Me & my money - John Glennon

Are you a saver or a spender?

I think a spender. I do try to put some money aside for a rainy day but with two daughters, I find I am quickly relieved of any surplus cash.

Do you shop around for better value?

I'm an accountant. Of course I do! I make two or three trips to town each year to buy clothes. I spend the morning surveying the choices and do my purchases in the afternoon.

What has been your most extravagant purchase?

I spent €800 on premium tickets for Bruce Springsteen and in the end I couldn't go - so I gave them to someone who loves Bruce as much as I do!

What purchase have you made that you consider the best value for money?

I bought a painting many years ago that I liked, and the value of the artist's work has increased significantly since. I also value the pleasure it gives me every time I see it.

How do you prefer to shop - online or locally?

 I do very little online shopping (except flights and holidays). My family are involved in the wholesale grocery business, so I like to support local shops.

Do you haggle over prices?

Sometimes, when I feel the seller has room to move and expects the buyer to haggle. However, the opportunities to do so are less and less in a globalised world with global brands. Also, I believe that cheaper doesn't necessarily mean better. 

Has the recession changed your spending habits?

The recession coincided with my daughters' second and third-level education, so it did focus me on putting aside money for their education costs. One positive thing is that the recession redefined for most people in Ireland what is important; we regained our sense of values and who we are.  Irish people were never defined by our personal spending.

Do you invest in shares?

I have a very modest portfolio of shares with an equally modest return in recent years. I think you need a lot of time to actively manage a share portfolio and spare time is not something I have a lot of recently, especially since joining the global RSM network earlier this year.

Cash or card?

I like the face that you have a record of your spending when you use a card. Our involvement in the RSM network also involves a lot of travel; I'm just back from the US... card is definitely king when traveling over seas on a regular basis.

What is the last thing you bought and was it good value?

A return flight to Lisbon for €120.

Have you ever successfully saved up for a relatively big purchase?

Yes, my first home, in Rathfarnham, Dublin. I bought it for £38,000 in 1985. Banks insisted then on a savings record and interest rates on my first mortgage were in high teens.

Have you ever lost money?

Like many people, I lost money when the economy collapsed in 2008. I was a shareholder in the Irish banks for 20 years and never got around to reducing my exposure.

Is money important to you?

I have spend a lot of my time over the years talking to business people about their personal goals and most of them, my self included, work long hours in building our businesses. It's important to be rewarded for your effort but it's not my primary motivation. If things go well, it's an added bonus.

How much money do you have on you now?



In conversation with Tony Clayton-Lea, The Irish Times.


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