“I’m in it for the long haul and I just need to believe that things will get better”

Are you a saver or a donor?
For many years, when my kids were in college and during the recession, I needed to save and keep a close eye on my spending. At this stage in my life, I tend to buy what I want, if I want it within reason.

Are you looking for a cheaper price?
When shopping for a specific item, I look around and may travel outside of my home territory of Athlone. I love finding a bargain.

What was your most extravagant purchase and how much did it cost?
I spend money on things that I use every day and that I enjoy, like my car, my house and my garden. I have invested in a redesign of my kitchen which has cost me a significant amount of money.

What purchase have you made that you consider to be the best value for money?
Paying for expert advice when planning the changes to my home and garden was the best value. The experts I contacted saw the potential for design changes that I hadn’t considered. Your recommendations made a fantastic difference to the overall picture of what we were trying to achieve. I spend a good part of my day at home and it’s nice to be able to enjoy my surroundings.

What was your favorite way to shop during the Covid-19 restrictions – online or local?
I shopped locally during the pandemic. I sometimes buy heavy items online as I can’t carry them far due to health reasons.

Do you haggle over prices?
Yes, sometimes. If I buy more than one expensive piece of clothing from a store, I ask for a discount – and I usually get it!

How has the Covid-19 crisis changed your spending habits, and is there anything in particular that you’ve either stopped or started buying?
I had stopped buying lipstick as there was no point in wearing a mask all the time. I bought my first lipstick in two years a few weeks ago!

Do you invest in stocks?
Yes I do and over the last few weeks the way things are going in the world I just don’t look at it. I’m set on the long term and just have to trust that things will improve and that those managing them are making the right, informed decisions.

cash or card?
map all the way. It’s fantastic to be able to have different payment methods on my phone. No need for a bulky wallet in a small purse.

What was the last thing you bought and was it good value for money?
A pair of pink suede heels with rhinestone toes to match a dress I received for the Image PwC Business Women of the Year Awards. Got them half price as I take a size 4 for shoes and I often bargain because of my small feet. Happy Days!

Have you ever successfully saved for a relatively large purchase?Yes, for our first house.

Have you ever lost money?
No cash but our credit cards were stolen and used to the value of €4,500.

Are you a gambler and if so, have you ever hit a big win?
No, I don’t play.

Do you care about money?
It gives me comfort to know that I am not in need. To balance my luck, I fundraise and support a number of children’s organizations through our Childcare and Early Intervention service.

How much money do you have with you now?
A €20 note and spare coins for parking when I go shopping in Athlone.

In conversation with Tony Clayton-Lea

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