‘It’s great to have the memories in real life, not just the cloud’
Me & My Money: Maxine Hyde, general manager, Ballymaloe Foods
Ballymaloe Foods general manager Maxine Hyde: ‘I’m not naturally organised and end up losing spare change, so I really prefer to use my card everywhere.’
Are you a saver or a spender?
I really try to be a saver but end up spending most of the time. I am saving for a mortgage and I am very strict about that.
Do you shop around for better value?
Yes, absolutely, but I do consider value not just to be about price but also quality and sustainability.
What has been your most extravagant purchase and how much did it cost?
A brand new Toyota Rav in 2013 for €28,000 (on a loan) that I still have. It has done many, many thousands of miles in Ireland and UK.
What purchase have you made that you consider the best value for money?
I booked Rebel Brass to play at our wedding – they’re a super Cork-based brass band of school kids who surprised everyone at the end of the wedding ceremony. They were really wonderful and great fun, a talented bunch.
How do you prefer to shop during the Covid-19 restrictions – online or local?
Both. I purchased some clothes online when shops were closed, and then really enjoyed having the time to buy more local during lockdown. I am a massive believer in buying small and local when you can, because it’s great to give small local start-ups a chance.
Do you haggle over prices?
Yes, where appropriate. Definitely in business, such as purchasing advertising space or event space attendance. The Irish business community has a negotiating culture, and I enjoy it. I got to train in negotiation during an international selling diploma course, although it’s not quite as appropriate when I’m at the checkout till at my local supermarket!
How has the Covid-19 crisis changed your spending habits?
I have saved money, mostly due to so many events being cancelled – weddings, travel opportunities, and the like – but as we had more time to cook at home, or outside with nice weather, I was buying more interesting foods and trying out new recipes.
Do you invest in shares?
No, I don’t. I don’t have a big salary or much spare cash. I do have a pension, though, which is an investment – hopefully.
Cash or card?
Card all the way. I don’t carry a handbag anywhere, just my phone, and that has my card tucked in the back. I’m not naturally organised and end up losing spare change, so I really prefer to use my card everywhere.
What was the last thing you bought and was it good value for money?
I printed and purchased photos of our family holiday in Kerry, and that was great value for money – it’s also great to have the memories in real life, not just the “cloud”.
Have you ever successfully saved up for a relatively big purchase?
Yes, my wedding and honeymoon last year! I’m very lucky that my wedding was last year and not this year. I really love a big party, lots of fun and food, and that was the aim of our wedding, but it did come at a cost. It was followed by a wonderful holiday in Costa Rica, where we spent most of our time outdoors, swimming, touring, and eating. I have no regrets about the money spent.
Have you ever lost money?
I remember losing £20 when I was about seven years old. That was such a large amount of money for my family in the early 1990s, and I was horrified.
Are you a gambler and, if so, have you ever had a big win?
I really enjoy betting on horse racing a couple of times a year at the big events, and have enjoyed small bets and small wins. I have, however, probably lost more than I have won.
Is money important to you?
Yes it is, because it’s a safety net if you find yourself without work or unable to work. Also, I absolutely love to travel and you need to have some savings for that.
How much money do you have on you now?
I have one €10 note.
In conversation with Tony Clayton-Lea