Saturday 25 May 2019

Wallet Watch... with Lynk Taxi CEO: 'My first business venture was selling broken biscuits and chocolate door-to-door'

Noel Ebbs founded Lynk in 2015
Noel Ebbs founded Lynk in 2015
Ellie Donnelly

Ellie Donnelly

Noel Ebbs, a tech entrepreneur who has more than 20 years experience in taxi technology, founded Lynk Taxi in 2015.

Initially based in Dublin, the company is moving into commuter towns as it continues with its expansion plans.

Noel gave us a look at his spending habits!

Spender or Saver?

I’m kind of both. I love buying old vinyl records, good coffee, eating out and at the moment I’m in the middle of a house build so I’m spending a lot of money there.

But I always save as well and I'd never dip into my savings unnecessarily. It’s an old family value. When we were kids my dad was ill with TB for a couple of years and as a result we went through some lean times. An experience like this stays with you. You learn to always have a rainy-day fund.

Biggest purchase to-date?

House, car and business investments aside the biggest personal purchase I have made in the last 10 years or so has been my hi-fi system. It’s an amazing piece of kit. The sound quality is incredible – better than a live performance. It can make the hairs on the back of my neck stand up.

Cash or card?

I always carry walking-around money. It’s probably a generational thing. Everyday purchases I would make with cash. For spontaneous purchases I would use the card. But there are some things I always use card to pay… for example, I can’t tell you the last time I paid cash for a Lynk – I always use card.

Three things you couldn’t live without?

Definitely number one is music! For me, music is the missing sense!

Second is books. I love reading. I would go through 20 or 30 books a year and that’s something considering I work 60 or 70 hours per week.

Third is my sport – Scuba Diving. If you truly want to be at peace with yourself and your environment just get yourself 30 meters under the sea and check it out. It’s as real as life can get!

What would be your largest monthly outgoing?

At the moment it’s definitely the house build. And that’s likely to continue for some time. It’s like pouring money into a black hole!

Best financial advice?

When I was a kid I used to sell broken biscuits and broken chocolate door-to-door on a Saturday. Pat Quinn, a famous supermarket operator at the time, took a shine to me and helped me to see what I was doing as ‘running a business.’

He mentored me for a couple of months in his store in Ballymun Shopping Centre, where I stacked shelves after school and also where I initially got the biscuits and chocolate.

When I started to make a few bob out of my little business he asked me what I was doing with the money. I told him that my dad said that I had to hand-up a third (meaning that I had to give my mam a third of the profit towards housekeeping) spend a third and save a third.

He asked me if I was really saving a third and I told him that I was actually saving about 90pc as I couldn’t actually spend a third – it was too much. And his advice was simple – Good boy, he said, always remember it’s your job and it’s my job to get people to spend their money on what we want them to spend it on. But people who spend their money have nothing!

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