Me & My Money: Jenny Huston, owner of jewellery design company Edge Only

‘Shopping online is a dream: click, pay and delivery in a day or two. Joy!’

Jenny Huston: ‘I dislike paying for massive advertising campaigns on simple products and I am quite happy to buy lesser known, better value Irish items in Lidl or Aldi, for example.’ Photograph: Arthur Carron

Jenny Huston: ‘I dislike paying for massive advertising campaigns on simple products and I am quite happy to buy lesser known, better value Irish items in Lidl or Aldi, for example.’ Photograph: Arthur Carron

 

Are you a saver or a spender? Sadly I am a spender (sad for me, not for the economy). The only time I can save is through forced saving. I had a direct debit set up to save to the credit union when I was in RTÉ, something I must reinstate!

Do you shop around for better value? I do now. I dislike paying for massive advertising campaigns on simple products and I am quite happy to buy lesser known, better value Irish items in Lidl or Aldi, for example.

What has been your most extravagant purchase and how much did it cost? Outside of my house and my car, the most extravagant purchase I have made is probably my stereo system. I could argue that, as a DJ, I needed a really good stereo, but truthfully I just wanted one (it gives me great pleasure). I bought a couple of Pioneer CDJs (about a €1,000 each) a few years ago in addition to my stacked stereo system. Bold.

What purchase have you made that you consider the best value for money? My Macbook. I cannot think of anything that I use more. I barely touch my iPad (I regret its purchase), but I depend on my laptop.

It’s nearly time for a new one, but this one owes me nothing.

How do you prefer to shop – online or local? If ever there was a time to sway people to online it has to be at Christmas. No parking, no queues, no bumper-to-bumper traffic, no fighting through the crowds or pressure purchases. Online is a dream: click, pay and delivery in a day or two. Joy!

Do you haggle over prices? I have never been able to haggle in Ireland, but I do haggle in markets when I am away, especially when it’s part of the culture. Tourists are often soft targets, so I try to be savvy!

Has the recession changed your spending habits? Yes – the recession, pay cuts, extra taxes, all of them had an effect on my spending habits. I am much more careful with money now than I ever was. I am less frivolous with clothes and jewellery, and have adopted a less is more/price per wear attitude. I would rather buy one good thing that I will get loads of wear out of than piles of low quality fast fashion that will only get a few outings.

Do you invest in shares? I have invested what I have in my new business, Edge Only. It is enough to keep me busy!

Cash or card? I think every small business owner would say “cash is king!”, but in truth my business is online, so I deal exclusively in cards. Cash just sounds better.

What was the last thing you bought and was it good value for money? A Silver Crest Ultrasonic cleaner in Lidl. It isn’t as well designed as the professional ones in the workshops, but it does the job for home cleaning perfectly. A bargain!

Have you ever successfully saved up for a relatively big purchase? Not without a direct debit savings account. I lack discipline, so I have to force it upon myself. Have you ever lost money? Thankfully never more than a small note. I think we have all lost a €20 here and there rushing to pull out money on the hop.

Are you a gambler and, if so, have you ever had a big win? I have bet on horses on a day out at the races for the fun of it, but I have never had a big win. Not even a scratch card!

Is money important to you? Yes, in that it pays the bills and keeps the house warm, but it is not my only focus personally, or with Edge Only. I want to build something that is good (and a little bit different) and create a livelihood for me and the people I employ.

More than that I want to enjoy what I do each day, work with creative people and be challenged.

How much money do you have on you now? €25. I tend to carry very little cash with me unless I’m heading out for the night – less temptation!

In conversation with Tony Clayton-Lea

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