Me & My Money: ‘Saving is something I have yet to get the hang of’

Eoghan Tomás McDermott, managing director of the Communications Clinic

Communications Clinic MD Eoghan Tomás McDermott: “I don’t think I’ve ever bought anything online other than books.”

Communications Clinic MD Eoghan Tomás McDermott: “I don’t think I’ve ever bought anything online other than books.”

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 Are you a saver or a spender?  
The only time I’ve ever regularly saved was for the SSIA. Free money makes you do crazy things. In more recent times, I’m best described as a “repayer of debt”.

Do you shop around for better value? 
Never. I rarely shop, and when I do, convenience trumps value.

What has been your most extravagant purchase and how much did it cost?  
I bought a pair of gloves around 2006/07 that were about €100. €100 on gloves! What was I thinking? I blame the Celtic Tiger. It made me do it.

What purchase have you made that you consider the best value for money? 
It’s a draw between my pillow and my Aeropress coffeepress. Since having children, both have become important instruments in my life. While meandering in a sleep-deprived stupor around Harvey Norman, I discovered that they can “fit” a pillow to your head and neck. Who knew such a thing existed? That was the moment I really started to live. And sleep.

How do you prefer to shop – online or local? 
I don’t think I’ve ever bought anything online other than books. Ergo, local.

Do you haggle over prices? 
Never. I tried it once and it made me terribly uncomfortable. I figure the vendor has decided on what they see as a fair price and I’m okay to go with that.

Has the recession changed your spending habits? 
Yes. Spending stopped. Repaying began.

Do you invest in shares? 
I think so. Well, I have a pension. And I assume that the money is in some sort of mixed portfolio of shares and other things being managed by a very sensible person who knows what they’re doing.

Cash or card? 
Card. Contactless makes spending frighteningly easy.

What was the last thing you bought and was it good value for money? 
The last thing I bought was a bag of coffee. It’s the most wonderful stuff. It tastes beautiful, puts a pep in my step and I look forward to it every morning. My first coffee is a favourite moment of the day.

Have you ever successfully saved up for a relatively big purchase? 
No. Saving is something I have yet to get the hang of. And my very few relatively big purchases have used debt. 

Have you ever lost money? 
Yes – on a house in 2006. I was convinced by myself, family, neighbours, friends, clients, colleagues, economists, bankers, accountants, politicians, architects, taxi-drivers, lawyers and the media that buying a house was an incredibly sensible thing to do. It wasn’t. Other than that, not really. I’ve never had any money to lose. And thank God I didn’t have any. No doubt I would have spent it all on gloves.

Are you a gambler and if so have you ever had a big win? 
Starting The Communications Clinic was bit of a gamble, particularly in 2008. And the win is that we’re still trucking on. Other than that, I’ve never actually gambled or been in a bookies. I could rant about how the gambling industry is under-regulated, under-taxed and destroys peoples’ lives, but I’m fairly sure you have a word count for this.

Is money important to you? 
Yes. It would be deceitful to say that it wasn’t. Particularly when I have children. My kids are a wonderful motivator.

How much money do you have on you now? 
None, but I do have my card.

In conversation with Tony Clayton-Lea 

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