Friday 17 January 2020

'Never make plans based on money you haven't received yet'

My Money

Jane Casey
Jane Casey

The Irish author Jane Casey is from Castleknock in Dublin. She lives in south-west London with her husband and two sons.

She won the Crime Fiction Book of the Year at the An Post Irish Book Awards last November for her book Cruel Acts.

Other crime novels by Casey include The Reckoning, After the Fire and Let the Dead Speak. For more information, visit harpercollins.co.uk.

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

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Never make plans based on money you haven't received yet.

Like anyone in a creative industry, I've had a few deals fall through. Some were very small and some were more painful.

The most expensive thing about being a parent?

I'm tempted to say Lego because my children could spend an infinite amount of money on it.

I never want to say no to them if they ask to do or try something. I want them to have every opportunity I can give them.

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

My husband is also self-employed - he's a barrister. When I started earning money as a writer, he advised me to set aside a percentage of every payment I received in a separate bank account.

He told me that this percentage of my income was the taxman's, and not to think of it as mine.

It means I've never been caught out by a tax bill, so far. My income can vary quite a lot from year to year, so it's good to have that safety net.

What's your favourite Irish coin or note?

The old 5p piece with its prancing bull. I loved the coins with animals on them.

What's the most expensive country you ever visited?

London is an unbelievably expensive city, though you can avoid some of the costs.

I once bought two drinks in a West End theatre, and the girl behind the bar told me the price was more than she earned for her entire shift.

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

My wedding dress, which was bought in De Stafford Bridal in Dublin. It was the most expensive one in the shop! I regret nothing - it was perfect.

What was your worst job?

I worked in the Christmas decorations department in a large department store when I was a student. The all-day Christmas music was actual torture.

What was your best financial killing?

Buying a flat in London when I was quite young with a deposit that I had saved from my very small salary.

Are you better off than your parents?

I don't think so. My father was 50 when I was born and well-established in his career. My sister and I really benefited from him being an older father. He is 93 now and still a wonderful parent.

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

I would still want to write. I'd support amazing animal charities in Ireland like Madra Dog Rescue and set up bursaries to give writers opportunities. Going to festivals or writing retreats is financially impossible for a lot of talented writers.

Have you ever made an insurance claim?

We had to make a claim after a burglary some years ago. Our insurer couldn't have been more helpful.

iTunes or Spotify?

iTunes. I listen to music while I write and I like to write when I'm travelling; iTunes comes with me.

What was the last thing you bought online?

A present for a friend in hospital.

Would you buy Irish property now?

I would if I could - but not as an investment, as that would feel immoral.

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

My computer, my 19-year-old cat's expensive daily medication, and books for my children.

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