‘The recession made me double think every major spend’

Me and My Money: Village Vets managing director Charlie Cosgrave

Village Vets managing director Charlie Cosgrave: “I believe in paying a fair price where both parties feel they did well out of the transaction.”

Village Vets managing director Charlie Cosgrave: “I believe in paying a fair price where both parties feel they did well out of the transaction.”

 

Are you a saver or a spender?

I’m a saver, ultimately. I’m conscious of saving for things that we need but also for the nice things that make it all worthwhile.

Do you shop around for better value?

It depends on what I am shopping for. With work, I need to get good value so that I can, in turn, provide good value to clients. However, good value still needs to mean good quality.

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

I have just bought a decommissioned ambulance. The plan is to smarten it up and use it for school open-days, local parades and work-related events. Totally unnecessary, but really I’m just satisfying my childhood dream of driving an ambulance.

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

This year my family took an extended summer break through France and Spain. Our kids are young and it can be tough to get to spend as much as I would like due to long and unpredictable working hours.

What ways do you prefer to shop – online or local?

I live between Dunboyne and Maynooth, which are great local towns with lots of independent shops. I try to support them as best I can. As a family-owned and community-based business person, I know how important it is to support local. 

Do you haggle over prices?

I do from time to time where circumstances are appropriate. I believe in paying a fair price where both parties feel they did well out of the transaction. If one person in a negotiation believes they left nothing behind, it generally means that the other side feels hard done by. That’s not good for a long-term business relationship.

Has the recession changed your spending habits?

The recession made me double think every major spend and ensure that it was the right decision. Investment decisions are made with more rounded input from specialists. Veterinary is a particular industry in that it generally doesn’t experience the extreme highs and lows of the general economic climate. It’s fairly steady, and that influences my professional and personal economic decisions.

Do you invest in shares?

Not very much. I have a pension portfolio and that is managed ethically. I don’t have the time to be watching share price fluctuations. The shares that I have bought I missed the boat on selling them, and that made me realise it’s better to leave it to the professionals.

Cash or card?

Card. I never have enough cash on me for anything. Bad wallet management, perhaps?

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

I bought second-hand gym equipment for my home that I haven’t used as yet. I am planning great things, though, so it will in time be great value for money. The guy who sold it to me said the biggest workout he had on the equipment was when he assembled it. Hopefully, that won’t be in my case, as well.

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

We built our own home during the recession and that took some pretty serious savings at the time. Looking back it was easier to do before the kids came along.

Have you ever lost money?

Eircom shares – enough said! The whole country couldn’t be wrong, could they? Another valuable investment lesson.

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

I’m not a major gambler so major wins tend to evade me as a result. I live close to Fairyhouse racecourse and have only been there about four times in my life.

Is money important to you?

I’m very lucky to be able to say that I love my job. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t want to go into work. Money is a by-product of that. Being able to provide for my family is always important and so having enough money to do that is necessary.

How much money do you have on you now?

I have just broken a €50 note for lunch with my wife, so whatever change is left over.

In conversation with Tony Clayton-Lea

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