Monday 17 December 2018

Mary Coughlan: 'I'm hopeless with money - I never got good advice'


Mary Coughlan
Mary Coughlan Business

Mary Coughlan is one of the country's best-loved jazz and blues singers. A mother of five and grandmother of four, she lives in a house on the side of the Little Sugar Loaf mountain in Wicklow. She was born in Galway.

Coughlan recently recovered from a serious heart condition. Often described as Ireland's Billie Holiday, her new single Let it be Me has been well received and she has plans for more new song releases in 2018. Some of her best known albums include Tired and Emotional and Under the Influence. She also lent her voice to the popular A Woman's Heart, Volume 2 album.

Mary Coughlan & Band will be live in Vicar Street on January 21. Tickets are on sale from Ticketmaster.

What's the most important lesson about money which your career as a musician has taught you?

The whole business has left a very bad taste in my mouth. Someone put it to me that there are those who take advantage of people with talent because that's all they can do - and I guess I might just have learned another valuable lesson there.

What's the most expensive country you ever visited?

Iceland. Everything is expensive there. I walked for about three hours on a glacier and I was frozen so I decided a cup of hot chocolate would thaw me out. It cost €25! I almost choked. But Iceland is also astonishingly beautiful.

What's your favourite song about money?

God Bless the Child by Billie Holiday.

What's your favourite Irish coin?

The old florin/two shilling coin - the one with the salmon on it.

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

A car I guess - but I never spend much on them. My current one is a 2005 Suzuki.

What was your worst job?

Working the night shift in a factory in London. Hundreds of women were working there in appalling conditions.

What was your best financial killing?

I signed a deal with WEA (Warner Music) in 1989 - and bought a house after it.

Are you better off than your parents?

I guess so. I've been very blessed with a career that's allowed me to travel the world and bring my kids with me a lot.

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

I would pay off my mortgage and credit card bill. I would take my family on a dream holiday - and buy them all a house. I'd also like to build a place where people who needed a home and care could just be. And I'd buy a newer car!

Have you ever made an insurance claim?

I was involved in a bad car accident - a pile-up kind of thing - about 38 years ago. I got some money from that.

iTunes or Spotify?

I've never used either iTunes or Spotify. As an artist, I know how useless they are. I like buying CDs - especially in other countries.

What was the last thing you bought online?

A dress - which was not as it seemed... I don't really like online shopping.

Would you buy property now?

Not until I win the Lotto.

Do you ever haggle?

I tried once in Morocco - I'm useless at it though.

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

I've never had good advice. I'm hopeless with money.

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

Wheels [my car], food and heat.

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