Business Personal Finance

Wednesday 21 August 2019

'Being an actor has taught me how to save money'

Money talks: Ciaran Bermingham

Ciaran Bermingham
Ciaran Bermingham
Louise McBride

Louise McBride

The Cork actor Ciaran Bermingham is possibly best known for playing the role of 'Mord' in the hit TV series, Game of Thrones. He also starred in the recent Irish box office hit, The Young Offenders - a movie shot in Cork. Bermingham has a long theatre career behind him too. He is currently starring as the loveable Granny in the Red Riding Hood panto in the Everyman Theatre in Cork ( until January 8.

What is the most important lesson about money which your career has taught you?

Before I went into acting full-time I had a 'real' job. So my wages went into the bank every month without fail. It took me a few months to adjust to the fact that wages were going to be very irregular. I've learnt you do need to save for that rainy day and how much money I wasted on by just buying 'stuff' -CDs I've never played and so on.

What's the most expensive place you have travelled to as an actor?

New York - after I shot Game of Thrones. It was a good investment on my behalf -although it did end up costing me a small fortune. I'd do it again though.

What's your favourite Irish coin?

The 50 pence piece. As a kid my Aunty Poppy would give me one every time I visited. It bought me sweets and the Victor and Warlord comics. It reminds me of simpler times.

Are you better off than your parents?


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

A car and I also bought a painting that I fell in love with and was more than I could afford. I've considered selling it to cover mortgage bills, but something always came up to save the day, or more so, the painting.

What was your worst job?

A door-to-door salesman - selling prints of Irish scenery. It really sucked. There would be a team of us dropped off in a village or town and we would go door-to-door trying to sell these truly awful prints. I learnt quickly that the first place you hit was the local priest's house. He was always good for at least one print. The stories I told to sell them!

What was your biggest financial mistake?

I bought a car on the advice of a mate who thought he knew more about cars than he did. It was a disaster - every week there was something wrong. I'm still friends with him and slag him on a regular basis over it.

What was your best financial killing?

Our first house. It was £27,000 back in 1991. It was an old terrace house I still miss today. It seemed like a steal but at the time it was so hard to get a mortgage. Interest rates were 15pc or 16pc - and rose to 21pc. We sold it seven years later and did really well.

Do you use any money saving apps?


Android or iPhone?

I had an iPhone but it died when I was on tour with a play. I picked up an Android, but it's due an upgrade so back to the iPhone.

Do you know how much is in your current account?

Yes - I'm getting old and sensible.

Have you ever made an insurance claim?

The washing machine went mental and leaked all over the place and destroyed the floor. The insurance company were brilliant.

Have you ever switched utility provider?

No. It's something I should look at though.

Itunes or Spotify?


What was the last thing you bought online?

A play called I am Shakespeare by Mark Rylance. Brilliantly funny play.

Do you have a mortgage? Is it fixed, variable or tracker

Luckily enough we don't.

Would you buy Irish property now?

If I won the lottery or got a big gig that paid mad money, then yes - as an investment.

Cash or card?

Mostly card, but regular Laser card - not a credit card. Never again. I had way too much fun with credit cards in my younger years.

Do you ever haggle?

When I was younger no - and I used to get embarrassed when my parents did. Now I haggle with everyone.

Sunday Indo Business

Also in Business