‘I still really want to go to Las Vegas and put it all on black’
Me and My Money: Kevin Aherne, chef/owner, Sage Restaurant, Midleton
Kevin Aherne: “I’ve invested all my money in our home, my business and family.”
Are you a saver or a spender?
A spender – but I suppose you have to be able to save to spend big so in that case I’d be both.
Do you shop around for better value?
Yes, I would. I’d always get three prices for an item before purchasing it.
What has been your most extravagant purchase ever and how much did it cost?
The music system in my house. I’m a bit of a sound geek. I’d be too embarrassed to say how much it cost, but it’s class and I love it.
What purchase have you made that you consider the best value for money?
My chopping knife. It’s now 10 years old and cost me €40. I see young chefs spending a fortune on knives these days but for me, the chef makes the tool work, not the other way around.
What ways do you prefer to shop – online or local?
As local as possible and as often as possible. Shopping local is very important, creating local expenditure from doing business locally is a must.
Do you haggle over prices?
I love a good haggle! Negotiating the right price for all parties involved so each feels they have done well from the deal – that is probably what I would say if I didn’t like to haggle. The haggler always wants to do the best in each deal.
Has the recession changed your spending habits?
I find in the hospitality industry it’s tougher these days to turn turnover into profit. Running costs are constantly on the up. So I find the profit I make I’m less eager to part with.
Do you invest in shares?
I’ve invested all my money in our home, my business and family. Unfortunately, there’s not enough left over to buy shares, so no I don’t.
Cash or card?
Mostly cards these days. It’s easier to keep track of your spending. I do love a country pub, though, and not all have card machines so I’d have a few bob on me just in case.
What was the last thing you bought and was it good value for money?
A seafood platter in Ballycotton, Co Cork. The sun was shining and we were sitting out on the terrace. I had a cold beer and my wife was with me. I’d have paid double for the moment.
Have you ever successfully saved up for a relatively big purchase?
Yes. We have recently built a money pit on an acre, and so I wish I had been saving for longer. In saying that, we don’t take it for granted and feel very lucky to have our own home. There’s been a lot of late nights and early mornings at work in the hope of one day being able to build our home.
Have you ever lost money?
I used to play a little poker a few years back. Nothing major, so, fortunately, I’ve not lost money. I don’t tend to waste my money, so realising I’m no Phil Ivey I stopped playing while it was still fun.
Are you a gambler and if so have you ever had a big win?
Safe to say I would be a bit of a calculated risk-taker. I don’t gamble so I have never won big. In saying that, I still really want to go to Las Vegas and put it all on black.
Is money important to you?
Yes, of course. The most important things in life are free but nice things cost money. As a business owner, I’d be foolish to think it’s not important.
How much money do you have on you now?
Zero. I’m dressed in my kitchen gear.