Me & My Money

Marc Mac Lochlainn, artistic director, Branar Téatar do Pháistí

Are you a saver or a spender?
Working in the arts doesn't really allow for either spending or saving. But if it came to it, I would certainly be a saver.

Do you shop around for better value?
Yes. My wife thinks it's hilarious when I come home and say I saw a nice shirt or something in a shop. I will then spend about two weeks looking in other shops and eventually go back and buy the first one!

What has been your most extravagant purchase ever and how much did it cost?
Our house. It wasn't as expensive as it could have been a few years ago, but it was still was the most figures that I have ever written down together in a row.

What purchase have you made that you consider the best value for money?
Our home. We live in Headford, Co Galway, in the countryside. Headford is near Loch Corrib, and you can't put a value on the beauty and peacefulness we have around us everyday. (I should write for an estate agent.)


What ways do you prefer to shop – online or local?
It depends. I shop local for food and DIY stuff for the house and garden. But I will always look online for books, clothes, music (another big passion in my life).

Do you haggle over prices?
Yes, I am a farmer's son and I would be letting my dad down if I didn't ask for a discount at least. Within reason, of course – I don't stand at the check-out in Tesco haggling over milk and bread. At least not yet!

Has the recession changed your spending habits?
The Celtic Tiger didn't increase my spending habits so I think the recession has meant that everyone has come back in line with us frugal artists.

Do you invest in shares?
I don't. I don't understand the market enough to invest, but who am I kidding? I don't think the local stockbrokers would take kindly to me coming in with a tenner and asking them to invest it wisely for me.

Cash or card?
Card mostly. I rarely remember to go to the ATM and get money out so need to rely on electronic means for spending.

What was the last thing you bought and was it good value for money?
I bought a refurbished Mac Book Air and I use it everyday, so I am getting a huge amount of value from it. Fingers crossed it will last for a few more years.

Have you ever successfully saved up for a relatively big purchase?
Yes, when we found out that our first child was on the way, My wife and I started to save anything we could and that saving record helped us to get a mortgage for our house.

Have you ever lost money?
I lost €20 once when it fell from my pocket. A jeweller lost my wife's engagement ring the day before our wedding! But never a lot of money and nothing that couldn't be salvaged or replaced. One of the advantages of not having money through the 2000s was that I didn't feel the pressure to invest.

Are you a gambler and, if so, have you ever had a big win?
No. The only time I gamble is for the Grand National or the Galway races. But I have never won. I am an eternal optimist when it comes to the lotto, also. Someday that jackpot will be mine.

Is money important to you?
Money is important in that it enables me and my family to survive, but it's not something that I treasure. If I could do without it, I most likely would. My company, Branar, is a nonprofit company, and if money was a motivation of mine, I certainly wouldn't have remained working in the arts. That being said, I would like more of it just to see what it would be like!

How much money do you have on you now?
€20 and some coins, but that will change soon after purchase my copy of The Irish Times and this week's Lotto ticket.