It’s all about my girls, my company and my car
Me and My Money: Shona McManus, owner and chief executive of Osborne Recruitment Consultancy, osborne.ie
Shona McManus: ‘Financial security is important for my girls and myself to live and provide well, but it’s not my number one personal motivator.’ Photograph: Monica Hadarean
Are you a saver or a spender?
In the past I would definitely say I was a spender. When money allowed, nearly every penny would go on childcare, day-to-day expenses and life experiences. However, over the past two years, my habits have changed as I’m saving for a new house. So now I’m a saver and proud.
Do you shop around for better value?
Yes, for everything from the best bargain in the supermarket to the best cost insurance. However, quality is also important to me so I will sacrifice pennies for quality in some cases; for example, buying organic vegetables or the best quality meat for my girls. Everything balances out as I search for the best deal on day-to-day products or wait until the brands I like are on special offer and buy in bulk.
What has been your most extravagant purchase and how much did it cost?
A shiny, brand new black car – just shy of €50,000 in 2008. A top of the range HP laptop for approximately €2,000, and every two months I buy an anti-wrinkle face cream, €85, and eye cream, €80, to fight the laughter lines. I would consider these last two to be a bit extravagant, as I’m not a brand person and tend not to spend lots of money on products or designer brand clothes, shoes or handbags!
What purchase have you made that you consider the best value for money?
My current car and my company.
How do you prefer to shop – online or local?
Both. With a hectic lifestyle, online shopping is great and some products I shop for are only available in locations that require a bit of travel. However, I love to shop when I have the time and the patience.
Do you haggle over prices?
Yes, always for big purchases or from suppliers at work or at a market. Never in a shop or store.
Has the recession changed your spending habits?
Yes, absolutely! The recession was awful and, with reduced salary, high living costs and the cost of childcare for two children at the time, it was crippling. Now that I am earning a half-decent salary again, as well as saving for a specific purpose to buy a house, I also have great comfort in knowing there is some money set aside in savings for a rainy day.
In both business and my personal life, I now think very clearly about what I am about to buy or what agreements I am about to enter. I also think what the effect might be and what my/our exit/repayment strategies would look like should a recession or some type of curve ball strike.
Do you invest in shares?
Not currently other than in Osborne.
Cash or card?
Both, but more and more card only.
What was the last thing you bought and was it good value for money?
A new car again, and yes, it was great value for money.
Have you ever lost money?
Not through negative equity or gambling, but certainly through squandering it in the past and not being considerate of my expenditure with regard to eating out and socialising, etc.
Are you a gambler and, if so, have you ever had a big win?
I’m not a gambler in a casino or betting way, but you could say in a business way. The day I took over Osborne, both my team and myself won big.
Is money important to you?
Financial security is important for my girls and myself to live and provide well, but it’s not my number one personal motivator.
How much money do you have on you now?
In my bag I have €150.70, although I usually don’t carry that much cash. I also probably have a couple of euro in loose change in my car.