Are you a saver or a spender?
I am naturally a spender. My grandmother used to say money burned a hole in my pocket and she was not wrong. I have become a bit more focused on saving in recent years, however, mainly because I married a saver and he has helped me to see the benefits.
Do you shop around for better value?
When it comes to something I want, I generally just go for it. But in the supermarket, I love a bargain and often find myself with a trolley full of 2-for-1 offers, which usually means I have bought a load of stuff that I do not really need.
What has been your most extravagant purchase and how much did it cost?
It was a Mulberry handbag and the cost per wear is down to about €1 now! It was something I wanted for ages and one of the things I saved up for. I bought it after my son was born so it has sentimental as well as material value.
What purchase have you made that you consider the best value for money?
I bought three pairs of Lululemon gym leggings two years ago and now, because I am working from home and generally in leggings, they owe me absolutely nothing. They were expensive but they are brilliant quality and last absolutely ages. Worth the investment.
How do you prefer to shop during the Covid-19 restrictions – online or local?
Local. I still buy from mainstream supermarkets but try to buy from local butchers, bakers, and smaller shops as much as possible. Lots of local pubs and restaurants have opened shops to get by and I try to buy from them because I want them to still be there when all this is over.
Do you haggle over prices?
When it comes to purchases for the home, I always go in with notions of haggling. Any attempt I have ever made has ended in me paying the asking price or somehow paying more because I have agreed to a ‘special feature’. So no, I would not describe myself as a haggler.
How has the Covid-19 crisis changed your spending habits?
I probably spend a lot more on food now and because I am in the house all day. I am constantly finding things that need to be fixed or updated.
Do you invest in shares?
To be honest, I would not know where to start.
Cash or card?
Card all the way. I use my phone to pay for everything. I had gone that way anyway, but Covid has made carrying cash almost useless now because so many places request card. Mainly for nostalgic reasons, I would not like to see an entirely cashless society. It is very hard for a grandmother to slip a tenner to their grandchild with a “tap”.
What was the last thing you bought and was its good value for money?
A Dyson cordless hoover. We have a golden retriever, so I am constantly having to hoover the place. Getting the Dyson has made things so much easier – they really do what they say on the tin.
Have you ever successfully saved up for a relatively big purchase?
Aside from the Mulberry handbag, probably my wedding in Spain. We bought a house the year before we got married so we were in the thick of gutting an old house and saving for a wedding at the same time. I am sure I complained at the time, but it was all worth it, so I would happily save to do it again in the morning.
Have you ever lost money?
I lost €50 out of a coat pocket once and I am probably not over it. As regards investments or more material losses – thankfully, the answer is no. While I am a spender, I am pretty risk averse when it comes to potential losses.
Are you a gambler and if so, have you ever had a big win?
I am a small-time gambler. I love a scratch card and you might find me putting a €2 each way bet on a horse if I am at the races. The most I have ever won is €50 on a horse, and that was because I bet on one that was 100/1.
Is money important to you?
Yes, in that it allows me to do the things I want to do with my family, but it is most definitely not the be all and end all. I count myself very lucky to be in a dual-income household, and do not take that for granted.
How much money do you have on you now?
I have a €2 coin in my pocket and that is because I have just been to Aldi and needed it for the trolley. Most days, I would have absolutely zero cash on me.