Me & my money


Barry Cassin, actor and director

Are you a saver or a spender?

I am definitely a saver. I’m not mean, I hope, but always economical.

Do you shop around for better value?

Not really. If I see something I like, I buy it. Not that I go much farther than Dunnes Stores these days. If you want a good pair of trousers, Dunnes is the best place to go.

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

Quite possibly, a car. Yes, it was, it was a sports car! I bought it when I was young and enthusiastic and it cost £1,500, which was a lot of money back then.

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

This may sound quite trivial, but I bought a chain for keeping my car and house keys on, a chain that I can hang on my belt. I must have it for 35 years and it cost me about two shillings.

Have you ever crossed the Border to shop?

No, I haven’t. I spent a large part of my life working in Belfast but I never did any shopping.

Do you haggle over prices?

No, I’m afraid I don’t. I’m a softie and pay whatever the man or woman asks for.

Has the recession changed your spending habits?

No, not really. As an actor, I spent most of my life in a profession that was never over-paid so I was never a big spender, always economical.

Do you invest in shares?

Oh, God, no . . . For some reason or another some shares came to me, years and years ago. I read the paper everyday and watched them dropping and then thought, “To hell with it,” and sold them as fast as I could.

Cash or card?

Card. I always carry a bank card.

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

The car outside my door. It was a second-hand job and has been going for four years now, so I’d say that’s very good value for money.

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

As a small boy my parents told me never to buy anything until I had the money saved to pay for it there and then. That mantra stayed with me and I lived by it.

Have you ever lost money?

On one occasion, I remember losing a wallet with 30 or 40 quid in it, again a lot of money in those days. However, nowadays I tend to carry my card and never have money on me.

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

I am not a gambler and am not interested in gambling. It is not virtue, I am just not interested.

Is money important to you?

It is important to have enough to live on, and fortunately I have enough to live comfortably on. Although if anyone has a couple of million . . .

How much money do you have on you now?

Right now, in notes and change, I have the huge sum of €60 on me.

I Never Had a Proper Job, by Barry Cassin, is published by Liberties Press (