Me & my money


Tania Banotti, Ad woman

Are you a saver or a spender?

I’m a saver. For years I worked in the arts, which can be precarious. Years ago, a pension adviser scared the bejasus out of a group of arts administrators with how much we’d have to live on if we did nothing, so I started a pension early. Little and often was the advice.

Do you shop around for better value?

Hmm, I suppose so. I’m not a big shopper to be honest.

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

I caved in when I turned 40 and bought a car. I’d been a cyclist all my life. Looking back, I don’t know for the life of me how I managed without a car for so long, but my hitching days are now over thank God. There’s no going back.

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

My Scarpa hiking boots. I’m big into hillwalking, and the first rule is you can hike in any conditions so long as your feet are dry. In these high-end boots they always are.

Have you ever crossed the Border to shop?

No, although I wish I had a good pal that lived somewhere near the Border. When I bought my house I would have liked to order stuff from UK shops that offered free package and postage within the UK. I fantasised about being able to drive to Newry to pick it up . . .

Do you haggle over prices?

Not in Ireland, but I lived in Italy and the Gaza Strip for a few years and in both cultures it is a sin not to haggle. It’s all part of the fun. I once negotiated for three days for some carpets in Damascus. It involved lots of coffee and shisha pipe smoking, and we were friends at the end of it.

Has the recession changed your spending habits?

Not drastically, but like everyone else I’m careful. As I said I’m not a big shopper anyway.

Do you invest in shares?


Cash or card?

Both. I’m wary carrying too much cash.

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

A ticket to the The Boys of Foley Street – the hot ticket in the Dublin Theatre Festival. It cost €17. As far as I’m concerned, good theatre is always good value for money.

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

The only thing I save for are holidays abroad, the more remote the better.

Have you ever lost money?

Yes, I’ve been pick-pocketed more than once. Years ago when I was studying at the university of Siena, I stupidly put my rent and deposit through my landlord’s letterbox. He claimed never to have received it. It was a major drama.

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

Never gambled. Never won anything in my life, Lotto draws, nothing.

Is money important to you?

I’d be a hyprocrite if I said no. It is great to have it, but it’s not what motivates me.

How much money do you have on you now?


Tania Banotti is chief executive of the Institute of Advertising Practitioners Ireland. The IAPI AdFx awards are held on Thursday, November 8th, at the Mansion House Dublin