My family lost their business in the recession and I learned lessons the hard way

Me & My Money: Kelly Ging, owner Kelly Lou Cakes

Kelly Ging, owner of Kelly Lou Cakes, in Portlaoise, Co Laois.

Kelly Ging, owner of Kelly Lou Cakes, in Portlaoise, Co Laois.

 

Are you a saver or a spender?
I would consider myself a saver. I don’t impulse buy but I don’t deny myself something if I really want it. I work hard so it’s nice to be able to treat myself now and again.

Do you shop around for better value?
If I was buying a large expensive item, I would shop around. Other than that if I see something I like, I’ll tend to buy it rather than shopping around for something similar. I really do shop a lot.

 What has been your most extravagant purchase ever and how much did it cost?
Fitting out our bakery was probably my most extravagant purchase. Large catering equipment is so expensive, but I was lucky to get advice from my Local Enterprise Office which pointed me in the direction of Laois Partnership, which assisted with a grant to help the set-up of the bakery. Without this it wouldn’t have been possible.

What purchase have you made that you consider the best value for money?
Last year I had an air-conditioning unit fitted into our bakery. I don’t know how we managed without it before. It was a large expense, but I was lucky to have won the Laois IBYE competition and a prize fund of €15,000 that helped me fund it.

What ways do you prefer to shop – online or local?
I occasionally shop online, but running a small business I prefer to try to support other local businesses and suppliers as much as possible. We have to look after the local economy and local jobs. We need to remind people to shop local. It saddens me to see the number of businesses that have closed.

Do you haggle over prices?
For personal items I tend not to haggle, as if I think the product is good value for money then I am happy to buy. In business I would haggle a little bit, especially when we are buying in such large volumes. For those, I always try to get the best price.

Has the recession changed your spending habits?
I started my business during the recession so I’ve always had to be careful with my spending. I experienced my family losing their business due to the recession and I learned lessons the hard way.

Do you invest in shares?
No, but maybe I should!

Cash or card?
Always card, I never have cash on me. With contactless and Apple Pay it’s so easy to pay without carrying cash. On a recent trip to New York I noticed a lot of cafes and shops are cashless and I think that’s the way it will be here soon.

What was the last thing you bought and was it good value for money?
When I was in New York I treated myself to a designer handbag. It was 70 per cent off, so I definitely thought it was good value for money.

Have you ever successfully saved up for a relatively big purchase?
Myself and my husband are saving to apply for a mortgage. A house will definitely be the biggest purchase we will probably ever make.

Have you ever lost money?
Thankfully, no.

Are you a gambler and, if so, have you ever had a big win?
No, I’m not a gambler at all.

Is money important to you?
Money isn’t hugely important to me. Once I have enough to support my business, live comfortably and I have my family and friends, that’s all I need.

How much money do you have on you now?
In my apron pocket right now there is €5.

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