‘I rarely even have shrapnel in my wallet, let alone notes’
Me & My Money: Stephanie Patterson, divisional director of new homes, Lisney
Lisney’s Stephanie Patterson: ‘Haggling comes naturally to me. It’s almost a psychological thing.’
Are you a saver or a spender?
I am definitely a mix of both. I think it’s important never to let your bank balance go below a certain amount. This provides peace of mind and also gives me an idea of what I have for extra spending.
Do you shop around for better value?
As I work in sales, I tend to shop around if looking for a certain item. However, I won’t compromise on something that is good value or service, as you get what you pay for. If something represents value, paying for it often pays off.
What has been your most extravagant purchase and how much did it cost?
My first property. I have moved on from it since but have amazing memories and no regrets.
What purchase have you made that you consider the best value for money?
My watch. It’s a middle-of-the-road brand I bought about 12 years ago, and it has literally needed only one battery and link replacement. It still even gets the odd compliment!
How do you prefer to shop during the Covid-19 restrictions – online or local?
I tended to shop local and in bulk during Covid-19, to allow me to keep out of the shops as much as possible. Browsing is only something I started doing again recently – masked up and hand sanitising as I go.
Do you haggle over prices?
Haggling comes naturally to me. It’s almost a psychological thing. I think if I didn’t at least ask, I would walk away feeling I should have.
How has the Covid-19 crisis changed your spending habits?
Having, until recently, nowhere to go and with limited access to the usual retail haunts, my bank balance is at its healthiest in months. I didn’t succumb to random online purchasing, either.
Do you invest in shares?
I have looked into shares and used to own some Government bonds, but these days I prefer to siphon funds into my pension. I am keenly interested in property abroad and down the line will definitely be buying a little somewhere in the sun.
Cash or card?
It is 100 per cent card. I rarely even have shrapnel in my wallet, let alone notes. Thanks to contactless payments, online transfers and payments, my parking app and toll tag, I am basically cash-free.
What was the last thing you bought and was it good value for money?
I bought a supplementary vitamin I had run out of. Usually an item I would buy directly from the health food shop, I went online and was surprised to see it for sale on a number of pharmaceutical and nutrition-based sites. Definitely value for money, even after the cost of delivery.
Have you ever successfully saved up for a relatively big purchase?
Yes. Other than saving deposits for property and cars over the years, I put by money on a monthly basis to fund trips to places on my list to visit. I love to travel and enjoy visiting Spain and Portugal each year. I also used to live in London and would visit my friends there every few months if I could. I miss them at the moment, but sadly I think it will be 2021 before I set foot in the UK again.
Have you ever lost money?
I’ve bought things that have ended up costing me money, such as a car that devalued shockingly – when I went to sell it on, I found out it had been imported from the UK and clocked en route. Thankfully I had the advice of a super solicitor who ensured the offending garage took the car back, but the figures I bought and sold for were very different. You live and learn, and I won’t make that mistake again.
Are you a gambler and, if so, have you ever had a big win?
A gambler, no, but do I enjoy the odd flutter? I won €1,000 on a radio station quiz when I was a teenager, and that was huge! As for the lotto, winning €5 on a scratch card was the height of it.
Is money important to you?
Money provides security and peace of mind, and it is important for people to have enough to safeguard that. As with my attitude to saving, though, once there is enough in the bank to keep the wolf from the door, to cover the essentials and leave something for a rainy day, being happy in yourself and enjoying what you do to earn your money is more important.
How much money do you have on you now?
Physical money? I would say zero as I am largely debit card dependent. Actually, let me check. I have €3.50 in shrapnel. The cost of a cup of coffee or Luas fare – what more could I need?
In conversation with Tony Clayton-Lea