Me & My Money: ‘My money is generally invested in experiences rather than things’
Natasha Rocca Devine, owner of The Interiors NRD, theinteriorsnrd.com
Natasha Rocca Devine. “I love to visit the Sporting Emporium in Dublin. I am intrigued by people who know about poker and love seeing them in the zone. I am an observational gambler!”
Are you a saver or a spender?
I was taught from an early age to have respect for money, based on the work required to make it. I spend and take risks for my business, and I love to buy gifts. I also hold back at times, save and maintain budgets, as it is important to have security.
Do you shop around for better value?
Yes, particularly for my clients. As an interior designer, it is important to provide the best value and quality in all services and products.
What has been your most extravagant purchase and how much did it cost?
A Lexus NX300h Hybrid. For my first year living in Los Angeles, I worked as a consultant for various charities, including former vice-president Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project. I trained as a climate reality leader, so while my transport may be extravagant, it’s better for the environment, so I justify it.
What purchase have you made that you consider the best value for money?
Investing in my business launch this year, especially in marketing and PR. I specialise in staging properties to sell, so I have a warehouse of about three or four homes’ worth of furniture, which I rent out too. I am involved in RTÉ’s Find Me a Home series and lots of other media, so the value of this marketing “purchase” has undoubtedly outweighed the costs.
How do you prefer to shop – online or local?
Local, primarily. I have lived, worked and studied in seven cities, and I believe local is always the better option for shopping and for getting to know an area. Sometimes I order online, but that would be local or international brands that I know.
Do you haggle over prices?
No. Like anything in life, if you have to force it too much, it is not meant for you. I can politely negotiate, if and when needed.
Has the recession changed your spending habits?
I believe everyone is more aware of their spending since the recession. I am definitely more conscious of what I invest both my money and time in.
Do you invest in shares?
No. I am more interested in investing in property or projects right now. I am interested in markets, though, and hope to create a share portfolio in the future.
Cash or card?
Card. For my business, in particular, my accountant can help me manage my VAT and budgets easier that way.
What was the last thing you bought and was it good value for money?
Suits and interiors accessories in Zara, Mallorca. Zara is great value, and consistently chic and classy.
Have you ever successfully saved up for a relatively big purchase?
Yes. I strive towards goals, and my money is generally invested in experiences rather than things. I saved up for my business start-up and, in particular, for the recent launch of The Interiors NRD, which was an incredible evening and worth the investment.
Have you ever lost money?
While at UCD, I did PR and modelling and worked for a while as a waitress in a bar. Unfortunately, I lost the float a few times, but thankfully kind patrons gave me big tips to balance it. In business, it is always thinking about the bigger picture, so it’s never a loss, only a lesson.
Are you a gambler and, if so, have you ever had a big win?
No, I don’t gamble. I have been to Las Vegas, which I did not like. And yet, I love to visit the Sporting Emporium in Dublin. I am intrigued by people who know about poker and love seeing them in the zone. I am an observational gambler!
Is money important to you?
Yes, relatively speaking. Money in terms of security, and giving me freedom and options, is important. Yet I have survived a coma [after a car crash] and lost people due to sickness, so health is wealth to me.
How much money do you have on you now?
Some cards and €50.
In conversation with Tony Clayton-Lea