Me & My Money: Niall McGarry, founder of Maximum Media
‘As an entrepreneur money is obviously important to me’
Niall McGarry: ‘I generally see clothes as good value and a good investment.’
Are you a saver or a spender? There is no ambiguity here, I’m absolutely a spender. I love spending! I’d like to be a better saver, but I know I just wouldn’t be good at it. I’d make a terrible minister for finance or maybe a great one, depending on which way you look at it.
Do you shop around for better value? No, not really. I’m starting to do more of it but in general it’s a case of if I want something I buy it and rarely check for a better deal when it’s personal stuff. However, if it’s a business purchase then that’s different and I would absolutely shop around.
What has been your most extravagant purchase and how much did it cost? In 2008 I went on an eight-day holiday to Las Vegas. There is no need to do eight days in Las Vegas! Three or four days would’ve been fine. In the end, I came back with a sore head and empty pockets and I didn’t even bet once.
What purchase have you made that you consider the best value for money? My MacBook Pro. It’s two years old now and still working perfectly. If was a PC it would be dust by now.
How do you prefer to shop – online or local? Despite being in the online media game, I buy directly. The only thing I’ve bought online are flights or hotel rooms, etc. There’s no doubting that online shopping is the future, so I’m sure it will come in time. However, you can’t beat the tangibility of seeing clothes or furniture, and so on, in stores and shops.
Do you haggle over prices? If it’s a business purchase, I’d haggle for sure; if it’s a personal purchase, hardly ever. I think I’m annoying people when it’s personal, whereas when it’s business I see the negotiation aspect as an enjoyable challenge.
Has the recession changed your spending habits? To a fair degree. I don’t spend as much overall and have become a lot more conscious of spending, but I’m still fond of buying things, so it hasn’t changed me completely.
Do you invest in shares? I’ve never invested in shares. Ever! It’s not my thing, I don’t study it, so I don’t do it.
Cash or card? Card. Machines are getting quicker, it’s much handier. I’m carrying less and less cash these days.
What was the last thing you bought and was it good value for money? A load of clothes for my holiday to Marbella. I’m a big fan of buying new threads, I generally see clothes as good value and a good investment. If you feel good in what you wear then it’s money well spent.
Have you ever successfully saved up for a relatively big purchase? Outside of a deposit on my house, no. But I suppose that’s a huge life purchase, so what am I saying? Yes!
Have you ever lost money? Nothing substantial, really. The odd €20 note maybe and the customary load of coins down the back of the couch and car seat.
Are you a gambler and if so have you ever had a big win? Honestly, I don’t think I could figure out how to put on a bet if I was in a bookies. I’ve never, ever been interested. I reckon it’s down to the fact that I like the idea of working hard and imaginatively for my money and success.
Is money important to you? Yes, as an entrepreneur money is obviously important to me. It’s the barometer of how much of a success you are at what you do when you’re in business. However, it’s what you do with it that is more important. I’m big on reinvesting back into our website to hire greater talent and making the product better again. I also have a big plan to create a new charity late this year to help prevent homelessness. You’ve got to give back – life’s too short. What’s the point doing it if you can’t help others.
How much money do you have on you now? Just my debit card and a crumpled €50 note that I’ll break shortly and get very little for it.
In conversation with Tony Clayton-Lea