‘Small businesses have had such a tough year’

Me & My Money: Ciara McEnteggart, director of Perspectives Ireland

Ciara McEnteggart, director of Perspectives Ireland: ‘I think it should be a lot more acceptable to negotiate how much we pay for things.’

Are you a saver or a spender?

I used to be a spender but I’ve been a little bit more cautious in recent years and started to save. I still really like to spend, it’s just a bit more balanced now. I think a balance is really important, as we all need to treat ourselves from time to time.

Do you shop around for better value?

Yes, always. If I need something, I will always do some research before I buy it to try to get the best value for money. I also really enjoy shopping around – it makes me enjoy whatever I buy so much more.

What has been your most extravagant purchase and how much did it cost?

I have never really bought anything that extravagant. The most expensive was a car that cost €8,000.

What purchase have you made that you consider the best value for money?

I bought a second-hand set of teak wood garden furniture for €40. I love buying second-hand, especially when it comes to furniture. I think it is a really good way to find some very unique pieces for great value.


How do you prefer to shop during the Covid-19 restrictions – online or local?

Definitely local wherever possible. Small businesses have had such a tough year and I really value supporting them in any way that I can. Products from local businesses are also made with such attention to detail and care, and that makes them so special.

Do you haggle over prices?

Yes, I do. As a child, walking around car boot sales and markets with my dad every Sunday taught me a lot about haggling. I always try to get the best value possible and think it should be a lot more acceptable to negotiate how much we pay for things.

How has the Covid-19 crisis changed your spending habits?

I have started to buy more investment pieces rather than items that need to be replaced every few years – especially when it comes to clothes. Financially, the Covid-19 crisis has really helped because I just don’t have the same opportunities to browse around the shops and buy things that I don’t really need. Instead, I make a list of the things I really need and try to find something that will last a long time.

Do you invest in shares?

I have never invested in shares but it is something I am considering. Running my own business has definitely changed my relationship with money and how I spend. I have really started to think about ways that I could invest in for the future or for a rainy day.

Cash or card?

I always use card or my Garmin watch. I never have cash, apart from a solitary euro coin in my wallet for the shopping trolley. Especially with Covid-19, I think cards are so much easier, and I just use my internet banking to keep an eye on my spending.

What was the last thing you bought and was it good value for money?

I bought one-litre salon size bottles of shampoo and conditioner. These larger products last a very long time and are a great way to save money, so I try to buy them wherever possible.

Have you ever successfully saved up for a relatively big purchase?

I saved up for my car. When I buy something that I have saved up for, it really feels like I earned it and I can enjoy it all the more. It’s the ultimate treat to yourself. I have used loans to help purchase things in the past, but I find there is a real sense of achievement when you save up for it in advance.

Have you ever lost money?

Yes, I had a few hundred euro stolen from my bag once – that was really awful. I think this is part of the reason why I don’t carry cash anymore. Cards are just so much safer.

Are you a gambler and if so have you ever had a big win?

I am not a gambler, but have always loved going to the races and putting on a few bets. I think the biggest win I’ve ever had was about €100.

Is money important to you?

Money is a means to get by and enjoy life, both now and in the future. My only aim is to be comfortable enough so that I don’t need to worry about it too much.

How much money do you have on you now?

I have €1.30 – the coin that I keep for the shopping trolley and some random change.

In conversation with Tony Clayton-Lea