Me and My Money: Shane Kenny

Owner of Seapoint Restaurant, Monkstown, Co Dublin and Hospitality Aware

Shane Kenny: “Money for me is there to go around, not to be locked up and slowed down . . . Money is important to share.”

Shane Kenny: “Money for me is there to go around, not to be locked up and slowed down . . . Money is important to share.”


Are you a saver or a spender?

I would say both. These days I’m not saving for myself, but for stuff like my two girls’ college fees. It’s nice to spend on a nice bottle of wine, however, and there’s nothing better than dinner out with my wife.

Do you shop around for better value?

I always keep an eye on what is value for money. While I like to do a little shopping online, where there are obviously better prices, nothing beats real-life, in-store retail shopping. It almost feels better when you are offered even just that little discount before you pay.

What has been your most extravagant purchase and how much did it cost?

I reckon my most extravagant purchase was my first motorcycle. It was a brand new Harley Davidson Fat Boy. I had dreamed of owning a Harley all my life. It was in 2007, and cost me just short of €20,000. A lot of money for a motorcycle, I know, but I had felt some personal tragedy in my life and had saved long enough. Thanks to SSIA!

What purchase have you made that you consider the best value for money?

After riding motorcycles for most of my life, I would say the very best value and purchase has been my 125cc scooter that I got almost six years ago. Low tax, hardly any petrol cost, low insurance and absolutely no traffic.

How do you prefer to shop – online or local?

I much prefer to shop local. Unless, of course, for airline tickets or, at times, clothing for my kids. There is a more interesting experience when dealing with a sales person.

Do you haggle over prices?

Only when buying a car. When I lived in the US back in the 1990s, this was the most fun as you were never expected to pay the list price on the car that you are after. It’s more a game than haggle, I guess. The dealer will still make their money. You just don’t need to pay as much as advertised.

Has the recession changed your spending habits?

The recession has certainly changed my view on spending. I now steer clear of any advice that may involve the words: “It’s a no-brainer.” I now tend to take my time, even in the purchase of a new car.

Do you invest in shares?

I do not invest in shares. To date, it’s been property and my business, Seapoint Restaurant. Believe me, investing in the restaurant business back in 2008 took more than just being brave. I believe I have been investing in myself – and great people beat shares.

Cash or card?

I use my debit card and, when possible, I use the swipe or scan mode for amounts less than €30. (No bank charges!)

What was the last thing you bought and was it good value for money?

Being a gadget fan, I like the odd treat. I just bought some wireless headphones – Beats. Great for outdoors running.

Have you ever successfully saved up for a relatively big purchase?

I purchased my first wristwatch back in 1989. I was just 19, but had seen this fabulous Omega Seamaster in the window of a store in Zurich, where I was working as part of my second year in hotel school. It cost 770 Swiss francs, and it’s still on my wrist.

Are you a gambler and if so have you ever had a big win?

I am not a gambler, but I once owned the leg of a horse! With three other family members, we bought a racehorse back in 2005: he ran very well for a couple of years before being retired to hunt. I go to Leopardstown once a year and allow myself a little flutter. Thankfully I have no online tendencies.

Is money important to you?

Money for me is there to go around, not to be locked up and slowed down. I guess this is why it is referred to as currency! I believe if you let it travel and share it, it will always return. Money is important to share.

How much money do you have on you now?

I have just under a tenner, so that’s good for two coffees, a croissant and a tip. Another really important reason for cash – leave a tip!