Me & My Money
Deirdre O’Donovan, development manager, West Cork Chamber Music Festival
Deirdre O’Donovan, development manager, West Cork Chamber Music Festival: “It’s important enough to keep stress at bay. Money counts as nothing compared to health.”
Are you a saver or a spender?
I’m a spender, but not beyond my means. Well, not too much beyond the credit card’s means.
Do you shop around for better value?
That depends on the purchase. We just got a Lidl in my town and I’m accruing a Lidl load! When it comes to clothes, I can wear very expensive shoes with a Gap T-shirt on sale – but I try and get the shoes on sale, too!
What has been your most extravagant purchase and how much did it cost?
A painting that cost £1,300. This was 15 years ago before other expenses took over, such as mortgages, and so on. I still love it.
What purchase have you made that you consider the best value for money? My apartment in Westminster, London. As for “best value” – we’ll have to see what Brexit brings, I guess.
How do you prefer to shop – online or local?
I much prefer to shop local where and when I can, especially since I live in a small town. When I lived in the city, I wasn’t as concerned, but I should have been.
Do you haggle over prices?
I don’t really have great success at this or have the nerve – except abroad at a market. I don’t haggle with the big corporates, so why pick on the small guy? Unless that is, you know it’s a ridiculous price and the seller is chancing it.
Has the recession changed your spending habits? I’d like to think so. To be honest, it’s so easy to slip back into spending mode, but the variation isn’t great, anyway. It’s not like I ever spent money on luxury cars or the like.
Do you invest in shares?
Cash or card?
Oh, God, card, although it’s possibly out of sheer laziness. Even my local coffee shops take cards now, so I’m doomed to know what I actually spend day-to-day.
What was the last thing you bought and was it good value for money?
A coffee table/trunk at O’Sullivan’s second-hand furniture shop in Bantry. The owner has great bargains, and you can find the coolest of pieces others might think are naff.
Have you ever successfully saved up for a relatively big purchase?
Not really. I was fortunate to be able to borrow for property deposits.
Have you ever lost money?
When I was a nanny while at college in New York, I left all my money for the week on the roof of a car that I was unlocking – $200! That was all I had for the week. It was extremely painful, as it was totally my own fault.
Are you a gambler and, if so, have you ever had a big win?
No, but I did win money on Red Rum winning the Grand National when I was a child. I grew up in a pub and we were all in a pool. When I won, my father made me buy everyone in the pub a drink! So now that I think of it, he was the winner.
Is money important to you?
No, not really. It’s important enough to keep stress at bay. It counts as nothing compared to health. I would, however, love a little more for the freedom it allows you, as long as you use it for that aim and not to acquire more things.
How much money do you have on you now?
I have €67 – totally flush!
In conversation with Tony Clayton-Lea