Me & My Money: Noelle O’Connor, founder of TanOrganic

‘I did so much damage the credit card company called me thinking someone had stolen my card’

 

Are you a saver or a spender? I would class myself as both. I religiously save from my salary and always have, and I certainly know how to spend when I get the time. Luckily, that’s not too often.

Do you shop around for better value? Always. I very rarely pay full price for any of my clothes. I love to get a good bargain.

What has been your most extravagant purchase and how much did it cost? Once I went mad in a Burberry store in New York, back in the midst of the Celtic Tiger. I did so much damage the credit card company called me thinking someone had stolen my card. I think I took my successful business for granted then but not anymore. I now realise how quickly one can fall, and so I am a lot more careful with my purchases these days.

What purchase have you made that you consider the best value for money? I bought a diamond ring that was €2,000 in Dubai that was valued at €6,000 in Ireland, so that was a bit of an extravagant deal I think. See, I can’t resist a good deal.

What ways do you prefer to shop – online or local? I enjoy both, but if I need to say one, I prefer shopping locally when I have the time. I like knowing that I’m supporting local business, too.

Do you haggle over prices? Depending where I am and if it’s appropriate. In a market, of course I do – doesn’t everyone? But when I’m in a store, I know not to haggle, you can make it really awkward for the sales advisors!

Has the recession changed your spending habits? Yes, I don’t take money for granted at all anymore, and I am a little more cautious. It was hard earned, so I try not to throw money away easily. But I do work hard and like to treat myself occasionally. Do you invest in shares? Not really. I think some of my savings investment plans do that, but I don’t directly invest in shares. I think if I was going to do something I would like to do some forex training and do something with currencies.

Cash or card? I’m like the Queen – I never carry cash; well very rarely!I use my laser card all the time. Plastic cards are so convenient. And if my bag ever gets stolen, at least I can cancel my cards straightaway.

What was the last thing you bought and was it good value for money? I have just picked up some things in Lidl about an hour ago, so yes I would have to say they are very good value, and the low prices are great.

Have you ever successfully saved up for a relatively big purchase? I tend to have my savings, so if there was something I wanted I would draw from them if I needed to, but I don’t think I’ve ever had to dig that deep into my savings to purchase something. At least not yet!

Have you ever lost money? Yes, many years ago with the Eircom shares like many others. Maybe that’s why I don’t directly invest in shares anymore, I learned from a past bad experience.

Are you a gambler and if so, have you ever had a big win? I do like to have a flutter. I love to play blackjack when I’m in Las Vegas or at a casino, and have been quite lucky. I do have a Paddy Power account on my iPhone and will always have a little bet on the sports to make it more interesting than just watching a game. You feel really involved in the game when you place a bet, even from the comfort of your own living room!

Is money important to you? I’m not solely motivated by money, as I’m more motivated about reaching personal and business goals I set myself. If I reach them, sometimes money follows, and then I may reward myself with a little purchase!

How much money do you have on you now? About €50 from money I took from an ATM at the weekend. That’s a lot of cash for my purse, though, as it’s usually cash-free!

in conversation with Tony Clayton-Lea

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