‘I think the recession was a lesson for everyone’
Me & My Money: Jo Davey, managing director of Absolute Nutrition
Jo Davey: “At the end of the day, money is necessary but a good family life filled with travel and experiences is what’s most important to me”
Are you a saver or a spender?
A saver. I’ve saved since I had my first job when I was 15. I always like to have something saved “just in case”.
Do you shop around for better value?
I’m big into spending a little extra to support local Irish food companies and to get the best possible quality of food. I won’t buy something because it’s the cheapest. You are what you eat, so I like to “invest” in the food we eat. In terms of holidays, clothes or back to school items, I shop around for the best value.
What has been your most extravagant purchase and how much did it cost?
I bought a mixer last year for my bakery at a cost of €25,000. Luckily, I received support from our Local Enterprise Office to help kit out my bakery. Personally, I don’t really buy expensive items. I would never spend money on a designer bag or anything like that, it’s just not my thing. I would rather spend money on eating out with my family or going away on trips with them.
What purchase have you made that you consider the best value for money?
My car. I have an old Merc estate. I need seven seats, and I need something reliable living in the mountains.
How do you prefer to shop – online or local?
For fresh food, I shop mostly in local stores. With four children, I do a big shop every week and then top up midweek. For everything else, like clothes, gifts, trips, and so on, I tend to shop online in the evenings.
Do you haggle over prices?
I would if I thought something was a little overpriced. If it’s good quality and value, I’d happily buy it though. When I started my own business, I was a vendor at Honest to Goodness Market in Glasnevin, Co Dublin for a year. I enjoyed the banter when someone tried to haggle with me. It always worked and I’d always cave in.
Has the recession changed your spending habits?
Yes, I think the recession was a lesson for everyone. I don’t use a credit card, I don’t get myself into unnecessary debt, and when the next recession comes around hopefully it won’t be as much of a shock as the last one was, because I am aware now of how difficult it can be. Having four kids has also changed my spending habits.
Do you invest in shares?
No, but I must.
Cash or card?
Mostly card, but I always need spare change around the house for school trips, kids birthday parties and little surprises like that.
What was the last thing you bought and was it good value for money?
I went to Budapest in January with my husband for a weekend and it was amazing. We stayed in an Airbnb that was recommended to us, and it was excellent value for money. I’d definitely go back.
Have you ever successfully saved up for a relatively big purchase?
We built our own house a few years ago. Before that, we had saved €70,000 to buy our site and get it build-ready.
Have you ever lost money?
Are you a gambler and, if so, have you ever had a big win?
I’m not a gambler. I’m always very cautious with money, and I suppose with a large family you need to be. I really don’t like wasting money.
Is money important to you?
It’s important that I have a secure lifestyle for my family. We work hard, we don’t need for anything, and we don’t spend unnecessarily or waste money. At the end of the day, money is necessary but a good family life filled with travel and experiences is what’s most important to me.
How much money do you have on you now?
I’m mostly a card user, as I say, but I have €20 in my car for “emergencies”.
in conversation with Tony Clayton-Lea