‘My wife has helped to educate me on the benefits of retail therapy’
Me & My Money: Conor Dillon, Tynan Dillon Chartered Accountants
Conor Dillon: I enjoy a bit of a haggle where appropriate
Are you a saver or a spender?
A bit of both, but I probably fulfil people’s expectation that, as an accountant, I am naturally inclined a little more towards saving. Over the years, my wife has helped to educate me on the benefits of retail therapy, and so I have developed an appreciation for the value of spending a little more freely.
Do you shop around for better value?
I would shop around where possible on any larger purchase, and if I have the time I prefer to try to get the best deal possible.
What has been your most extravagant purchase and how much did it cost?
Many years ago I bought a second-hand BMW M3 – it turned out to be a bit of a money pit, but I loved it. The car had to go when our first baby arrived but it was great fun while it lasted.
What purchase have you made that you consider the best value for money?
My purchases of significant value are those that have provided great memories, often created through experiences such as family holidays. You can’t put a price on those memories – to me, they represent the best value to be had. One example that springs to mind is the trip I took to the World Cup in 2002. I went to extraordinary lengths and scraped together pennies from every corner I could find in order to get over to Japan from Australia where I was living at the time. The memories from that trip are of enormous value to me.
How do you prefer to shop – online or local?
I’m not too fond of shopping at all, really, but if I had to choose, I think I would prefer online. If I had to choose a shop for browsing, I would be happiest in either a local bookshop or a sports shop.
Do you haggle over prices?
I enjoy a bit of a haggle where appropriate. No matter how much you think you want something, always be prepared to walk away at least once!
Has the recession changed your spending habits?
As a practising accountant, I have witnessed first-hand how the recession has affected everyone in this country, and I am no exception.
Do you invest in shares?
I have a handful of very small share investments. I haven’t been very active in that respect.
Cash or card?
I use both – I like to carry cash, but I regularly use cards.
What was the last thing you bought and was it good value for money?
My lunch today – not fantastic value, but necessary.
Have you ever successfully saved up for a relatively big purchase?
Yes, on a number of occasions – our wedding, our home. In the event of a significant purchase, I would be open to supplementing savings with an appropriate amount of debt, so large purchases would have been achieved with the assistance of bank borrowings.
Have you ever lost money?
Some kids stole €20 out of a wallet I left behind a goal playing football some years ago. I still haven’t forgiven that one! I’ve had a few small investments that have gone the wrong direction, but nothing overly significant. A few losses can be absorbed as long as you identify some positive opportunities as well.
Are you a gambler and, if so, have you ever had a big win?
I am a very keen follower of all sports, but Paddy Power doesn’t make much from my small bets. I would regularly have a few euro on football, rugby, GAA, golf and other sports, but no more than that.
Is money important to you?
Money has very little influence on my mood, and I don’t place a huge importance on it. It is relevant to my job satisfaction, as strong profits for our firm are an indication that our clients have secured a good service and that they are satisfied with the value for money they have received.
I recently heard someone say that unless you keep precious metals in the cupboard, your money is no more than a set of numbers on a bank’s server somewhere. I tend to agree.
How much money do you have on you now?
In conversation with Tony Clayton-Lea