Your MoneyMe & My Money

‘A beautiful pair of silver sparkle designer killer heels was my present to myself during Covid’

Me and My Money: Claire Mac Evilly, chief executive, Airfield Estate

Are you a saver or a spender

Definitely a spender, especially on holidays and eating out. My two passions.

Do you shop around for better value?

Sometimes, but it really depends on the product. Groceries are bought from different retailers where there is better value, but for things like clothes, I will stick to the brands I like and not budge.

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

A beautiful pair of silver sparkle designer killer heels, bought during Covid for a couple of hundred euro. I had my eye on them for a very long time and decided that they should be my present to myself. I used to wear them while working from home, just to make me smile during those challenging times. Thankfully, they finally got to leave the house.

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

While recently on holiday in America, we hired a car with a company that is essentially an Airbnb-type app for cars – in other words, people rent out their cars via the app. The experience was so much better in terms of value for money and admin versus a normal car hire firm. I would highly recommend its use for anyone travelling to the US. It feels like a disrupter in this space and is worth a look.


How did you prefer to shop during the Covid-19 restrictions – online or local?

I have never once shopped online for groceries, even during Covid. I am a marketer’s dream when it comes to food and new product launches, but I need to see them on the shelf to look at the label. I also like to pick my own fruit and veg as I am fussy about quality, and I always try to buy local for organically produced goods where possible. At home, we started to grow some of our own veg in a small patch a few years ago. Tomatoes are the latest challenge.

Do you haggle over prices?

Never. It’s a life skill that I have never mastered and, in reality, it makes me cringe to be around hagglers.

How has the Covid-19 crisis changed your spending habits?

I used to travel a lot for work in my last job, but Covid put a stop to that and the ability to pick up duty-free cosmetics. I now buy all my products online and keep an eye out for offers and discounts on my favourites.

Do you invest in shares?

My grandfather used to say never play the stock market unless you are prepared to lose it. It’s sound advice that has stuck with me.

Cash or card?

Card, but I still get caught short, like when you need to put cash in a Holy Communion card.

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

A heat pump and [solar] PV panels. And time will tell!

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

As children, we used to save up half towards a big purchase. I definitely saved hard for a new Raleigh bike that I absolutely loved.

Have you ever lost money?

No, as it is spent too quickly.

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

I love the odd flutter on the horses, trips to Cheltenham and Leopardstown or buying a lottery ticket, but the most I have won is €500 on a horse called Absolute Notions. The name just spoke to me!

Is money important to you?

An appreciation of it is definitely important to me. I read somewhere about one way to educate your kids to get an appreciation of money is to ask them to guess the bill when eating out. We try to do this as much as we can with my kids.

How much money do you have on you now?

I have €36, which is the change back for paying for my son’s haircut. I didn’t think I would see it so was pleasantly surprised.

Tony Clayton-Lea

Tony Clayton-Lea

Tony Clayton-Lea is a contributor to The Irish Times specialising in popular culture