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6 Mar, 2018

Me & My Money: John Molloy, managing director, Oomph.ie

‘My most extravagant purchase was also my most stupid… a BMW in 2005 for €78,000’

Are you a saver or a spender? A spender! I save a lot in my pension fund but try to only draw out what I need in salary from the company to cover bills and lifestyle on a monthly basis.

Do you shop around for better value? Almost always for larger purchases. I’d have a look online before purchase and traditionally identify where I get the best value before I walk into the shop.

What has been your most extravagant purchase and how much did it cost? My most extravagant purchase was also my most stupid. I bought a one-year-old 645 Coupe BMW in 2005, in the height of the boom, for €78,000.I sold it in 2012 for €7,000.

I’ll never make that mistake again. What purchase have you made that you consider the best value for money? My wife’s engagement ring! Regardless of what I paid for the ring, she is invaluable.

How do you prefer to shop – online or local? I’d very much do a mixture of both, so no preference, but I always look for good value and try to support local business where possible.

Do you haggle over prices? Always!

Has the recession changed your spending habits? Very much so. As with the example of the BMW, I will never again borrow for a car. I draw a smaller salary and live within my means. Pre-2008, I thought the good times would last forever. I now realise that we will have more downturns and I’ll be a lot more prepared next time both to keep financially secure and to take advantage.

Do you invest in shares? Yes, I lost a lot in 2008-2009 after saving for almost 20 years in bank shares, but I have also gained a lot of it back by getting into Bank of Ireland shares at seven cent. Almost all my share dealing is done through my pension fund, and I trade several times a year.

Cash or card? Cash. It gives you better bargaining power.

What was the last thing you bought and was it good value for money? A weekend away deal for my wife and I in the Mount Falcon Hotel in Mayo.

Have you ever successfully saved up for a relatively big purchase? Other than my home, not really.

Have you ever lost money? Yes. The decrease in value of bank shares during the recession wiped out a lot of my equity investment. I still hold them, but they are worth a fraction of what I paid. Are you a gambler and, if so, have you ever had a big win? Anyone who leaves a well-paid pensionable job to start his or her own business is a gambler. So yes, I’m a gambler but it has paid off, so far, almost 15 years later.

Is money important to you? Somewhat, but it’s by no means the be-all and end-all. I want enough to lead a nice lifestyle for my family and myself, and I have enough saved when I retire to really start to enjoy life. As a result, my pension funding is very important to me. Health and contentment are far more important, though, and as I get older that becomes a lot clearer.

How much money do you have on you now? €165.

In conversation with Tony Clayton-Lea at The Irish Times