‘We bought a lockdown sun lounger: it arrived the day the rain started’

Me & My Money: Stephen Sheehan, director sales and relationship management, BNY Mellon Pershing

Are you a saver or a spender?

I’m more of a spender these days and so the kids seem to get a lot of the benefits. But they are worth it . . . most of the time.

Do you shop around for better value?

Yes, I shop around for things such as insurance and utilities. It’s well worth the effort and relatively easy to do. We changed the car earlier in the year and got a good deal after looking around different showrooms.

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

Some years ago, I bought a painting at a charity event that our friends were running. It was a blind auction and I bid €1,000. I’m sure I overpaid but today the painting hangs proudly in our house and we really like it. I often recount the story when people admire it.

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

We bought a new laptop the day before lockdown. It syncs to other devices in the house and all five of us use it. It was good value for money and gets a lot of use.

How did you prefer to shop during the Covid-19 restrictions – online or local?

I’d much prefer to shop locally and support the community where possible. That being said, we did purchase a sun lounger online for the back garden. It arrived the day the rain started and it’s still in the wrapper!

Do you haggle over prices?

Yes. I’ll often ask for the seller’s best price and have found some retailers, particularly in the sports industry, will offer discounts.

How has the Covid-19 crisis changed your spending habits?

The closing of the barbers posed a challenge for my family, so my wife saved the day and did a great job for the four of us. The focus on customer experience in online shopping makes it an enjoyable experience, despite the lack of personal touch. The process is easy to navigate, and the payment integration works well.

Do you invest in shares?

I have done in the past, but my strategy has always been too short term. Moving forward, my goal is to plan for the future, not just tomorrow.

Cash or card?

It’s got to be card, and I was delighted to see the contactless payment limit recently increased to €50. It has made paying for things so much easier, and it’s always with you if you have your phone with you.

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

I bought some golf clubs for our 11-year-old yesterday. They were good value and he was thrilled with the purchase. His younger brother will get them in a few years’ time.

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

I remember saving for our wedding in 2003. We had a great day and it was well worth the effort and spend.

Have you ever lost money?

Yes. I have lost money by making poor investment decisions and have learned some hard lessons. That’s where wealth managers come in. As trusted experts, I’d definitely trust their advice over mine.

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

That’s very topical, as I started playing online poker recently with friends and am trying to learn to various hands and strategies. I am still waiting for the big win and pay-out. Watch out, lads!

Is money important to you?

It is important, but family and friends take priority, in my opinion.

How much money do you have on you now?

I have no money on me right now. I have a wallet with some debit cards but no cash – that’s a real sign of the times.

In conversation with Tony Clayton-Lea