Business Personal Finance

Sunday 30 April 2017

My Money: 'You don't need lots of money to be happy'

Jim Wilson
Jim Wilson

Jim Wilson is an independent wildlife writer, broadcaster, and filmmaker. He was a regular contributor to RTE Radio 1's Mooney Goes Wild show and a key figure in the production and presentation of the international live broadcast of the Mooney Goes Wild dawn chorus for over 20 years.

Wilson, who is from Cobh in Co Cork, is co-author of Ireland's Garden Birds - A Guide to Attracting and Identifying Garden Birds. A revised edition has just been published.

What's the most important lesson about money that your career as a wildlife broadcaster has taught you?

You don't have to make lots of money to be happy and you should be prepared to take opportunities when they arise.

Which bird would be best with their money?

A tough question. Almost all birds are very efficient at using resources. Almost all decisions they make are a matter of life and death to them and so wasting 'money' would be alien to them.

What's your favourite song about money?

I like Money by Pink Floyd for its musical structure and melodies. I am a big fan of Randy Newman and a favourite of mine is his jaundice-eyed view of money in his song It's Money that Matters.

What's the most expensive country you've visited?

I think it has to be Norway. While returning from a job in Svalbard, I took a photo of a soft drink can in the airport - with a price tag of €5!

Are you better off than your parents?

It depends on your definition of better off. If you mean financially, I would say probably yes. When you are growing up, you don't really think about how well off your parents are. You are too focused on yourself.

Apart from property, what's the most expensive thing you have ever bought?

A second-hand car. We have never bought a new car. Cars don't interest me so long as they get me from A to B safely and don't break down.

What was your worst job?

Working in the public service. I worked with some incredibly talented and dedicated people who were worn flat by a system that stifled creativity, imagination and self-criticism. We spend such a large amount of our lives at work and not to have job satisfaction is just terrible.

What was your biggest financial mistake?

Thankfully, I cannot remember any major financial mistakes.

What was your best financial killing?

Never made a financial killing. I don't have the risk-taking nature for that.

Android or iPhone?

Android but I am tempted to move to iPhone. As part of my job, I take a lot of photos and those from the iPhone look really good and would mean I would not need to bring a second camera on my travels. They are expensive though.

Do you know how much is in your current account?

Yes, I do. I always need to be sure we don't exceed our overdraft limit.

Have you ever made an insurance claim?

I claimed on house insurance once for water damage that arose from a plumbing issue.

Have you ever switched utility provider?

Yes, some time ago we moved our electricity. We also have gas and it was cheaper and more convenient to have the two together.

iTunes or Spotify?

iTunes. I also have a CD collection and I have even digitally recorded a couple of my LPs. I am straddling the old and new audio platforms.

What was the last thing you bought online?

A book on the wildlife of the Antarctic as a present for my son. I find buying online very useful for reference books for my job that are hard to get in local bookshops. I also try to support the local economy.

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