‘I can be scatty with money. I lost a sum of money last year’
Me and My Money: Geraldine King, CEO of National Recruitment Federation
Geraldine King, CEO, National Recruitment Federation
Are you a saver or a spender?
I’m definitely a spender, but I feel I am getting better at saving as I am getting older.
Do you shop around for better value?
When it comes to the business, yes I do, but in my personal life, I have to be honest and say no. In saying that, when I travel, I do look at different flight options.
What has been your most extravagant purchase and how much did it cost?
A handbag and shoes (I think it better not to say what they cost, other than a lot!), but I have gotten great use out of them – and so have my daughters.
What purchase have you made that you consider the best value for money?
It is definitely my house. We bought it 20 years ago, and I would hate to be buying it now.
How do you prefer to shop – online or local?
Up until recently I would have said a bit of both. I really like the experience of shopping and engaging with people but, due to time restraints, I am leaning towards online shopping more now. The delivery company knows me by name!
Do you haggle over prices?
No. In fact, never. Unless it was a bad service or a very bad meal in a restaurant, where I would think it was fair they did something about it, I would never haggle.
Has the recession changed your spending habits?
Yes, for sure. Like everyone else, I am not as impulsive as I used to be. I ask myself do I really need this before I purchase anything.
Do you invest in shares?
No, I don’t buy shares. In a previous career, I worked with a multinational company that awarded all employees shares with the option to purchase additional ones. That company had to pull out of Ireland due to a considerable downturn of business, and all the shares became worthless. A lot of people I knew who had bought some had big losses. That turned me off for life.
Cash or card?
Mainly card, but I carry some cash for emergencies or taxis – I have been caught out in the past when the taxi did not have a card machine.
What was the last thing you bought and was it good value for money?
The last thing I bought was yesterday, a shirt and trousers in Zara. I would consider them value for money.
Have you ever successfully saved up for a relatively big purchase?
When I started to drive I saved up for my first car. It was a 10-year-old Fiesta. It was a big deal back then and a substantial purchase to me.
Have you ever lost money?
Yes. I can be scatty with money sometimes and I lost a sum of money last year. It was never recovered. I retraced my steps and the places I was in, but no joy. It has taught me not to carry too much cash any more and to be much more careful.
Are you a gambler and if so have you ever had a big win?
I am probably the least likely person in Ireland to gamble. The only thing I gamble on annually is a horse in the Grand National, and that is only because my husband gives me the names to pick from. I went to Las Vegas a few years ago and walked through all the casinos without spending a dime.
Is money important to you?
Yes and no, as it is with most people, I think. Family, friends, and good health for my loved ones and myself are more important to me, but I do like nice things and to be able to buy what they or I need on a month-by-month basis.
How much money do you have on you now?
I have €125 and £50 in my purse. I travel to London a lot!
In conversation with Tony Clayton-Lea