My money: 'I hate talking about money... It is something I should try to work on'
Susan Keogh is the presenter of Newstalk Breakfast on Saturdays and Sundays.
What’s the most important lesson about money your career as a journalist and broadcaster has taught you?
When you work in radio, you are only as good as your last show. It’s very rarely a job for life anymore, so it’s important to keep that in mind when you’re making any financial plans. I’ve always been a terrible saver, but I’m trying to improve.
What’s your favourite song about money?
I didn’t realise how many awful songs there are about money until I had to think about it! Let’s go with Jessie J’s Price Tag. Who doesn’t want to make the world dance and forget about the price tag?
What’s the most expensive place you have ever visited?
I toured the west coast of America on my honeymoon. It was an incredible trip. Las Vegas was one of our stops and I found it to be really expensive, especially eating out in nice restaurants.
What’s the best advice you got about money?
I generally subscribe to the old adage of ‘you can’t take it with you’. If you work hard, I think you should be able to reward yourself.
What’s the most expensive thing you have ever bought?
After my house, my car. I live in Kildare and work in Dublin so I spend a lot of time driving. I change my car every few years to try to avoid having any trouble. I’m not fussy about cars; I just want one that won’t let me down.
What was your worst job?
I spent a summer living in Toronto when I was in college, and I worked in a really popular and busy Italian restaurant. It was run by a Canadian-Italian family who were all a little hot-tempered. It was pretty chaotic at times; we worked really long hours and were shouted at a lot. The tips were great though, so that made it worthwhile.
What was your biggest financial mistake?
Not acknowledging the extortionate interest rates on credit cards if you don’t clear them. I’ve had to cut up one or two in my time. Eventually, I just learned to live without one, and I haven’t had one for years. I now only buy things when I actually have the money.
What was your best financial killing?
I am the least likely person to ever make a financial killing, so I’m going to say my Gucci Soho handbag. It owes me nothing at this stage.
Are you better off than your parents?
No, they’ve recently cleared their mortgage.
If you won the EuroMillions, what would you do with the money?
Buy a radio station so I wouldn’t have to worry about only being as good as my last show. No, I’m joking. I’d pay my family and close friends’ mortgages off and make sure they were comfortable; give some money to charity; and happily live a life of leisure.
iTunes or Spotify?
Radio, every time. But if I have to choose, Spotify.
Would you buy property now?
No, I think one house is enough.
Do you ever haggle?
No, I am a terrible haggler. I just get really embarrassed. In general, I hate talking about
money. I find salary negotiations really hard, or setting fees for things. It’s something I should try to work on.
What three things would you not be able to do without if you were tightening your belt?
Shellac on my nails. I used to bite my nails years ago and if I’m ever without shellac, I feel the need to bite them again. Also, I wish I’d started to look after my skin in my 20s. It’s hard to spend money on good skincare when you’re starting out in work, but you’ll be glad in the end. And thirdly, mascara, because I look ill without it.
Are you a materialistic person?
I’d like to say no, but I think my husband, who has been allocated one tenth of our wardrobe space, would probably disagree.
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