‘Things were tight then, my mother was raising us on her own’

Me & My Money: Karen Clince, chief executive, Tigers Childcare

Karen Clince admits to feeling slightly entitled prior to the recession but ‘now I view the things I have as a privilege and think twice before I buy’.

Karen Clince admits to feeling slightly entitled prior to the recession but ‘now I view the things I have as a privilege and think twice before I buy’.

 

Are you a saver or a spender?
As a child I was an avid saver because things were tight then and my mother, who was raising us on her own, instilled into us the value of saving to buy the things we wanted. However, I lost that talent somewhat along the way and am now more of a spender. I do, however, think a rainy day fund is a must as we never know what bumps we may hit.

Do you shop around for better value?
Yes, if I like something I will generally look around to see where I can get it cheaper. If you put a little effort into shopping around, you will always find a better price.

What has been your most extravagant purchase and how much did it cost?
While I love a great deal, I also love a great designer piece. My most extravagant purchase was a pair of Jimmy Choos for €500. Shoes have always been my thing, and after months of working very long hours, I decided it was time to treat myself to something I’d desired to have for a long time.

What purchase have you made that you consider the best value for money?
I am a big coat buyer and feel a good coat can take you anywhere and dress up any outfit. Coats also stay in fashion longer than other fashion items, which tend to be seasonal, so I have some winter coats I still wear after 10 years.

How do you prefer to shop – online or local?

I prefer to shop in store. However, I shop online a lot. In an age when time matters, it is sometimes easier to click and buy and have something delivered to your house the next day. I am absolutely awful at returning online items, though.

Do you haggle over prices?
Where appropriate. You wouldn’t get very far haggling over certain purchases in a high-end boutique shop, but if it’s a service or an item I feel I can haggle over, then I will. 

Has the recession changed your spending habits?
The recession has made me more grateful for what I have. Prior to the recession, I’ll admit I felt slightly entitled. Now I view the things I have as a privilege and think twice before I buy.

Do you invest in shares?
I am just starting to look at share investments and it’s something I’m very interested in.

Cash or card?
Card. I spend my time between Dublin and London. When you’re paying for things in two different currencies, a card is always easiest.

What was the last thing you bought and was it good value for money?
My last purchase of the day was a coffee, from a little coffee shop in London. At £3.20, it certainly was value for money.

Have you ever successfully saved up for a relatively big purchase?
Yes. From 14 years old, I was buying my own clothes and paying for my own summer holidays. As a single mum myself, I have to save for the big things like holidays and birthdays. I am currently saving for a deposit for a new home. 

Have you ever lost money?
As a 17-year-old student I went on a trip to Paris to celebrate the end of my Leaving Cert. I left my wallet in the cab from the airport to the hotel. In those days you didn’t really rely as much on cards so I lost my entire trip’s spending money in cash – money that took me a very long time to save. I remember I cried for three days. My mum had to wire me money, and I spent the rest of the summer paying it back working as a lounge girl. 

Are you a gambler and, if so, have you ever had a big win?
No. My grandfather was a turf accountant. He taught me it was a fools’ game. 

Is money important to you?
I have stages in life where I have had a lot and other times very little. I’ve found that money makes life easier and gives you more choices. At the same time, it has never determined my happiness.

How much money do you have on you now?
I currently have £40 in my pocket and about €4 in change at the bottom of my handbag.

Karen Clince, chief executive, Tigers Childcare, tigerschildcare.com

In conversation with Tony Clayton-Lea

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