“Covid has completely changed my consumption habits”

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Are you a saver or a spendthrift?

While my love of shopping comes from working in the retail industry for years, I spend too. Saving is really about making sure children are taken care of throughout their education, which is the best investment, and other important stages in their lives.

Are you shopping for better value?

Yes, but it depends on the article. I wouldn’t necessarily negotiate on things like luxury items. This is probably from my time spent working at Brown Thomas, but I would be convinced that there are some items that cannot be cropped.

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

We went to Lapland a few years ago. It was a 48 hour trip and it was without a doubt the best money spent in a long time. The children had an incredible experience and one that we will not forget.

What purchase did you make that you consider to be the best value for money?

My AirPods. They were a godsend, especially in the midst of a pandemic, to take me for a walk in the evening and relax.

How do you prefer to shop during Covid-19 restrictions – online or locally?

Definitely local. I like going to the stores and having the chance to interact with people. I found myself cycling at Lynam’s in Goatstown (Dublin) quite regularly with the kids to please me. Lynam’s is a fantastic example of a local store that brilliantly serves the community. During the pandemic, when I shop online, it is mostly with brands owned or operated by Irish people.

Do you haggle over prices?

In the past, if I could I would, but I would probably be less likely to haggle now with Covid because it’s not easy for retailers right now.

How the Covid-19 crisis changed your consumption habits?

It completely changed my consumption habits. Before Covid I would have benefited a lot from the restaurant experience, but since that was gone I find myself saving money and not spending so much. The take out, like everyone else, was a winner and Kinara Kitchen on a Friday night was a real treat. The pandemic has also shown that there are some things we don’t need. What’s really important is what you need week after week – a lot of other things you can do without.

Do you invest in stocks?

I only invested in stocks once, and everything went well. But overall, I wouldn’t have much interest.

Cash or card?

Since the Covid, everything is map. Like most people, I often find myself not carrying any money with me.

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

Without a doubt, my iPad Pro. It was great as a second screen. I haven’t used a printer since the lockdown started as it’s great for reviewing and signing documents.

Have you ever managed to save for a relatively large purchase?

Yes, for a house and an engagement – both were money well spent, of course. Good investments and always massive dividends!

Have you ever lost money?

Fortunately, I have never invested in anything that lost money. On the other side of the coin, I won money … on a scratch card!

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

I wouldn’t be a great player except five dollars on golf or rugby or a good accumulator.

Is money important to you?

I discovered that money isn’t everything, it’s not what motivates me every day. If the current crisis has taught me anything, it’s that material things are not as important as I once thought.

How much money do you have with you now?

A € 20 bill that I kept in my wallet for the duration of the pandemic, but the card does it all these days.

in conversation with Tony Clayton-Lea


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