Tuesday 22 January 2019

'Don't spend a tenner when you only have a fiver'

My Money

Author Fionnuala Kearney
Author Fionnuala Kearney

Author Fionnuala Kearney lives with her husband in Ascot, just outside London. The couple have two grown-up daughters. Kearney was born in Cork and grew up in Dublin. She previously worked in insurance and property - before making the jump to writing. She has just published her third book, The Book of Love.

What's the most important lesson about money which your career in writing has taught you?

Expenses are daily; income is sporadic.

What's the most expensive thing about being a parent?

Everything to do with bringing up children raises financial issues at different times of their lives - though I think possibly helping our children through third-level education was the biggest strain.

What's the best advice you ever got about money?

You probably shouldn't always spend a tenner when you only have a fiver. From my husband.

What's the most expensive country you ever visited?

Sweden. A thoroughly gorgeous place but expensive. I would have gulped my glass of wine in shock at the price, but for the fact it meant I'd have to buy another one. I don't remember how much it was exactly, but it was eye-watering.

What's your favourite coin?

The British 50-pence piece. I love the seven-sided shape and have seen some beautiful commemorative coins. The size of it allows for some lovely imagery.

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

Probably my car, but, other than that, a dress for my first daughter's wedding.

What was your worst job?

When I was in my late teens, I lasted a fortnight over one summer working in the stockroom of a boutique in Dublin. It was an airless, horrid room and I'd swear the hangers were attacking me.

What was your biggest financial mistake?

A home bought in the 1980s in London, in an 'up and coming' area that never quite arrived. We had to move after six years for school reasons. When we did, we - like many others at the time - had massive negative equity.

Are you better off than your parents?

Definitely. Mainly because my parents had seven children - and so had the cost of raising them to contend with.

If you won the Lotto, what would you do with the money?

I've had this conversation so often with my other half. Pay the mortgage is the obvious one, and I'd want to help family out. Plus, I'd want to support some charities.

Have you ever made an insurance claim?

Yes - for lost jewellery. I had my wedding ring, engagement ring and earrings in a box and lost them while travelling.

iTunes or Spotify?

I love Spotify. I love the ability to make my own playlists and make one for each novel I write before I scribe a single word.

What was the last thing you bought online?

Books. I am a book fiend.

Would you buy property now?

Probably not, at the moment. Though I do dream of a bolthole in Dublin, like an apartment overlooking the sea in Dalkey.

Do you ever haggle?

Before writing, I did have a prior career in property, so I haggled a lot on behalf of clients. Personally though, I have never haggled even when I was meant to - at least, not when face-to-face over a relatively small item.

What three things would you not be able to do without if you were tightening your belt?

Mobile phone, hairdresser, and Diet Coke.

What's your favourite song about money?

The Beatles, Can't Buy Me Love.

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