My motto is to get at least three quotes for everything
Me & My Money – Keith Mahon, co-founder of thetaste.ie
Keith Mahon: ‘I recently got a new MacBook Pro, and it is worth its weight in gold’
Are you a saver or a spender?
You have to speculate to accumulate, so I am definitely more of a spender, but I do believe in spending wisely. My savings would always be orientated around the kids and the house. Do you shop around for better value?
Always. My motto is to get at least three quotes for everything. When I was younger and impatient, I always accepted the first price given but as you get older, you tend to slow things down a little to make more informed decisions.
What has been your most extravagant purchase and how much did it cost?
My wife. She is a spender, not a saver! Being serious, however, it has to be our house – it cost €550K before the height of the boom, so I guess we got good value for money.
What purchase have you made that you consider the best value for money?
Definitely our office dog, Pug. Having a dog in the office is unrivalled for boosting morale.
How do you prefer to shop – online or local?
For lots of things these days, I would steer online. However, for food, I always support local independents.
Do you haggle over prices?
Normally I’m a haggler as I try to secure the best price possible, especially on the larger purchases.
Has the recession changed your spending habits?
Not particularly, as I have always been the sort of person to shop around.
Do you invest in shares?
No, not yet anyway.
Cash or card?
Card always. Any cash in my wallet always seems to go to my kids.
What was the last thing you bought and was it good value for money?
I recently got a new MacBook Pro, and it is worth its weight in gold. With an online business, my laptop is never too far away.
Have you ever successfully saved up for a relatively big purchase?
My wife’s engagement ring. I was only 22 at the time and it took six months to save up for.
Have you ever lost money?
No, I have been very lucky in life. When I was young and money was tight, I would just look for more work so that I could cover all the bills. I was always fortunate to have a few contracts on the go at any one time.
Are you a gambler and, if so, have you ever had a big win?
I suppose in business I am. The biggest gamble so far has been to create TheTaste.ie with my wife Jules. As our house went from two incomes to none, the business had to work and gain traction within six months as we were funding it from our savings. The biggest win came recently when we won a Gourmand Award for Best Digital Food Publication in the World.
Is money important to you?
In my business life, money is everything. Trying to beat last month’s revenue, always looking to push our company forward and so on. In my personal life, money is necessary but my family is the most important thing to me. In my current role, we travel a lot doing reviews, so time at home with the kids is precious.
How much money do you have on you now?
I would always have €40 in my wallet, as I’m in and out of restaurants and hotels every day. I always make sure I have enough for tips – everything else goes on the card.
in conversation with Tony Clayton-Lea