‘I don’t know how I would have reacted if I was here during the boom’

Me & my money: Mike Cody, country manager, Just Energy


Are you a saver or a spender?
A bit of both, I guess now. I was brought up to really understand the value of money, so I tend to be fairly balanced in this regard.

Do you shop around for better value? Yes, I generally do. I like to think that I have done well when I shop. If I am shopping for high value items then I will definitely be doing my research first. I do, however, love impulse buying for low value items or shopping in bulk to activate discounts - much to the annoyance of my family.

What has been your most extravagant purchase ever and how much did it cost?
I bought the first wireless music system available back in about 2003. I can’t quite remember how much it was. It was a crazy amount for the time and my budget, but it was the latest technology then. Not only did I invest in the base station, but I bought sub-units for all around the house. It is in the attic now, but was great for all of about two years.

What purchase have you made that you consider the best value for money?
Any money spent on my family is truly rewarding. It could be the tiniest thing or smallest amount of money. The value comes in seeing their reaction and happiness for everything that they get.

What ways do you prefer to shop - online or local?
Local is great for day-to-day needs and requirements. You can’t beat the local butcher and local arts and crafts. For other purchases I would definitely consider online shopping.

Do you haggle over prices?
Not really. I may express some dissatisfaction sometimes, but I am mostly willing to walk away if I don’t think the price is reasonable. I would rather wait for something than feel like I overpaid for it.

Has the recession changed your spending habits?
I came to Ireland in late 2008, so I didn’t see the ‘boom’. I don’t know how I would have reacted if I was here during these years, but I am glad I missed it, to be honest. So the recession hasn’t changed me, I probably felt that this is the way things should be. I am glad to see that employment rates have recovered as this is key to the growth of any economy.

Do you invest in shares?
I did when I was younger, but not anymore. That was back in my spending years, and whilst some shares worked out for me, plenty did not. Seeing the collapse of ‘low risk’ shares was my exit from the stock market.

Cash or card?
These days very much card, but I always feel lost if I don’t have any cash on me.

What was the last thing you bought and was it good value for money?
A suit for work was my most recent purchase. These are always good value as I am always in a suit. My family don’t think I own any other clothes and that I could well have been born in a suit.

Have you ever successfully saved up for a relatively big purchase? My biggest saving effort was to pay off my student loans. I had five jobs at one point to get it paid as quickly as possible. As soon as I started working I began quickly repaying what I owed and managed to have it all paid off in less than two years.

Have you ever lost money?
When I was younger I always left a taxi with far less money than I should have done.

Are you a gambler and if so have you ever had a big win?
Any gambling I have done has been with my heart and not my head. If I disclose that I am an Aston Villa fan you will now realise that I have never had any big wins!

Is money important to you?
Yes, of course it is. I think money is important to everybody. In fact, the less money you have the more important it is. But the health of my family and myself is far more important than money any day of the week.

How much money do you have on you now?
€37.20 – somehow mostly in coins rather than notes.