Money matters: ‘My father embarrassed us with his haggling’

Me & My Money: Declan McEvoy, head of tax at Ifac Accountants, reveals ... almost all

Declan McEvoy: In the financial crash in 2009, my pension fund lost 35% of its value.

Declan McEvoy: In the financial crash in 2009, my pension fund lost 35% of its value.

 

Me & My Money: Declan McEvoy, head of tax at Ifac Accountants

Are you a saver or a spender?
I’m a mix of both. Generally, if it’s for the children or for the house, I tend to spend. Otherwise, I save. My priorities will always be family first and the house second.

Do you shop around for better value?
Yes, always, and naturally I hate being ripped off. Every year I will always shop around for things like house insurance and car insurance to ensure the price is fair.

What has been your most extravagant purchase and how much?
My most extravagant purchase was a BMW X5. It cost over €50,000, and it keeps the wife happy. She mostly drives it but it is “our car”.

What  have you bought  that you consider best value for money?
That would be our home in Portlaoise. It was in 2004, just as the market was starting to get a bit mad. Our house is in a great location, it’s also in the centre of Ireland, and just at the edge of the town but in the country at the same time – the best of both worlds! At some stage we may need to downsize, but for now it’s the centre of our universe.

How do you prefer to shop – online or local?
Working in the farming sector, I always insist that our food purchases are Irish and I would give priority to other Irish goods provided the prices are fair. For non-food purchases, I usually prefer to shop online, which provides better variety. If shops in our area offered greater variety, we would buy more locally.

 Do you haggle over prices?
No. My late father embarrassed us with his haggling over the years, but I just don’t have the same genes when it comes to haggling over prices.

Has the recession changed your spending habits?
Yes, I think it has made me more cost-conscious. I don’t agree that you should buy the cheapest, because I believe there has to be a fair margin for the person selling the goods, too.

Do you invest in shares?
No. I invest into my pension fund, which will hopefully provide for the future and allow for the possibility of earlier retirement.

Cash or card?
Card, for sure. Mostly for the convenience these days and because I have a tendency to lose cash out of my pockets.

What was the last thing you bought and was it  value for money?
This morning I bought fuel for the car so I could get to our head office in Dublin. And, yes, it was good value for money.

Have you ever successfully saved up for a relatively big purchase?
Yes, for our biggest purchase – the house. We built our house and it took three years from start to moving in, so during those years we saved every penny for it. There were no luxuries then, at all.

Have you ever lost money?
Yes, sadly. In the financial crash in 2009, my pension fund lost 35 per cent of its value. It means now that I take a much more cautious and planned approach to investing in my pension fund. While large gains were lost, the focus now is on more conservative investing for the future.

Are you a gambler and if so have you ever had a big win?
I’m not a gambler at all. I rarely play the Lotto. In fact, the joke in our house is that even if I was the only one in the draw, I would somehow lose the ticket and miss out on the windfall.

Is money important to you?
Yes. It simply enables us to do the things in life that we like doing with the people most important to us.

How much money do you have on you now?
Oddly, I have €95. It’s only because I had an issue with my cards yesterday and I was testing them this morning to make sure they were working!

  •  In conversation with Tony Clayton-Lea
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