‘I live in hope that my saving habits will improve as I get older’

Aisling Finn, founder of book subscription company The Book Resort

Are you a saver or a spender?

I am definitely a spender, and I love shopping, much to my husband’s dismay. I live in hope that my saving habits will improve as I get older.

Do you shop around for better value?

Yes, I regularly switch energy providers and recently I had our home revalued and the mortgage interest rate decreased, which saves about €80 a month. I was delighted. Saying that, if I need something and I see it in a shop and the price is reasonable, I will just buy it. Value can often be about convenience and time, rather than just saving money.

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What has been your most extravagant purchase and how much did it cost?

We stayed in Hotel 27 in Amsterdam for two nights and it was over €1,200 just for the room. It was an experience that I will never forget. I have no hesitation in recommending that everyone should splash out every now and then.

What purchase have you made that you consider the best value for money?

I would have to say our home. We bought our house at the end of 2017, spent almost two years renovating it and it is now perfect. We have plenty of space for everyone (myself, husband, two sons, stepson and two dogs).

How did you prefer to shop during the Covid-19 restrictions – online or local?

I am a big shopper and I shop online and locally, both regularly. Shopping online has massive advantages: you can do it at 11pm on a Sunday night and if you are looking for something specific you will probably find it. However, nothing is the same as picking something up in a shop and buying it there and then.

Do you haggle over prices?

Absolutely, I haggle all the time at work, especially when buying in bulk. Outside of work, I don’t haggle in my local Centra but I absolutely would haggle if, for example, I was buying a car.

How has the Covid-19 crisis changed your spending habits?

I have definitely stopped browsing in shops, which I used to love. During Covid, when shops were open, I would go in and buy what I needed but did not linger. I have also become much more conscious of buying local and supporting Irish.

Do you invest in shares?

Not in shares, but I have invested in crypto. I think it’s worth a gamble, it’s an interesting concept and possibly has huge potential. I don’t look at it very often, but I know it’s there and maybe someday it might pay off.

Cash or card?

Both. We have a busy household with three teenagers so they always need cash for something, but I mainly use my card when out and about.

What was the last thing you bought and was it good value for money?

I bought a cake display stand in Dunnes for €30. Was it good value? I haven’t used it yet, but it makes our kitchen counter look quite pretty!

Have you ever successfully saved up for a relatively big purchase?

I am a terrible saver. When I was purchasing my three-piece suite, I had to wait six months for it to arrive so I paid a deposit and paid it off bit by bit before it arrived. It was close to €5,000 and it was definitely worth it. I need something sturdy with four men in the house.

Have you ever lost money?

No, that hasn’t happened and hopefully never will.

Are you a gambler and if so have you ever had a big win?

I had a maths teacher years ago who believed it was statistically impossible to win the lottery. Obviously, while a few people do win, I still have a fear of gambling ever since school.

Is money important to you?

Yes, money is quite important. It can solve problems and it can make your life easier. I would also like to ensure that my children are comfortable.

How much money do you have on you now?

I have €43, which will have magically disappeared in a few hours.

in conversation with Tony Clayton-Lea