‘There is nothing like having a bit of folding money in your pocket’

Me and My Money: Simon Alliss, European Tour’s championship director for the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open

 Are you a saver or a spender? I am definitely a reluctant saver. My father taught me that to earn a pound and spend 99 pence was better business than earning a pound and spending a pound and a penny.

Do you shop around for better value? Not religiously. I normally stumble across a bargain rather than hunt one out. Time is usually the key factor in anything I purchase so, if I like something, I will usually get it.

What has been your most extravagant purchase and how much did it cost? I do a lot of cycling so it would have to be my mountain bike, which I bought in the UK for just under £3,000.

What purchase have you made that you consider the best value for money? I'm a huge fan of film and TV, so the iPad would have to be right up there for me. I have a beautiful small hourglass with orange sand – I bought it for about £7 and I use it daily to manage tasks to the hour. It's nice to look at and extremely useful.


How do you prefer to shop – online or local? I definitely support the high street and shop locally where I can. I think a good shopping experience reflects the community and should be an enjoyable and immersive experience. Sadly, though, the convenience of the internet is very hard to deny.

Do you haggle over prices? When I can, yes. Most traders have an allowance of around 10 per cent that they will be prepared to discount, and most are, in my experience, delighted to haggle a bit. The key is to not take it too seriously and remember you will get the discount only if they like you, so a smile is essential when you ask.

Has the recession changed your spending habits? It's back to the penny and the pound. Having never really been a large spender, the impact to me has been far less, perhaps, than others.

Do you invest in shares? I have done. But when my children came along and we needed a family home, I released these to invest into a mortgage.

Cash or card? Definitely a bit of both. Cash will always be king and there is nothing like having a bit of folding money in your pocket, but it's so easy now to tap and go. Contactless spending has definitely changed card culture, and it's amazing now how many small vendors have card capability via a smart phone. How long will cash survive?

What was the last thing you bought and was it good value for money? I am always on the mobile, so I bought a battery pack for my phone that is also a case. Running out of charge when travelling is a nightmare and charging is not always practical or possible. The new case is a game changer. If, for the overnight stay, you forget the charger, the battery pack will make it last the trip.

Have you ever successfully saved up for a relatively big purchase? Yes, my mountain bike – I saved and sold things to buy it. Nothing was safe – old golf clubs, putters, all sorts of items likely to help raise the funds required.

Have you ever lost money? Not outside of a casino or the horses.

Are you a gambler and, if so, have you ever had a big win? I enjoy the adrenaline of a flutter on the big horse races and a visit to the casino once in a while, but I would always set a limit to lose and stick to it. My largest win was about £400 at Royal Ascot.

Is money important to you? Yes, of course it is. Anyone with a mortgage, a family to look after and bills to pay will appreciate the importance of money. I don't let it define me as an individual, however, and I believe it is really important to have belief in your self-worth and give no space to envy.

How much money do you have on you now? I have £30 and €10.

In conversation with Tony Clayton-Lea

The Dubai Duty Free Irish Open run from July 3rd-7th. dubaidutyfreeirishopen.com