Me and My Money: 2FM presenter Ciara King
‘I view a person’s heart and character as more important than their bank account’
Ciara King: “Maybe I should shop around but, if I’m being honest, I don’t have the patience.”
Are you a saver or a spender?
Unfortunately, I think I spend as much as I save, so it evens itself out. I have got smarter in the past couple of years in creating some sort of nest egg for myself, but I have to dip in and out of it every now and again, too, which defeats the purpose a little.
Do you shop around for better value?
No, I’m useless. Maybe I should shop around but, if I’m being honest, I don’t have the patience. I am getting better in terms of going to discount stores for household goods as opposed to paying full whack for them in supermarkets, but again, maybe that’s because there’s a discount store right around the corner from my house.
What has been your most extravagant purchase and how much did it cost?
Probably a package holiday that I went on to Italy last summer. It’s more expensive to book a holiday through a travel agent when you’re going on holiday on your own, but I desperately needed a break, and ended up paying over €1,000 for it. That’s the most I’ve ever spent on a holiday in my life. It was great, though. I got to see Verona, Venice and Lake Garda, so for me it was worth it.
What purchase have you made that you consider the best value for money?
A winter jacket that friends slagged me about as they said it was only fit for an Antarctic explorer and was too much [fur] for a mild enough autumn/winter in Ireland. I got the last laugh, however, when the Beast from the East reared its snowy head last March. I haven’t had much reason to wear it this summer, but if the snow returns I’ll be ready.
What ways do you prefer to shop – online or local?
I sometimes buy online, not very often, and usually just before Christmas. In a world where social interactions are diminishing and businesses are closing down because they can’t compete with online sales, I like to think I’m giving something back by shopping locally.
Do you haggle over prices?
I’m the worst haggler. I was not born to haggle at all!
Has the recession changed your spending habits?
I rent in Dublin, and a lot of us out there know how expensive that can be. That’s a large chunk of my wages gone every month. That’s the main change, really. I think as long as you are smart with your money, life can be lived on a budget. Well, my life anyway.
Do you invest in shares?
I don’t, I wish my brain was that way inclined. Friends of mine have got me interested in the workings of bitcoin and cryptocurrency but I don’t have enough money to invest.
Cash or card?
Card, and I’m far too tap happy. I tap for everything.
What was the last thing you bought and was it good value for money?
I just bought Matt Haig’s Notes on a Nervous Planet today in Dubray Books. It cost me €15, but I don’t know if it’s good value for money as I haven’t started it yet. I’ll have to let you know.
Have you ever successfully saved up for a relatively big purchase?
Yes, for a Canon camera worth about €500. I worked my ass off for a couple of months for that purchase. It was a present for someone else, but if I’m being honest I wish I had kept it!
Have you ever lost money?
I recently signed up for a course that I couldn’t complete because work got in the way and the times clashed, so I lost out as the course cost nearly €400. I got about €200 worth out of it. Also last week, I was distracted getting money out from an ATM on a very busy street in Dublin. I had my headphones in and was in another world, only to go to the shop, look inside my wallet and realise I had never taken the €50 from the machine. I went back to the ATM but the money was gone, obviously.
Are you a gambler and if so have you ever had a big win?
Not a gambler at all. If I put money on a horse for the Grand National or something it’s because I like the name of the horse, not the actual odds, so that might indicate my gambling habits. Every now and then I buy a lotto ticket, but mainly when I’m fed up with life, and looking for a whimsical way out of the mundane.
Is money important to you?
No, I view a person’s heart and character as being more important than what’s in their bank account. I don’t like conversations about money or about what so-and-so is worth. Having too much or too little money comes with its shared amount of problems, I’d imagine, but for some peace of mind I guess I’d prefer the former.
How much money do you have on you now?
I have €28.75 in my wallet right now, in a mixture of cash and coins. This is weird, as my wallet is almost always empty.