‘The pandemic made me more aware of the importance of conscious consumerism’

Me & My Money: Pat Kane, ecopreneur and founder of reuzi.ie

Pat Kane: ‘I don’t haggle. I know very well how it feels to be on the other side of that counter’

Pat Kane: ‘I don’t haggle. I know very well how it feels to be on the other side of that counter’

 

Are you a saver or a spender?
More of a saver but I wasn’t always like that. I became better at it over time. I think that having kids and running my own business forced me to re-evaluate how I spend my money.

Do you shop around for better value?
It would be crazy not to, right? I can understand that for some things out there there’s no wiggle room, so it is what it is. You can either afford it or you can’t. I’m not one for loans; I really dislike owing money to someone or a bank.

What has been your most extravagant purchase and how much did it cost?
My most expensive purchase wasn’t a product per se, it was an experience: my wedding day. We had friends and family members coming from far and wide and we wanted it to be an occasion to remember. I’d do it all over again – same husband, I must add!

What purchase have you made that you consider the best value for money?
If I had to pick something, I’d say my mobile phone. I run my business from it and I’d be lost without it.

How did you prefer to shop during the Covid-19 restrictions – online or local?
I love buying local online, if you know what I mean. Online shopping is a true game changer. During lockdown, we didn’t really buy much at all as, bar supermarkets, our local shops were closed. Also, at the very beginning of the first lockdown, I lost someone really special to me to Covid-19, so I avoided physical shops for a while for the fear of falling ill.

Do you haggle over prices?
No, I don’t. I know very well how it feels to be on the other side of that counter and I have a huge respect for retailers – big and small – so I can’t do that. Again, if I can’t afford it, I simply don’t buy it.

How has the Covid-19 crisis changed your spending habits?
It hasn’t, to be honest. At our home we strive to use less, buy less, waste less and think before we act. If anything, the pandemic has made us realise even more the importance of conscious consumerism.

Do you invest in shares?
My husband does it on behalf of the family. For someone with a business and economics background, I should know more about this stuff but the planet takes priority number one every time.

Cash or card?
Phone. Waste-free, no disposable plastic cards or paper bills, always on and such a seamless customer experience.

What was the last thing you bought and was it good value for money?
My last big purchase was a course on the circular economy and sustainability strategies with the University of Cambridge. Spending on my own education is always a priceless thing. If I had more time, I would certainly dedicate more of my days to learning about new things.

Have you ever successfully saved up for a relatively big purchase?
Buying our first home was a huge milestone I will never forget. I am also a fan of jewellery and I will save big for it. At this stage, I couldn’t care less about clothes and shoes, but jewellery – that’s my thing.

Have you ever lost money?
Thankfully, I haven’t. But I am extremely risk averse.

Are you a gambler and, if so, have you ever had a big win?
Funny you ask ... I used to run the customer experience team for Ireland’s largest gambling firm, but weirdly enough, I do not enjoy gambling. At all.

Is money important to you?
I see money as a way to offer my family freedom and security – a “means to an end” type of thing. I want to be able to enjoy our time together, to live comfortably and explore this beautiful world with my boys.

How much money do you have on you now?
Does a handful of coins at the bottom of my bag count?

In conversation with Tony Clayton-Lea 

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