Me & My Money: ‘I am far more motivated by achievement than money’

Donal O’Donoghue, managing director of Sanderson Recruitment Ireland

“I bought my first house when I was in my twenties, and that was a good investment.” Photograph: Paul Sharp/Sharppix

“I bought my first house when I was in my twenties, and that was a good investment.” Photograph: Paul Sharp/Sharppix

 

Are you a saver or a spender?

I believe in building good savings habits. It’s not easy with the cost of living these days, but a little discipline pays off. I often tell people starting out in their careers to open a savings or a deposit account and to save at least 10 per cent of their monthly take-home pay. Having said that, life is to be enjoyed, so when enough is put by for a rainy day, you have to spend a bit to enjoy life.

Do you shop around for better value? 

I try to research online if I’m planning to make a significant purchase. Although price is important, I also value good customer service, aftersales service and convenience. As Warren Buffett so wisely put it: “Price is what you pay, value is what you get.”

What has been your most extravagant purchase?

Back before having kids, in the days of the Celtic Tiger, I bought a BMW M3 (E46), 3.2-litre straight-six/355bhp, which was a bit of an indulgence. I enjoyed driving for a year or so and then traded it for something a bit more sensible around the time of the global financial crisis. Aside from property, nowadays I would tend to spend on experiences rather than possessions – I’m not materialistic.

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

I bought my first house when I was in my twenties, and that was a good investment. Aside from property, I’m a bit of a phone addict; it’s constantly attached to me for both business and personal use, so I recently splashed out on the iPhone 8 plus, which has been excellent value for money.

How do you prefer to shop – online or local?

I would tend to do a combination of both. I love the convenience of browsing online and having the product delivered. Having said that, I shop locally and like to give the business to local retailers.

 Do you haggle over prices?

I like to get good value, so I always negotiate. I like to do a fair deal that both parties are happy with. If I have a good customer experience, I will always spread positive word of mouth to my friends and colleagues.

  Has the recession changed your spending habits?

Not really, as I was always more of a saver than spender. I think the lessons learned were more around not using the credit card for trivial purchases and clearing the balance each month.

Do you invest in shares?

I pay close attention to how Irish companies are performing on the market; however, I haven’t gotten around to putting my money where my mouth is just yet. It is certainly something that I will do over the coming years, when I have some time to spare and dabble a little.

Cash or card?

I’m terrible at carrying cash, so it’s always cards for me. I haven’t got my head around much of the new tech phone payments, like Apple Pay, but I’m sure it’s something my daughters will be showing me soon!

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

I recently bought a new suite of furniture for the sitting room at home. It’s very comfy and has a large L-shaped sofa, arm chair and storage foot rest. It’s amazing how technology has been integrated into such household things – it also comes with built-in USB ports and electric recliners for movie nights with the kids. It has become a real focal point in the home. Great design, so comfortable and functional, and one of the best investments yet.

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

I still remember the effort and reward of saving the deposit to buy a small three-bed house back in my twenties. It was a really useful experience, learning to economise on my controllable monthly spend. The satisfaction of getting the keys for a first home is immensely satisfying and worth the effort and sacrifices along the way.

Have you ever lost money?

Thankfully, no. I tend to micro-manage my finances, so I’m on top of it all.

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

I’m not a gambler; it’s something that holds no interest for me. The extent of gambling would be the odd flutter at Punchestown.

Is money important to you?

I am far more motivated by achievement than money. I wantto look back, decades from now, with zero regrets. This is the true test of a fulfilled life.

How much money do you have on you now?

Not a cent. I’m terrible at carrying cash, so it’s always cards for me.

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