‘There’s always something to be sorted – straight teeth, for instance’
Me & My Money: Maclean Burke, actor
Actor Maclean Burke: ‘Money makes the world go around, and let’s be honest – having it makes things a lot easier than not having it.’
Are you a saver or a spender?
I’m a spender. Unfortunately. I can’t hold on to it. I have four kids, so it comes with the territory. There is always something that has to be sorted. Straight teeth, for instance. Last year we had three sets of braces!
Do you shop around for better value?
Yes, I always check prices online before I buy, as I hate being overcharged. Like everyone, I suppose, I don’t like being duped.
What has been your most extravagant purchase and how much did it cost?
My home was and probably will be the biggest purchase of my life. We bought at the top of the market in 2006 and have been paying the price ever since.
What purchase have you made that you consider the best value for money?
My car. I’m never out of it. I do approximately 1,000km a week so, for me, it’s a necessity. I’m actually very satisfied with how efficient and comfy it is, so happy days.
How do you prefer to shop – online or local?
I’m comfortable with both. I like to buy food and other produce locally, and then for electronics or clothing I will try online. On most big purchases, however, I like to be able to touch and feel the product before I buy.
Do you haggle over prices?
Yes, there’s no harm in it. A friendly bit of haggling is always good, and you know the old saying, “If you don’t ask you don’t get”.
Has the recession changed your spending habits?
It made me more conscious of price and the value of what’s in my pocket. I am also far more aware of what I’m buying and the benefits of price versus quality.
Do you invest in shares?
No, it’s a world I am completely uninterested in. I was never introduced to it, and I’ve heard some horror stories from close friends who have made some silly snap decisions in search of a quick buck. So, no thanks.
Cash or card?
I love cash, but the tap cards are so handy and cut down on time spent queuing. Honestly, you tend to get a look from the cashier when they see you pulling out the cash at a busy register. For good or for bad, these days I seem to be going the card route.
What was the last thing you bought and was it good value for money?
A new coffee machine and it had better be good value or I will be a very grumpy old man in the mornings.
Have you ever successfully saved up for a relatively big purchase?
Yes. When it comes to cars and luxuries, I’m pretty good at saving to achieve it, and I always feel it gives you more appreciation for what you have.
Have you ever lost money?
I lose money all the time – I’m brutal! Over the years, I suppose I’ve made some silly decisions where finances are involved, but, sure, we live and learn and are only young once, isn’t that right?
Are you a gambler and, if so, have you ever had a big win?
I’m not a gambler, thank God. I wouldn’t even know how to fill out a stub.
Is money important to you?
Yes, of course it is. Money makes the world go around, and let’s be honest – having it makes things a lot easier than not having it.
How much money do you have on you now?
Let me check – I have €70.
In conversation with Tony Clayton-Lea
Maclean Burke is an actor who appears in the Christmas panto, Cinderella: The Story of Cinders and her Fella at the Olympia Theatre from December 20th to January 4th.