’d be willing to part with, so I may have to rethink this.

Cash or card?

Card. I hardly ever have any cash on me.

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

My last purchase was a dress in CoCo boutique, which I bought for the Imro Radio Awards last month. I think it was about €80, and I have never received so many compliments. So it was a good buy.

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

My first car. Well, every car I’ve ever purchased really. I remember saving for ages to buy it. I don’t own a house so buying a car is definitely the most expensive thing I’ve ever purchased.

Have you ever lost money?

I constantly sign up for courses – particularly gym classes – but then between one thing and another I can’t attend. I’m always losing out on money that way.

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

No, I’m not a gambler. My parents own a pub at home in Donegal, so I’d have a flutter during Cheltenham/Grand National if I was in the bar that day. I’d only really bet if I were at the Galway Races.

Is money important to you?

Yes and no. I need money to live, obviously, and to get by on a daily basis. I will need money in the long term if I ever want to own a house, but otherwise not really. I’m a hard worker so if I want something I’ll have to work hard to get it.

How much money do you have on you now?

About €2 made up of coins. I never have any money on me. It’s ridiculous. I wouldn’t be worth robbing!

In conversation with Tony Clayton-Lea