‘I get a thrill when my online shopping arrives’

Me & My Money: Siobhán Harton, artist/illustrator  

Siobhán Harton: ‘I’ve saved mainly for travel. I love to travel and experience new places and new cultures.’

Siobhán Harton: ‘I’ve saved mainly for travel. I love to travel and experience new places and new cultures.’

 

Are you a saver or a spender?
I love to think I’m a saver, but at the moment my bank account tells me differently, which means I’m definitely a spender. Lockdown is making saving easier though.

Do you shop around for better value?
Yes, I always shop around. Maybe not for a better price, but definitely better quality and value. I like comparing products, so I shop around before purchasing the likes of insurance, travel, car, clothes, furniture.

What has been your most extravagant purchase and how much did it cost?
Probably my around-the-world trip, which cost me €10,000. It was the summer before my final degree year in interior architecture. My friend Mary was moving to Australia and I decided I would travel with her for a couple of months. We travelled across South America, Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Chile, Fiji, New Zealand, and then the east coast of Australia, from Cairns to Sydney. A trip of a lifetime, and well worth the money.

What purchase have you made that you consider the best value for money?
I love buying art. I buy an art piece from an Irish artist every Christmas.

How do you prefer to shop during the Covid-19 restrictions – online or local?
I like the convenience of shopping online. I also get a thrill when it’s delivered, even though I bought it and know what it is. I get the same feeling every delivery, as if I’m getting a present.

Siobhán Harton: ‘I was brought up with the belief that my health is my wealth.’
Siobhán Harton: ‘I was brought up with the belief that my health is my wealth.’

Do you haggle over prices?
I have been known to haggle – mainly at markets – when travelling. The older I get the less haggling I do, as I know the amount of time and energy that goes into a business.

How has the Covid-19 crisis changed your spending habits?
Yes, it has changed it a lot. Most of the time, I only buy food during the week. I haven’t bought many clothes this [year] or last year. No travelling, no eating out, no going out either. I’ve been investing more in my health and wellbeing.

Do you invest in shares?
No, because first I want to purchase a home. That will take up all my financial focus for the foreseeable.

Cash or card?
Card. I get into trouble not having cash on me sometimes, especially in rural areas where they don’t accept cards. I am very proud of not having a credit card. I got rid of it after college as soon as I paid it off. If I can’t afford it, I’ll do without.

What was the last thing you bought and was it good value for money?
A picture frame. I gave a gift of art for Valentine’s Day and got it framed. I like good-quality frames. Yes, it was good value for the quality, customer experience and the final outcome.

Have you ever successfully saved up for a relatively big purchase?
I’ve saved mainly for travel. I love to travel and experience new places and new cultures. I always find after travel [that] you come back with a new love for life.

Have you ever lost money?
One time – it was the sum of £60. My mum gave it to me on a Sunday evening for college. It was to do me for the week. Needless to say, she was not impressed. Other than that, thankfully, no.

Are you a gambler and, if so, have you ever had a big win?
I wouldn’t have a clue how to bet or bid on anything. I have bought the Lotto from time to time, but no, I never had a big win.

Is money important to you?
Yes and no. I was brought up with the belief that my health is my wealth and after an accident last year, this was never more true. I see the value in money, however, as it can take away a lot of stress and burden but let’s just say it is not my god.

How much money do you have on you now?
In cash, €50.

In conversation with Tony Clayton-Lea

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