Are you a saver or a spender?
A little of both, to be honest. I save regularly into different savings accounts. However, I love to shop for the different seasons and enjoy going out for a meal on my days off.
Do you shop around for better value?
Absolutely I do, especially for hotel breaks and holidays. I always think it’s important to shop around and try where best to contact the hotels directly.
What has been your most extravagant purchase and how much did it cost?
I remember about 15 years ago seeing a beautiful winter coat in a local shop in Limerick, which is where I’m from. The minute I tried it on I adored it, but I then looked at the price tag and saw it was €440!
I knew the owner to see, so I said to myself that I’d ask for a discount. When I went to the cash desk and asked for him, he wasn’t there. The shop attendant said all they were allowed give is 1 per cent. I waited for him to come back and asked him myself. That was the best decision I made, as he gave me 10 per cent off. I still have that coat and wear it for special occasions.
What purchase have you made that you consider the best value for money?
We bought a lovely house in Kilcullen two years ago. We were very lucky as the day we bought our new house in Kilcullen was the day we sold the house we were living in at the time.
How do you prefer to shop – online or local?
I think it’s so important to support your locality. I always make a conscious effort to do it, and I love to support the individual/family-run shops. I make a particular effort for birthdays and Christmas to buy in Kildare.
Do you haggle over prices?
I do a bit. I find it easier over email rather than face-to-face, though.
Has the recession changed your spending habits?
Of course it has. I think we are all more conscious of our purchases and are constantly looking for good value.
Do you invest in shares?
Yes. The company I save with does that for me.
Cash or card?
I do both. I always go to the ATM to take some money out each week so that I have it for small purchases during the week. For larger purchases, I use my card.
What was the last thing you bought and was it good value for money?
Some flights to Gran Canaria from Ryanair. They had a sale on the weekend I bought them and I think it was the best value flights I’ve gotten in a good few years.
Have you ever successfully saved up for a relatively big purchase?
I have indeed – my car and I adore it. It’s a black Hyundai ix35. I always try and save for a car when I’m going to change it, so then you don’t have to worry about getting a car loan.
Have you ever lost money?
I have, and I was devastated. I was living in Germany as a student at the time. I was at the bank machine, talking to my friend, and I put my card in to get the money out and walked away leaving the money there. When I realised I had forgotten the money I went back, but it was gone.
Are you a gambler and, if so, have you ever had a big win?
I love a little flutter over Punchestown week. I think it’s more so for the occasion.
Is money important to you?
It is very important to me, not so much for a materialistic reason but more that you have comfort in the fact that you have money in the bank if something unexpected turns up.
How much money do you have on you now?
I have about €60. I took some money out at the weekend, so I will have it for the week. I'll be using some tomorrow when I go to Newbridge Silverware for coffee! in conversation with Tony Clayton-Lea