‘I like to know that I am being treated as a loyal customer and getting a good deal’
Me & My Money: Aoife McGinley, head of operations, Bibby Financial Services Ireland
Aoife McGinley: ‘I have to be happy with what I do, who I work with and the culture of the organisation’
Are you a saver or a spender?
A bit of both – everything in moderation is what I say. I opened a savings account when I was 22. I was brought up to be sensible with my money and prepare for the future. That said, I also like to live in the moment, so I do splurge on things or experiences that are important to me, such as weekend breaks...or a nice handbag!
Do you shop around for better value?
It depends, but in general, if it is a big or long-term purchase, then yes. I like to know that I am getting the best deal that suits me and my circumstances. That doesn’t necessarily mean it has to be the cheapest price. I am quite the online shopper, so I spend time researching and comparing options.
What has been your most extravagant purchase and how much did it cost?
Probably the Zac Posen handbag I bought two years ago. It cost about €600 at the time, but it’s something I will treasure for years.
What purchase have you made that you consider the best value for money?
My home, although I do have a mortgage. I was lucky enough to buy at a time when the market had dipped and there was good value to be had. I bought what I could afford at the time, and now that the market has changed it represents very good value for money.
How do you prefer to shop – online or local?
My preference is online. I work hard during the week, so I like to spend my weekends relaxing and recharging if I can. When it comes to grocery shopping, however, I tend to shop local, as I prefer to choose my own fruit, veg and meat.
Do you haggle over prices?
I occasionally haggle, for example when shopping for car insurance or broadband. I like to know that I am being treated as a loyal customer and getting a good deal. Also, what is initially quoted is often not the best price they will give you.
Has the recession changed your spending habits?
At the peak of the recession, my discretionary spending changed completely. I think that, like a lot of people, I was more cautious and uncertain about the future, which led me to watch my spending on things I didn’t absolutely need.
Do you invest in shares?
It’s an area I would like to learn more about, but I just haven’t got to it yet.
Cash or card?
Always card. I’m renowned for never having cash on me. I also use online banking apps to manage my spending, budgeting and making transfers to friends or family. These are very user-friendly and the transfers are instant.
What was the last thing you bought and was it good value for money?
My wedding dress! I bought a sample dress in the store. I find the idea of spending lots of money on one dress for a few hours wear hard to fathom, so a sample dress purchase suited me in that they tend not to be as expensive. That said, it is now probably my most extravagant purchase!
Have you ever successfully saved up for a relatively big purchase?
I saved for the deposit for my home, something which took considerable time and effort but was a very proud moment for me in the end.
Have you ever lost money?
I don’t gamble so I haven’t lost in that sense, but I do have a habit of buying things that I then don’t use or wear. To me, that’s a loss and waste of money.
Are you a gambler and, if so, have you ever had a big win?
The largest bet I have ever placed was about €5, but we did have an office sweepstakes for the All-Ireland final last year. I correctly predicted the exact score in the game and won €30. The fact I got the score spot on, yet have no interest in GAA, has become my biggest win!
Is money important to you?
It is, but my health and happiness are definitely more important. I have to be happy with what I do, who I work with and the culture of the organisation.
How much money do you have on you now?
I have one €10 note. This is extremely surprising!
In conversation with Tony Clayton-Lea