Canny spender online who haggles abroad



1. Saver or spender?

I always thought that I was more of a saver than a spender. As a child I was always the one to dish out loans to my older brother. But by the look of my bank balance at the moment the truth is that I have probably veered since to the spender end of the spectrum.

2. Do you shop around for better value?

When it comes to food or medical items, no. But in most other affairs, especially clothes, I tend to be a bit of a bargain hunter and do my research. I’m a big fan of online shopping.

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

I splashed out on a holiday to Tanzania during my first year of a real job, taking in a hike up Kilimanjaro, a safari in the Ngorongoro Crater and some relaxation time in Zanzibar. Let’s just say that it cost a significant percentage of my salary and I felt the financial effects of that trip for about a year afterwards.

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

My runners.

5. Have you ever crossed the Border to shop?

No, not to the North. As I represented London in the Rose of Tralee festival, I have been popping over there a few times this year. I do try to stock up on things that are noticeably cheaper in the UK, like vitamins and toiletries.

6. Do you haggle over prices?

In Ireland, I haven’t yet dared – I just begrudgingly accept the marked price. But I do have a friend who sometimes chances his arm on the high street. If we’re out shopping together and it comes to paying, I try to disassociate myself from him by standing outside the shop door. He’s probably right though! When I’ve been abroad in somewhere like India, Egypt or Thailand, where there is a real culture of haggling, I am happy to embrace the custom.

7. Has the recession changed your spending habits?

This year has been a peculiar one for me financially as I opted to dedicate the year completely to Rose of Tralee duties. Because I’m not earning, my spending habits have definitely changed – but more so because of this special year than the recession.

8. Do you invest in shares?

A summer working in the equity research department of an investment bank in London killed any interest in investing in shares. So, that would be a no!

9. Cash or card?

Definitely cards.

10. How much money do you have on you now?

€33.81, $54, £20 and 1,050 rupees – I need to do a spring clean of my purse!

In conversation with Conor Pope. If you would like the chance to become the next Rose of Tralee, see for application forms