Jennifer Shaw is co-founder of The Property Show and The Pregnancy and Baby Fair, Ireland’s largest parenting and baby event.
Are you a saver or a spender?
I’m sorry to say I am a spender. I am very busy with three young children and I sometimes spend money to solve problems quickly. At work, I have my fantastic business partner, Claire, and she holds the purse strings, and luckily she is a saver!
Do you shop around for better value?
Yes, for big-ticket items. My husband taught me the rule of three when we make big purchases, so I make sure to do lots of research when making large buys and get three comparison quotes.
What has been your most extravagant purchase and how much did it cost?
I would say my caravan. It is hardly extravagant as it is old but, at over €20,000, it was a big purchase and I don’t regret it one bit. We get so much joy from our family weekends away and having quality time together. It is nice to have somewhere to go to switch off when you run your own business.
What purchase have you made that you consider the best value for money?
I think anything that solves a major problem in your life and makes your life easier, and you actually enjoy is good value for money. The main purchases that I have truly got my money’s worth from are my PC, my tumble dryer and my hair curler.
How did you prefer to shop during the Covid-19 restrictions – online or local?
I shop locally and support it 100 per cent. I had to shop online for certain items during Covid-19 and it served its purpose as I didn’t have an option, but I always shop local when I can. I really enjoy browsing and picking up new pieces and having chats with the staff.
Do you haggle over prices?
Never. If you are shopping locally and supporting a small business, their margins are already small so I think it would be an insult to haggle.
How has the Covid-19 crisis changed your spending habits?
I’ve cut down on clothes shopping since the pandemic. I’m not going out as much or attending as many dinner events as before, so my style has changed and my spending has changed to reflect that.
Do you invest in shares?
No. My business partner always says ‘invest in you’. Pension before shares is a good motto, I think.
Cash or card?
Card always. So much so that I never even have any cash for the supermarket trolley… super annoying.
What was the last thing you bought and was it good value for money?
I bought my nephew Cillian a present for his second birthday in December last. It was worth every penny to see the pure joy on his little face.
Have you ever successfully saved up for a relatively big purchase?
Yes, I bought my first house at the age of 19 with my now husband. We worked very hard and saved very hard to buy that house. It felt like such a great achievement at the time.
Have you ever lost money?
Yes, we lost money on our first house. We sold at the wrong time during the property crash, but we don’t regret it. We moved on.
Are you a gambler and, if so, have you ever had a big win?
No. I don’t like to gamble. But a top tip for anyone else is only to gamble what you can afford to lose!
Is money important to you?
Time is more important to me than money right now. Practically speaking, money is very important to me as I am a mother of three young girls and I have a financial responsibility to look after them to ensure all their basic needs are met. Once my bills are paid and I have food in the fridge, I am happy. Everything else is a bonus.
How much money do you have on you now?
Zero cash. I have a debit card, Apple Pay and Revolut. I just don’t need to carry cash any more.
in conversation with Tony Clayton-Lea