The writer and broadcaster Sinéad Crowley lives in Dublin with her husband and two sons. She launched her latest book, The Belladonna Maze, earlier this summer. Crowley is the arts and media correspondent with RTÉ News and she is also author of the DS Claire Boyle crime novels.
What’s the most important lesson about money which your career has taught you?
That enjoying what you do is as important as making money. Everyone needs to earn enough to live on – but feeling fulfilled at the end of a day’s work is priceless.
What has the coronavirus crisis taught you about money?
That it’s possible to spend locally, even online. Like everyone, I had to do a lot of shopping online during the height of the crisis but I tried to use Irish companies as much as possible.
What’s the best advice you ever got about money?
Neither a borrower nor a lender be – from my mother, via Shakespeare.
What’s the most expensive thing about being a parent?
Childcare. Thankfully, things are easier for us now as the boys are getting older but there was a time, when they were small, that our childcare bill was bigger than the mortgage.
If you could design your own euro note, who would you put on it?
I’d put U2 on the €20 note – so I’d feel like they were buying me a drink every time I went to the bar! I’ve spent so much money on them over the years, I think they owe me a pint.
What’s the most expensive country you have ever visited?
Not the UK as a whole, but a night out in London is incredibly expensive. Worth it though.
Your biggest financial mistake?
I’ve only ever bought a new car once and it was a disaster. It was the year of the Special Savings Incentive Account (SSIA) so I spent my savings on a car – I won’t tell you the brand but every mechanic I brought it to winced and said ‘what do you expect from that car’.
It developed the most bizarre ailments and cost me a fortune before I eventually got rid of it.
Are you a spender or a saver?
I’m a saver. I’d much rather save for a car or a holiday than put it on a credit card. I’ll never be a millionaire because I’m not a risk-taker but hopefully I’ll never go broke either.
The last thing you bought online?
A tent – but from an Irish shop! Festival season approaches...
Would you buy Irish property now?
I don’t want to be a landlord but I’d love a separate space to write in. Maybe one day I’ll afford a cool serviced shed for the back garden.
If you won the EuroMillions, what would you do with the money?
We like where we live in Dublin so probably a bigger house in the same area – with a library and a massive writing space for me, or a separate studio.
I’d pay off the mortgages for family and friends, and give lots to charity including The Irish Hospice Foundation and St Vincent De Paul.
I’d buy a big family holiday in the US and also a big holiday for my friends, most of whom are turning 50 this year. I’d buy a holiday home or writing retreat in west Kerry.
Do you ever haggle?
No, I’m useless at haggling and hate it. We had a great holiday in Tunisia one year but drove the locals mad by refusing to haggle and trying to pay full price for everything.
What was your worst job?
When I was in secondary school, I answered one of those mysterious ads in the paper offering ‘summer work for students’. It turned out to be a scheme whereby they bussed teenagers around the country to sell small furry toys for ‘charity’. I lasted two days.
Three things you could not do without if you were tightening your belt?
Books, including audio books, travel, and scones.