Your MoneyMe & My Money

‘Only gamble I ever made was launching my business during a recession’

Me & My Money: Olivia Buckley, founder/managing director, Olivia Buckley International

Olivia Buckley International is a leading event design, planning and productions firm specialising in luxury destination events and weddings in Ireland and Europe.

Are you a saver or a spender?

My values and ethics are aligned with being a practical spender. I believe in investing in things that create memories and experiences, like an experiential dinner, a nice night away, a memorable holiday or a milestone party. I wouldn’t be a big spender when it comes to items such as fashion. I like to dress well with key pieces but I am not all about the brand. If it is of high quality and it looks good, I am happy.

Do you shop around for better value?


Absolutely. There are so many price disparities out there that it’s important to be aware of the options and value.

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

My wedding! To me, experiences are the one thing you will remember in life, especially when bringing your nearest and dearest together. I look back now and would not change a thing; it was monumental.

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

The most valuable purchase I made was my website domain. This was the first step in creating my international-based business. The domain website cost €10 the first year and now generates most of our business leads.

How do you prefer to shop – online or local?

I’m not an online buyer. I’m a tactile person so I prefer to touch and feel products before purchasing. Where possible, I embrace shopping with local craftsmanship and artists. Online can be great for niche items but it wouldn’t be my general practice.

Do you haggle over prices?

I’m a keen negotiator and like to receive value for investment. I understand you pay a price for quality and expertise, and respect the time and effort it takes to produce something of this nature.

Has the recession changed your spending habits?

I was fortunate to always understand the value of a strong work ethic so I have respect for money. My spending habits have remained consistent from before the recession until now.

Do you invest in shares?

Financial planning for the future is important for my family and business. I have an interest in it from studying for my degree in economics. However, I am so busy that I don’t have the bandwidth to manage the buying and selling of shares daily. I believe in life that you have to surround yourself with strong experts in key areas and I have a wonderful financial planner who manages this path for me.

Cash or card?

Since my introduction to Apple Pay, I haven’t looked back.

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

My husband and I treated our two-year-old son to an adventure to Dublin Zoo this past weekend where he took his first journey on a train. It was a small investment with a big return, and the joy this brought was priceless.

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

I have a dream of a beautiful family home and I am patiently waiting with my life savings to find this special place with my husband.

Have you ever lost money?

Nothing that keeps me awake at night.

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

No, I have never gravitated towards this. The only gamble I ever made was launching my business during a recession. Thankfully, it became a great success.

Is money important to you?

I look at this with a two-pronged approach. In my personal life money is important for us to provide the necessities. It is not the be-all and end-all. I firmly believe happiness is not based on money or possessions but on relationships and experiences with those you love and respect. However, money is fundamental when running a solid business. Cash flow and reserves are hugely important for business planning. So it is important to me in business to ensure we have a strong financial base.

How much money do you have on you now?

I like to carry a €20 note tucked into the back of my phone. It has helped me on many occasions. If my phone runs flat, it’s my safety net – my phone goes everywhere with me!

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