‘Haggling is day-to-day business for me’
Me & My Money: Kenneth Rouse, managing director, BNP Paribas Real Estate Ireland
Kenneth Rouse: ‘I got a good deal to Disneyland Paris last year and loved seeing the magic through the eyes of my six-year-old daughter’
Are you a saver or a spender?
Probably a bit of both. I am cautious with money and believe in having something for a rainy day, but I also like to live life to its fullest, which isn’t always cheap or free!
Do you shop around for better value?
I think every person nowadays looks for bang for their buck. I am a creature of habit and tend to shop at the same places and choose the same brands, especially where the quality and the customer service or experience goes above and beyond expectation.
What has been your most extravagant purchase and how much did it cost?
My uncle is a jeweller in Ballina, and I recently bought a very nice watch from him to mark a special milestone in my career. I hope it is one that appreciates in value but, in any case, it will certainly be passed on to the next generation.
What purchase have you made that you consider the best value for money?
I got a good deal to Disneyland Paris last year and loved seeing the magic through the eyes of my six-year-old daughter, Ellie. Priceless.
How do you prefer to shop – online or local?
I try to get a balance. Working in real estate, I am definitely aware of supporting local, especially smaller retailers, as it is a tough environment for them in this digital age. Also, my family in Ballina are all in business, so I know the value of local support and the importance of earning it. My dad has a great saying about business that always stuck with me: “Lay your eggs where you pick your grain”.
Do you haggle over prices?
Haggling is day-to-day business for me. I do it for clients all day every day. It’s just the nature of the sector I work in. In terms of my own purchases, I would haggle where it is appropriate, and if I feel there is a better deal to be had.
Has the recession changed your spending habits?
I was in my mid-20s when the recession really hit home. I didn’t have that much money to spend anyway, but it certainly made me more conscious of value for money. I love storing up the odd product like toothpaste or detergent when it’s on promotion in the supermarket.
Do you invest in shares?
I have a small portfolio of shares and take a very passive interest. Through work, I have a managed pension portfolio with a healthy weighting in equities.
Cash or card?
Since the advent of touch pay and Apple Wallet, I pretty much rely solely on card.
What was the last thing you bought and was it good value for money?
I bought a puppy for my daughter. He brings her lots of joy, teaches her responsibility and makes the world a livelier place.
Have you ever successfully saved up for a relatively big purchase?
Nothing exciting – my house and my car, which are, I suppose, the two main purchases in most people’s lives.
Have you ever lost money?
Along with half the country, I lost money on Irish bank shares in the late 2000s.
Are you a gambler, and if so, have you ever had a big win?
I don’t gamble as such, but on the Sam Maguire I would have a friendly bet with my close pals. I am from Mayo, so still waiting for that elusive big win. I reckon 2020 will definitely be the year!
Is money important to you?
I am motivated by success, and financial reward sometimes comes with that. I would like to think I would always have enough money, especially to look after my family, but I suppose “enough” is a fairly subjective term.
How much money do you have on you now?
No cash, just my bank card.
In conversation with Tony Clayton-Lea