‘Good clothes are always value for money’
Me & My Money: Patrick Hyland, tenor in The Puccini Scandal
Patrick Hyland: “Horse racing is in the blood, but If you want to hear about my big wins you will be waiting a while”
Are you a saver or a spender?
I am a saver when I can but I’m not afraid to spend money. I think it is always important to have some money put aside for the lean periods. In the business I am in, there can be some of those.
Do you shop around for better value?
It depends on what I am buying. When I am buying clothes I will shop around. However, I have no problem spending money on good food or eating out.
What has been your most extravagant purchase and how much did it cost?
I studied history and politics for my degree at UCD. I have always been interested in history, with a particular interest in local history. I had heard about a print by Henry Barraud of the Prince of Wales, the future King Edward VII, visiting Punchestown in 1868. The print depicts the prince surrounded by his entourage, what looks like the elite of racing society during that period, and the general public. The opportunity came up to buy one of the original prints. I don’t think I can say how much it cost, but it was definitely above my budget.
What purchase have you made that you consider the best value for money?
My current iPad. About five years ago when I was working in Glyndebourne Opera House a friend of mine convinced me to buy one. Best purchase ever.
How do you prefer to shop – online or local?
I prefer to shop local. We have to support our local shops and businesses, and I am always conscious of doing so. Obviously, there are things you have to buy online and that’s great, but my first thought is always “can I buy this in Naas?”
Do you haggle over prices?
I think people who haggle are great, but I just don’t have it in me to do it. I was in Turkey some time ago and I haggled for a top. I thought that I was fantastic until I saw it for half the price two shops down the way. So that’s me and haggling done with.
Has the recession changed your spending habits?
I had just finished my degree in UCD when the recession was in full swing. I think I was generally more conscious not to buy things I didn’t really need.
Do you invest in shares?
I know very little about shares so I would not feel comfortable investing in them. I feel you should always invest in things you know about, care about and have a real passion for.
Cash or card?
Paying by card is becoming the norm now, I guess. That said, if I find myself walking around without my wallet I feel there is a voice at the back of my head telling me I am missing something.
What was the last thing you bought and was it good value for money?
A new suit. Good clothes are always value for money.
Have you ever successfully saved up for a relatively big purchase?
I saved up to buy a new piano a few years ago. I knew what I wanted, and I have to say it was totally worth it.
Have you ever lost money?
Not really. I am cautious enough, or boring, if you like!
Are you a gambler and if so have you ever had a big win?
A gambler always only tells you about the big wins they have had. I grew up near Punchestown Racecourse. Horse racing is in the blood, but if you want to hear about my big wins you will be waiting a while.
Is money important to you?
Money certainly isn’t everything. However, I can appreciate the sentiment of the guy who said something like ‘in my life, I was down in myself both with and without money, but trust me, it is easier with money’.
How much money do you have on you now?
Not too bad – €96.75!
in conversation with Tony Clayton Lea