Me & My Money: ‘Dublin has become a very expensive place to live’

Nuala Woulfe – owner/director Nu Aesthetics Clinic and Serenity Day Spa

Nuala Woulfe: “I don’t believe we have learned enough lessons as to why we had a recession in the first place.”

Nuala Woulfe: “I don’t believe we have learned enough lessons as to why we had a recession in the first place.”

 

Are you a saver or a spender?
I don’t have a lot of free time, so wandering around shops does not happen regularly. But, as they say, you cannot take it with you, so no harm to enjoy spending it when the opportunity arises.

Do you shop around for better value?
Yes, I would, but quality will win out when looking for value. In business, I will spend some time checking out new equipment to assess the best quality, ability to achieve results, etc.

What has been your most extravagant purchase and how much did it cost?
A pair of Jimmy Choo sandals – beautifully high-heeled, made of satin straps. I was in Harvey Nichols trying on an outfit for a wedding and a very nice assistant asked if I would like to try some sandals. They were €325. I hoped they would not fit, but they did and nothing else that I had at home looked anything as good. I wore them lots – I still have them. I do not spend a lot on clothes, so the sandals were worth the splurge.

What purchase have you made that you consider the best value for money?
Last year I was looking to change my car, and I had decided to buy a hybrid. As I was about to decide on one car, a friend called to say he had seen a 2016 car with low mileage for less than the 2014 car that I was looking at. It was the same car, same colour, so it turned out to be a great value.

How do you prefer to shop – online or local?
I shop local as much as possible. I work in the lovely seaside village of Glasthule and we have a great variety of shops locally, so I am happy to support the local community. I am also a great fan of farmers’ markets.

Do you haggle over prices?
Yes! In business, absolutely, and when it comes to buying bigger items, I would always look for the best price. I would not haggle in local or small shops.

Has the recession changed your spending habits?
Not really, as I still have the same expenses and I have not noticed any reduction in any of them. Unfortunately, Dublin has become a very expensive place to live. I don’t believe we have learned enough lessons as to why we had a recession in the first place. Property prices have escalated at a ridiculous rate and the cost of living is very high.

Do you invest in shares?
No, I do not. I probably need to start with the lottery tickets first. If I have success there then I can look to invest my winnings in shares.

Cash or card?
For convenience, I use card. Again, this is very often a time issue. I do all business and personal banking online, which is very convenient.

What was the last thing you bought and was it good value for money?
I bought a pair of jeans in the Christmas sales reduced from €295 to €90. They are really good quality, so they were a great bargain. I don’t believe that money has any great value any more unless you have an awful lot of it.

Have you ever successfully saved up for a relatively big purchase?
In the early days of setting up my business, I saved personally to buy pieces of equipment. There is a great sense of satisfaction when you save the money to buy something outright.

Have you ever lost money?
No, not that I can think of, other than the many hundreds of euro spent on lottery tickets over the years.

Are you a gambler and, if so, have you ever had a big win?
Yes, I would enjoy the occasional gamble. Over the years, I have had some success on the horses, but unfortunately nothing to allow me to retire soon.

Is money important to you?
Once I have enough, not to have to worry about it, and the bills get paid, I am okay. In business, I am cautious with money as I have 23 staff, so I have a responsibility to them to ensure that the business is well run.

How much money do you have on you now?
I have the grand sum of €43 with some coins at the bottom of my bag. Interestingly, the coins at the bottom of my bag rarely let me down when I go looking to pay for small items.

in conversation with Tony Clayton-Lea

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