‘I am in for the long haul and just have to keep faith that things will improve’

Me & My Money: Regina Bushell, chief executive of Groveland Childcare Plus, a midlands childcare and early learning service

Are you a saver or a spender?
For many years when my children were going to college, and during the recession, I had to save and keep a close eye on spending. At this stage of my life, I tend to buy what I want when I want it within reason.

Do you shop around for better value?
If I am going shopping for a particular item, I shop around and may travel outside of my home area of Athlone. I love finding a bargain.

What has been your most extravagant purchase and how much did it cost?
I spend money on the items I use every day and that give me enjoyment, such as my car, my home and my garden. I invested in a redesign of my kitchen, which cost me a substantial sum of money.

What purchase have you made that you consider the best value for money?
Paying for expert advice when planning the alterations to my home and garden was the best value for money. The experts I contacted saw the potential for change in design that I had not considered. Their recommendations made a fantastic difference to the overall look of what we were trying to achieve. Home is where I spend a good part of my day and it's lovely to be able to enjoy my surroundings.

How did you prefer to shop during the Covid-19 restrictions – online or local?
I shopped local during the pandemic. I sometimes shop online for heavy items as for health reasons I am unable to carry these any distance.

Do you haggle over prices?
Yes, sometimes I do. If I am buying more than one expensive item of clothing in a shop I ask for a discount – and I usually get it, too!

How has the Covid-19 crisis changed your spending habits, and is there something in particular that you have either stopped buying or started buying, as a result?
I had stopped buying lipstick as wearing a mask all the time meant it was pointless. I bought my first lipstick in two years a few weeks ago!

Do you invest in shares?
Yes, I do, and over the last few weeks with the way things are going in the world, I just don't look at them. I am in for the long haul and just have to keep faith that things will improve and that those managing them make the right, informed choices.

Cash or card?
Card all the way. It's fantastic to be able to have various methods of payment on my phone. No need for a bulky wallet in a small handbag.

What was the last thing you bought and was it good value for money?
A pair of pink suede high heels with diamanté on the toes to match a dress that I got for the Image PwC Business Women of the Year Awards. I got them for half price as I take a size four in shoes and often get a bargain because of my small feet. Happy days!

Have you ever successfully saved up for a relatively big purchase?Yes, for our first house.

Have you ever lost money?
Not cash, but our credit cards were stolen and used to the value of €4,500.

Are you a gambler and, if so, have you ever had a big win?
No, I don't gamble.

Is money important to you?
It is in that it gives me comfort to know that I am not in need. To balance my good fortune, I fundraise for and support a number of children's organisations through our childcare and early learning service.

How much money do you have on you now?
One €20 note and spare coins for parking for when I'm shopping around Athlone.

In conversation with Tony Clayton-Lea

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