‘I had laser eye surgery five years ago; it was supposed to last longer than this’

Me & My Money: Lisa McKenna, principal solicitor, McKenna and Co Solicitors

Are you a saver or a spender? 
I am definitely a spender when it comes to others, not so much myself.

Do you shop around for better value? 
Not really, as my decision to buy something is based on a number of factors: company reviews, the effort and the appreciation a company shows when you're buying something. I rarely buy something based on the price or the value alone.

What has been your most extravagant purchase and how much did it cost? 
I rarely purchase anything extravagant for myself. When I was younger and not necessarily wiser, for my wedding at Cabra Castle in Cavan I bought a fireworks display, which cost a couple of thousand euro. It was mad money now and at the time. Looking back, I don't think I'd bother with them but they were lovely on the night!

What purchase have you made that you consider the best value for money?
It would have to be my first home in Dublin. It was expensive, but I love it. It's where I spend the majority of my time, and I have put a lot of money into it for renovations to make the house a home. I feel very fortunate to own my own home.


How do you prefer to shop during the coronavirus restrictions – online or local? 
I always prefer to shop online, regardless of the restrictions. I think it can be a more efficient way of shopping, especially when you are busy. For birthday gifts and stuff like that that, you can get things wrapped and sent within a day or so, so it saves time at little extra cost.

Do you haggle over prices? 
No, I value and appreciate people's work and feel that haggling is devaluing that. The price is the price. You don't go into a shop and haggle over the price of an item on the shelf, so why haggle over a quote or price – unless, of course, it was a competitive market, which is different.

How has the coronavirus crisis changed your spending habits? 
It hasn't at all. I feel like I spend more during Covid because I'm trying to help as many small businesses as I can. So I'd be buying stuff I wouldn't normally buy. About a month ago, I bought a dress from a little boutique in Co Kildare. What's really nice is the appreciation from businesses for spending during this time. I give more to homeless people, also, because with fewer people on the streets, they must be getting less money.

Do you invest in shares?  
Prior to Covid-19, I did a small bit of share investment, but at the moment I don't.

Cash or card? 
Card always! I grew up in the era of cards so, from a young age, I was never one to carry cash.

What was the last thing you bought and was it good value for money? 
The last thing I bought was a pair of glasses from Specsavers. It was good value for money because I had laser eye surgery five years ago, and it was supposed to last much longer than this!

Have you ever successfully saved up for a relatively big purchase? 
My husband and I saved for the best part of a decade for our first house. It felt like a huge sense of accomplishment to have bought a house in Dublin at such a young age.

Have you ever lost money? 
No. As I'm originally from Cavan, it's in our genes not to lose money. Only joking!

Are you a gambler and if so have you ever had a big win? 
No, I have always been very much against gambling and don't buy lotto tickets or scratch cards. I am a strong believer that you make your own luck in life.

Is money important to you? 
Money is not important to me. For obvious reasons, we need money to live and survive but my mindset is to give as much as I can when I make money. I'm not someone who wants to save a whole pile of money in an account; I'd prefer to donate it and have an impact on someone else's life.

How much money do you have on you now? 
I prefer using my card all the time as it's more convenient, but I actually have about €20 in coins. I only carry cash on me to tip delivery drivers!

In conversation with Tony Clayton-Lea