Business Personal Finance

Wednesday 22 November 2017

My Money: 'My parents have spent wisely and I have not'


Karl Spain
Karl Spain

With comedian Karl Spain

Limerick man Karl Spain has been in stand-up comedy for over 15 years. He is well-known for his TV series Karl Spain Wants A Woman. Spain, who was resident writer for the RTE show Republic of Telly, has toured with the Scottish comedian Kevin Bridges.

He is a regular at comedy festivals, including the Cat Laughs festival in Kilkenny, where he will perform this June bank holiday weekend. For more information, visit

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

You need to plan your year so that you keep busy and financially stable. The money doesn't come in as regular payments. Occasionally it doesn't come in at all.

What's the most expensive country you ever visited?

Last year I visited Saudi Arabia where they had built a revolving restaurant without putting in the parts to make it revolve - I thought that was a very expensive mistake to make. But Norway was the most expensive for just basics.

What's your favourite Irish coin?

The €2 coin that I use to pay the toll up and down to Dublin so I get my receipt, 10c change and a bit of chat with the staff.

Are you better off than your parents?

No, they have spent wisely and I have not. My father has a big house with the mortgage paid off. Or as one of my female friends pointed out, he's a bit of a catch.

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

I haven't bought property, so the most expensive thing I have bought was my previous car. I've also treated myself to expensive holidays.

What was your worst job?

I worked in fast food and cafes throughout school and college. The worst thing about any job is people. It's not so bad when it's customers, as they will leave. But when it's a boss that doesn't know what they should be doing, oh God.

What was your biggest financial mistake?

Lending money to a friend who also ran up some bills on my credit card. I'm over it. It's been 11 years. Can't believe you brought it up.

What was your best financial killing?

I don't like to kill things, it is immoral. But doing the panto at University Concert Hall, Limerick last Christmas was a very fun way to make money. I used to do well betting on football too - not at the bookies, but among friends. It's the best way to gamble. I don't let any emotion into my choice on which team will win. The joy of collecting off someone you know is the best feeling - even if it's just a small amount.

Android or iPhone?

iPhone - which is great until it comes up as memory full because I've two apps on it.

Do you know how much is in your current account?

I get paid ad-hoc electronically, so never, unless I check my receipt on an ATM withdrawal.

Have you ever made an insurance claim?

Yes, my family home was burgled 15 years ago so I claimed for electronic items they stole - and the Picasso ...

What was the last thing you bought online?

I have bought a few football things online but the last thing is possibly my subscription to Netflix or Apple Music.

Would you buy Irish property now?

Yes - who wouldn't want a fancy new home if they could find one to buy and had money to buy? But it's strange seeing the mini-bubble starting again.

Cash or card?

Both in equal measure. I can be neurotic about balancing my expenditure to the same level in cash and card.

It's difficult and requires continued effort to spend.

Sunday Indo Business

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