‘I don’t have that much stuff at all, but I do a lot of really great things’

Me and My Money: Jonathan Pearson, founder of Islander Music and the Quiet Lights Festival

Are you a saver or a spender?
This is a complex one. I do put a small amount away each month but also take out a small amount when needs be. I'll ashamedly say spender for this question, too much YOLO-ing to be done.

Do you shop around for better value?
For things like music gear for Crash Ensemble, for whom I'm the concerts manager, and other bits and bobs for the events I run or musical groups I work with, absolutely. For more everyday stuff, I don't really take that much time over it.

What has been your most extravagant purchase and how much did it cost?
I've been trying to think of something extravagant that I've bought, but there's nothing really. My car is probably my 'biggest' item, but I also spend a lot on travelling, whether it be working remotely from Iceland, which I do regularly, or booking flights to somewhere random for a weekend. That's about as extravagant as I get.

What purchase have you made that you consider the best value for money?
Ah, this is boring, but it has to be the car. It's essential to me, and it has brought me to every corner of the country. It housed two giant caravan batteries for a summer when Crash Ensemble was doing its CrashLands tour. It also acts as a portable merch shop for the bands I manage, and I'm usually surrounded by people I like a lot whilst in it.


How do you prefer to shop – online or local?
I don't buy much stuff in general, really, but if it were something like clothes, definitely local. I can't get into buying clothes online, but I'm not at all against the idea of buying other items online. I just don't fancy the trips to the An Post depot to pick it up when they try to deliver it and I'm out.

Do you haggle over prices?
Not really, no. What would you be haggling about in Ireland, like? I recently tried to haggle someone down on a cottage on an island off Ireland (where Ye Vagabonds are touring) but I got nowhere with it, even though they're totally overpriced! But, sure look…

Has the recession changed your spending habits?
I was in college during the recession, and so had no money, really. When I started college, all our lecturers were saying how many jobs there were and by the time we finished, there was nothing. My spending habits seem to be pretty stable, though.

Do you invest in shares?
I don't. I find them interesting, but I'd want to have a lot of disposable income to be entertaining that idea. I'd love to give it a bash in the future, though.

Cash or card?
Card, always. It would be incredibly rare that I have cash, and I've turned into one of those fellas who tuts silently in 'cash only' places and vows to never go there again (of course, I end up going there again). I've been recently thinking of switching back to cash, though – there's less of the guilts when you look in the account at what you spent your money on!

What was the last thing you bought and was it good value for money?
The last thing I bought was a coffee here in Reykjavík. This being Reykjavík, it is very safe to say it is not good value for money. It cost about €5 and it's only a black coffee, but this particular café does refills so actually it's not too bad.

Have you ever successfully saved up for a relatively big purchase?
My 'relatively big purchases' per year pretty much all revolve around my car, whether it be the servicing, tax or insurance, or a new car entirely. That's what I save up for. I try to keep the same laptop and phone for more than that, but I would save up for them, as well as for various trips I'd go on.

Have you ever lost money?
I recently thought I had lost an entire fee for a headline show in Dublin by one of the bands I manage. I eventually found it in an envelope in my dad's place in Cork. Phew! But yeah, I've lost notes here and there, as well as being scammed once by paying for hosting that was actually a Chinese front. Gutted about that one.

Are you a gambler and if so have you ever had a big win?
Beyond my mates' World Cup sweepstakes, I haven't gambled. I'm impressively wrong about most sporting results, despite following them with keen interest. Actually, I might throw a fiver on Mourinho to go before Christmas, now that I've started thinking about it.

Is money important to you?
It is, but I don't respect it as much as I probably should. Usually, I prefer to spend money on things I like doing, rather than saving for a rainy day, or buying lots of stuff. I don't have that much stuff at all, but I do a lot of really great things, so that's how I value money's importance.

How much money do you have on you now?
70 Icelandic krona (about 50 cent) and all my various cards, which have different amounts in them.

in conversation with Tony Clayton-Lea

The Quiet Lights Festival takes place in Cork from September 7th to 9th. quietlights.net