‘Every time I reach for it, I think that was the best €11 I ever spent’
Me & My Money: Nichola MacEvilly, actor
Nichola MacEvilly: ‘I don’t equate money with success’
Are you a saver or a spender?
Oh, I’m a saver. I kept my Communion money right up until I started my master’s.
Do you shop around for better value?
I can’t say I’m very good at shopping around for value. I’m not an impulse buyer, so I tend to shop only when I’m looking for something particular. Once I find it, I’ll just snap it up, grateful the search is over.
What has been your most extravagant purchase and how much did it cost?
I spend a lot of money on massages, but I put that down as an occupational expense because my job can be very physical at times. I do remember buying a fabulous pair of pink cowboy boots for £200 when I was an impoverished drama student in London. I promise I no longer wear them, they’re just a keepsake now, but in fairness they’re still in perfect condition.
What purchase have you made that you consider the best value for money?
My industry is getting more technological, so I have to make a lot of audition tapes at home. I use my phone for these – the camera and mic are great and it’s easy to edit and send the tapes off quickly to my agent. I invested in an €11 tripod for my phone, and every time I reach for it I think to myself, that was the best €11 I ever spent. Previously I’d been balancing my phone on books.
How do you prefer to shop – online or local?
Local always. I like to know where things are from and who made them. When you shop local, you never have to second-guess on quality. I have a lot of self-employed friends working in the craft and food industry, so I understand the work that goes into creating quality produce and the significance of a single sale.
Do you haggle over prices?
I wish. I attempted it once in a Dublin antique shop that had a beautiful Greek gold ring I’d been admiring for years. It cost a fortune, but I decided to make them an offer. The lady in the shop told me my offer was so low, she was insulted. That was the end of my haggling days. The ring also lost its appeal after that.
Has the recession changed your spending habits?
No – I work in the arts so I had as little then as I do now. The one thing I’m very grateful for is that I have absolutely zero debt. Zero. I didn’t get caught up in the madness and I often thank my lucky stars for that.
Do you invest in shares?
No. I’ve witnessed how wrong investing in shares can go.
Cash or card?
I generally pay by card. When I’ve cash in my purse, I seem to hold on to it rather than witness it dwindle. But it’s good to hold real money. It reminds me that it actually exists and isn’t just a concept.
What was the last thing you bought and was it good value for money?
I bought a couple of glasses of wine seconds before being offered free glasses of prosecco, so no, it was terrible value. However, I’m pretty sure the glasses of wine didn’t go to waste in the end.
Have you ever successfully saved up for a relatively big purchase?
Yes, I have, but by the time I accumulated the cash, I didn’t want to make the purchase any longer. I still have the money. God, I’m a rock of sense.
Have you ever lost money?
Thankfully not, bar dropping the odd note here and there.
Are you a gambler and, if so, have you ever had a big win?
No, I’m not, but if I’m at the races, I’ll budget for a flutter!
Is money important to you?
I don’t have the security of a pensionable job so that plays on my mind. The phrase “the love of money is the route of all evil” swims around my head often when I look at what’s happening our society here and abroad. I often lament the inadequacies in funding for my industry and how the standard of our work doesn’t translate financially. However, I don’t equate money with success.
How much money do you have on you now?
In my purse, I have €13.35 in change and a full coffee card for Kate’s Kitchen in Sligo.