Are you a saver or a spender?
If I have a particular goal that I’m saving towards, I’m quite disciplined and find that I can easily reduce my spending to achieve that goal. However, once I hit that milestone, I’m much more relaxed about spending money.
Do you shop around for better value?
Yes, in some areas I still have a broke student mentality embedded in me. I’ve developed careful habits of finding good value for money, especially for things like insurance, air travel, hotels – basically anything you can use a price comparison tool for. Every week we make at least two stops when we shop, to make sure we’re getting value for money.
What was your most extravagant purchase and how much did it cost?
I think the extravagance of something depends on the context. When I was a student or saving for a mortgage, a taxi home instead of the bus or a €3 coffee seemed like a huge, wonderful extravaganza. Even now, most of my extravaganzas are based on experience rather than material, like the few nights my husband and I spent in a five-star hotel for our honeymoon, or dinner at a fine restaurant.
What purchase have you made that you consider to be the best value?
My trusty bike. Good for the planet, good for my health, good for my head. Got it on the bike to work program so it was an absolute steal.
In what ways did you prefer to shop during the Covid-19 restrictions – online or locally?
During Covid, online and local have become increasingly inclusive – many amazing Irish brands have made the leap to online sales, so naturally I ended up buying more Irish and local products than ever before. However, I have to say that I prefer to shop in person, and since the restrictions eased, I’ve been hitting the shops with a vengeance.
Do you negotiate prices?
When it comes to shopping, never. My years spent working in supermarkets and mass distribution still haunt me. I used to be the victim of bargaining attempts all the time and it drove me crazy. I still cringe a bit when I witness it now.
How has the Covid-19 crisis changed your consumption habits?
It completely changed them. During the lockdown, my life became very small and, therefore, very cheap. I ran out of ideas what I could spend money on. I now find it quite difficult to break out of these lockdown habits, and I sometimes find myself gravitating towards quiet nights rather than expensive evenings. Although it may only be age and meaning that finally catches up with me.
Do you invest in stocks?
I don’t, except in my boarding house. I keep wanting to learn how to do this, even though I have exactly €33.34 in crypto right now.
Cash or card?
Map all the way. With Covid, in particular, I feel quite guilty about paying cash and always ask permission before doing so.
What’s the last thing you bought and was it good value?
A wallpaper steamer. In theory, great value for money if it saves having to hire a contractor to strip the walls. In practice, a total disaster. Sometimes it’s better to leave it to the pros.
Have you ever managed to save for a relatively large purchase?
We bought a house a few months ago and I’m still in shock that we made it. During the house hunt, bidding for some of the properties we liked exceeded the asking €100,000, so we came close to wrapping it up a few times. We ended up very lucky – the sellers of this house had a strong emotional connection to it and didn’t want to sell it to an investor or someone who had just flipped the property, so they accepted an offer from us. which was far below what they could have received for it. We are certainly not complaining.
Have you ever lost money?
Luckily I didn’t, other than the odd dozen in my purse back when crazy parties were more common.
Are you a gambler and if so, have you ever won a jackpot?
I’ve never really had an interest in gambling except when it’s tied to some social activity, like Eurovision, Drag Race sweepstakes, or a lotto syndicate (but only when there’s a big comic jackpot). That said, I love scratch cards.
Is money important to you?
It’s definitely when I don’t have it. Money is very important to me because it translates into security and peace of mind. I want to be lucky enough to always have enough money to keep a roof over my head, pay my bills, and be able to participate in the little things in life that make me happy.
How much money do you have on you now?
Two €50 notes from a recent birthday card.