‘I bought a boat. That sounds impressive, but it was stupid and unnecessary’
Me & My Money: Paul Kelly, managing director of Trusted Advisors Group
Paul Kelly: “I take out some cash every week and work my way through it”
Are you a saver or a spender?
I have switched to being a saver after a lifetime of being a bit of both. A recent house purchase and first born prompted this in the last few months. My secret stash is slowly diminishing.
Do you shop around for better value?
For big things, I will. For day-to-day, I am prone to convenience over cost. Whatever is handiest, sadly, on low-ticket purchases.
What has been your most extravagant purchase and how much did it cost?
I bought a boat a few years ago. That sounds impressive, but I would substitute stupid and unnecessary. It was an impulse purchase. It wasn’t in good shape, and I quickly sold it on due to my complete lack of knowledge of all things nautical.
What purchase have you made that you consider the best value for money?
The recent purchase of a Volvo S80 has turned out to be the most sensible of things. It runs like a dream with little maintenance and has held its value nicely.
How do you prefer to shop – online or local?
I shop locally. I don’t have an Amazon account, or the like, as I tend to buy what I can see. I like the process of going in and buying, for example, a book.
Do you haggle over prices?
Not in retail, but I would in business and on bigger things for the house.
Has the recession changed your spending habits?
Yes, I think the recession for my generation and people, in general, has shaken them out of a lot of bad habits that had crept in, such as complacency and excess. The focus and openness on the importance of value have been a beneficial by-product of the recession.
I think a great example of this is the likes of Aldi and Lidl – many people wouldn’t have shopped there pre-2008.
Do you invest in shares?
No, and I never will, and I never understand why people do so directly.
Cash or card?
Cash. Cards are dangerous. Tapping for anything under €30 facilitates poor day-to-day money management. I take out some cash every week and work my way through it.
What was the last thing you bought and was it good value for money?
I always buy three or four good new suits for work in the post-Christmas sales to help me survive the year.
Have you ever successfully saved up for a relatively big purchase?
I have never had a loan for a car since starting to drive at 20. I always purchased out of what I have, and the Volvo S80 is my most recent. Beyond that, the house is the only big thing, and that wasn’t a cash purchase, sadly.
Have you ever lost money?
No. I would be sharp enough with money and how I part ways with it. I have been lucky to miss a lot of the issues people have faced since 2008. I am a cash person, so I constantly lose and find notes here and there in different items of clothing.
Are you a gambler and if so have you ever had a big win?
I’m not a gambler – I take the losses too personally.
Is money important to you?
I think any person who says money isn’t important probably hasn’t recently, or ever, felt what it’s like without it. There is a difference, though, between being comfortable and wanting lots of money. Comfort is important to me. Money cannot buy happiness, but being without it generally results in plenty of unhappiness.
How much money do you have on you now?
I have €70 on me. I would always carry cash to avoid using card, so I know what I take out every couple of days.
in conversation with Tony Clayton-Lea