‘There has never been a Jimmy Choo incident since the recession’

Me & My Money: Karen Bates, Bluestone Distribution, bluestone.ie

Karen Bates of Bluestone Distribution

Are you a saver or a spender?

I’m definitely a saver but I do like to enjoy spending what I’ve saved – and then going through the whole process again!

Do you shop around for better value?

I have a terrible habit of finding what I want quite quickly and then insist on looking around in case there’s something of better value elsewhere. But then I go back to what I first picked, anyway.

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

Probably the time I was in Las Vegas and enjoyed too many cocktails in Caesar’s Palace, which resulted in an impromptu visit to the nearby shops and a pair of Jimmy Choos at a cost of $600!

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

My iPad, without a doubt. I’ve had the same one for years. It never lets me down, and keeps me in touch with work when I’m on the go and up to date with the news. It stores all my pictures and music and fits in my bag, no problem – what more could a girl want?


How do you prefer to shop – online or local?

Definitely local, I would much rather experience the chat and interaction of local independent shops than the impersonal experience of shopping online.

Do you haggle over prices?

I would only haggle over prices in a suitable environment like a marketplace, but in business I would shop around to make sure we are getting the best price available, and then go back and haggle if we weren’t.

Has the recession changed your spending habits?

Absolutely – there has never been a Jimmy Choo incident since the recession. I’m a lot more careful these days with how I spend my money and don’t like to be wasteful.

Do you invest in shares?

I dabbled once, on the recommendation from a business colleague, but it’s not something I particularly want to risk my money in.

Cash or card?

These days I mostly use my debit card or cash, as I prefer to pay as I go along. I only use credit cards for major purchases.

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

My Mango kaftan was reduced to half price, and I’ve worn it on holiday and to a wedding recently. Great value for money.

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

Yes, I saved up for my first car when I was younger. It was a great feeling of satisfaction that it was mine as well as the freedom it gave me.

Have you ever lost money?

I came close to it once, but thankfully managed to get it sorted by speaking to the right people. There’s always a solution.

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

No, I’m not a gambler myself, but I like watching others do it! Although I am in the lottery syndicate at work, we’re still waiting for the big win.

Is money important to you?

It’s important from the point of view of security and freedom to travel, but I value my health, family and friends much more.

How much money do you have on you now?

€115, as I’ve just been to the cash point.

In conversation with Tony Clayton-Lea