Me & My Money

Bríd O’Connell, Luxury Ireland

Are you a saver or a spender?
A bit of both. I have always saved, but when you work for yourself, you need a rainy day fund. I find I am spending a lot at the moment as we are in the early days of Luxury Ireland.

Do you shop around for better value?
I tend not to measure in monetary terms alone. My motto is "Buy once, buy quality". Anytime I buy cheap, I always regret it.

What has been your most extravagant purchase and how much did it cost?
A holiday home in the south of France – extravagant because I paid too much for it and never get to use it.

What purchase have you made that you consider the best value for money?
My family home. It's in a great location close to the sea, parks and super sports facilities.

How do you prefer to shop – online or local?
My favourite shops are Arnotts, Brown Thomas and Dundrum Town Centre; between these, you have everything covered. I think online is great for research and sourcing, but I actually love the experience of shopping. I hate grocery shopping, so I do that online.


Do you haggle over prices?
Absolutely. When you work for yourself, getting value for money is critical for me and my clients.

Has the recession changed your spending habits?
I was always prudent with money. If the recession has taught me one thing, it is how to manage my savings and investments myself. If I had been more proactive with that during the boom, I would probably be better off today.

Do you invest in shares?
Yes, but only in companies where I understand their business model.

Cash or card?
Always card – we are moving towards a cashless society now. But I pay immediately. I don't give the banks a penny extra than I have to.

What was the last thing you bought and was it good value for money?
An Aer Lingus ticket to London for sales calls to Russian, Brazilian and Chinese tour operators in the company of Tourism Ireland to inform them about Luxury Ireland. Good value for money? I believe it was.

Have you ever successfully saved up for a relatively big purchase?
Our first home. I worked two jobs – marketing by day, studying by weekend and fitness instructor by night.

Have you ever lost money?
I lot some money on my pensions. But by getting more involved at the start of the recession in a self-managed fund and learning more about my investments, I have pulled it back.

Are you a gambler and, if so, have you ever had a big win?
Gambling is a loser's game – I hate to see all the gambling channels and online portals developing. I won the prize bonds last year – €50!

Is money important to you?
I get more of a kick of making a success of a business. Yes, money is important because it's security, but it's not my world. Family, friends, health, education are important.

How much money do you have on you now?
€30 cash and credit cards.

In conversation with Tony Clayton-Lea