My Money: 'We bought our home in 2007, just before the crash'
Catherine Martin is the deputy leader of the Green Party, as well as the party's education spokeswoman. The mother of three was an English and music teacher in Dundrum for many years before she was elected to the Dail. Martin is on both the education and mental health committees of the Oireachtas. She is also chairwoman of the Women's Parliamentary Caucus, which is hoping to host an international conference of women's parliamentary caucuses in Dublin this year to mark the centenary of women's suffrage. The next meeting of the Women's Caucus takes place this Tuesday.
What's the most important lesson about money your career as a politician has taught you?
That education must be viewed as an essential investment in our nation's children. Investing generously in education will always reap positive dividends for our people.
What's the most expensive place you ever visited?
Florence, Italy. I recall paying over €10 for a coffee around 15 years ago.
What's the best advice you ever got about money?
My mother advised me to save for the inevitable rainy day.
What's the most expensive thing about being a parent?
School - particularly since we have a number of children of schoolgoing age
Apart from property, what's the most expensive thing you have ever bought?
Probably my wedding dress. It was the first one I tried on. It had a Celtic-medieval style to it.
What was your worst job?
I am fortunate in that I never had a job I disliked. I worked in coffee shops all through my student days in New York, California and in Dublin and loved it. It left me with my addiction to coffee, but I met some great characters and I made many treasured friends.
What was your biggest financial mistake?
We bought our home in October 2007 - just before the crash.
What was your best financial killing?
When my husband and I were just back from our honeymoon, my mother (who has since passed away) entered me into a TV show competition with first prize being a car. I won the car.
Are you better off than your parents?
About the same. Research has shown that wealthy people are not any better off in terms of happiness. My parents were certainly blessed with much happiness in their lives. I think that how we spend our money is more important than how much we have.
If you won the Euromillions, what would you do with the money?
I would pay off all my debts, and the debts of all those closest to me. Needless to say, I would put money aside for my children and I would also support causes and charities close to my heart.
If you could design your own euro note, what image would you put on it?
I would choose an image of harpers playing on the Hill of Tara. We need to do more to promote Ireland's ancient harping tradition.
iTunes or Spotify?
I never made the crossover to iTunes or Spotify. I use CDs and records.
What was the last thing you bought online?
Cinema tickets for my daughter's birthday party.
Would you buy property now?
No - we are still in negative equity!
Do you ever haggle?
Yes. The best deal I got when haggling was a vintage 1920s dress bought in California, when I was working there as a student.
What three things would you not be able to do without if you were tightening your belt?
Coffee, music and my phone.
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