04 Apr, 2018

Me and My Money with Martin Glennon

Ifac's Head of Financial Solutions, Martin Glennon, spoke to the Irish Times on how he handles his money.

1. Are you a saver or a spender?

A saver, but not a successful one. I have four children aged between 11 and 21. Need I say anymore!

2. Do you shop around for better value?

I use the internet for research when buying a one-off, such as a car or hotel stay. But when it comes to more regular items such as clothes, then I’m less likely to shop around. If I find what I’m looking for in the first shop, then I take it and go. None of this trawling through every other shop, only to come back to where you started.

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

That would be buying a large plasma TV and sound system for the house we were building. I wanted the TV recessed into the chimney place and a Bose surround sound system. Between the two it cost over €5,000 and that was thirteen years ago. It felt extravagant because there were so many other things that we needed at the time.

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

We built the family home 13 years ago in Westmeath. Moving away from Dublin gave us the ability to get the space that six of us would need. We also got the countryside, a great local community and a much better way of life. Definitely worth every penny.

5. What ways do you prefer to shop - online or local?

I prefer to shop locally when I can. I love the human interaction and being able to see and feel the goods. But it’s not always possible to get everything you want in the Midlands. In those cases, I’ll cautiously shop online.

6. Do you haggle over prices?

Not so much in Ireland but put me in a market abroad and I’m a different animal. I see it as a challenge. There have been times when I’ve haggled, got them to the price I wanted and then walked away from the deal. It’s awful I know, but it wasn’t about buying the goods, it was all about the haggle.

7. Has the recession changed your spending habits?

Not for me. Having said that, I’m not really a spender so the bar was quiet low before the recession.

8. Do you invest in shares?

I do, both personally and through my pension. I was in a share club some years back, which was a great experience. Back then we were trading not only in direct shares, but in derivatives such as Calls, Puts and Covered Calls.

9. Cash or card?

The Card is so convenient, especially with tap & go. But I always hold a small bit of cash just in case technology lets me down.

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

A bought a Sports Jacket last week. I deliberated a while before deciding I was happy with the style, fabric and price quoted. When I got to the till there was a 15% reduction, so I was very happy with that purchase.

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

The only big purchase I managed to save for was the deposit for my first home. Everything else has been on credit.

12. Have you ever lost money?

Like many others I lost money on Bank of Ireland shares. As a former employee, I was accumulating them through share profit and employee savings schemes. The shares were earmarked for college funds. When my eldest went to Maynooth University a few years ago, she asked about the possibility of accommodation. I suggested she check out what happened Irish banks during the financial crisis and then she would understand why she was getting the bus!

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

Not really. The house always wins.

14. Is money important to you?

Only when I don’t have any. When it’s scarce, it is one of the few things I would worry about. However, when I have enough to cover the essentials then I forget all about money.

15. How much money do you have on you now?