Me & My Money – Shona McManus, owner and chief executive,

In conversation with Tony Clayton-Lea, The Irish Times on the 8th August 2017.


Are you a saver or a spender?

In the past, I was a spender. When money allowed, nearly every penny would go to childcare, day to day expenses and life experiences.

However, over the past two years, my habits have changed as I am saving for a new house. I am a saver and proud.

Do You shop around for better value?

Yes for everything from the best bargain in the supermarket to the best cost insurance. However, the quality is also important to me so I will sacrifice pennies for quality in some case; for example, buying organic vegetables or the best quality meat for my girls.

Everything balances out as I search for the best deal on day-to-day products or wait until brands I like are on special offer and buy in bulk.

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

A shiny, brand new black car – just shy of €50,000 back in 200. A top of the range HP laptop for approximately €2,000and every two months I buy and anti-wrinkle face cream, €85. and eye cream, €8-, to fight the laughter lines. I would consider these last two things to be a bit extravagant, as I am not a brand person and tend not to spend a lot of money on products or designer brand clothes, shoes or handbags!

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

My car and my company.

How do you prefer to shop – online or local?

Both. with a hectic lifestyle, online shopping is great and some products are only available in locations that require a bit of travel. However, I love to shop when I have the time a patience.

Do you haggle over prices?

Yes, for big purchases or from suppliers at work or at a market. never in a shop or store.

Has the recession changed your spending habits?

Yes, absolutely! The recession was awful and, with a reduced salary, high living cost and the cost of childcare for two children at the times, it was crippling. Now that I am earning a half-decent salary again, as well as saving for a specific purpose to buy a house, I also have great comfort in knowing there is some money set aside for a rainy day.

In both business and my personal life, I now think very clearly about what I am about to buy or what agreements I am about to enter. I also think what the effect might be and what my/our exit/repayment strategies might look like should a recession or some curve ball strike.

Do you invest in shares?

Not currently, other than Osborne.

Cash or Card?

Both, but more and more card.

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

I’m not a gambler in a casino or betting was, but you could say in a business way. The day I took over Osborne, both my team and I won big.

Is money important to you?

Financial security is important for my girls and myself to live and provide well, but it’s not my number one personal motivator.

How much money do you have on you now?

In my bag, I have €150.70, although I usually don’t carry that much cash. I also probably have a couple of euro in loose change in my car.