Your MoneyMe & My Money

‘Saving for college fees made me wonder what I was previously spending my money on’

Me & My Money: Jayne Foley, founder of the Fresh International Film Festival

Limerick-based art teacher Jayne Foley established the Fresh International Film Festival in 1997. The festival provides a platform for young film-makers to develop their skills. Fresh International Film Festival 2023 runs from March 28th to April 1st. Ireland’s Young Filmmaker of the Year Awards air on RTÉ 2 on Wednesday, April 12th, at 7pm.

Are you a saver or a spender?

Until the last few years, I was definitely a spender, but my daughter started in University College Cork last September so I knew I had to get my act together. To be honest, saving for it wasn’t as hard as I thought. It just required more planning ahead, but it did make me wonder what I was previously spending my money on.

Do you shop around for better value?

It depends on the service or product, I guess. I believe you get what you pay for. I’ll always pay for good quality food and I love to support Irish jewellery designers, but for things like travel, flights and holidays, I will spend hours doing online research.

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

Extravagance is related to income. What might be extravagant for one person may be an easy purchase and not considered extravagant for another. In that vein, I remember getting my first pay cheque and buying a handbag. I can’t remember the price but it was clearly out of my price range.


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

I have bought artworks in the past and, more than anything, they retain their value for me. Art often has an unclear value but if you buy something you really like, it will stay having value for you forever. There are very few products you can say that about.

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

A bit of both, really. Locally, I started to get a weekly fruit and veg box full of amazing products from Tipperary producers. It was great to get fresh fruit and veg that was in season. I certainly embraced online shopping, too. Living in rural Ireland, it was a bit of excitement when the courier arrived.

Do you haggle over prices?

No, I’m an absolutely terrible haggler. However, my brother, who I take with me when I’m buying a new car, is great at it and, more to the point, enjoys it. It’s very entertaining to watch him, especially when I can sit back and reap the rewards.

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

I probably do more online shopping now but I am also more selective about what I buy and so I actively seek out Irish-made products. I also will only buy cruelty-free cosmetics and find it easier to do this online.

Do you invest in shares?

No, I wouldn’t have a clue where to start.

Cash or card?

Card mainly. Although I like to have some cash. I find I have better control over my spending when I use cash. Tapping the card is a very easy way to lose track of your budget.

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

Cinema tickets for a deserving second look on the big screen at An Cailín Ciúin – it’s that good.

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

Saving up for the deposit on our house was the biggest saving I have ever done.

Have you ever lost money?

No, not in the stocks and shares manner, anyway. I’ve occasionally lost money in a casual manner, like everyone. I did have my purse stolen – once. Losing the cards and IDs that were inside was the greater loss however, as gathering them all together again took a few months.

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

I don’t like any sports that involve animals so I wouldn’t go horse racing and don’t get me started on greyhound racing. However, don’t let me near those arcade claw machines. My daughter and I went to Brighton recently and we came away empty-handed and substantially lighter of pocket.

Is money important to you?

Only in terms of having enough not to worry, but in the grand scheme of things, it really is not the most important thing. The saying that “your health is your wealth” is true.

How much money do you have on you now?

In cash? €5.

In conversation with Tony Clayton-Lea

Tony Clayton-Lea

Tony Clayton-Lea

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