Seek fulfillment first and the money will follow

Seek fulfillment first and the money will follow

Seamus and Ann

Seamus and Ann

Ann and I were recently interviewed for the Pocket Watch column in the Sunday Business Post.

We thought we would share the interview with you…

What’s the best investment you ever made?

Not buying a house at the height of the boom and choosing to continue renting.

What’s the worst investment you ever made?

Not learning about managing money and cashflow before setting up our business. We learned the hard way after a few months of waiting to be paid by clients.

Do you own your own home or other investment property?

We own no property.

What type of car do you have?

A much-loved 1991 Mitsubishi Colt. Very reliable, but gets speed wobbles above 60 miles an hour.

Do you have a pension?

Not at the moment. We are investing in our business first.

Which investment options do you currently favour?

Building our own financially strong online business. After the collapse in shares, pensions and property, this seems like a prudent choice. We are investing in ourselves.

What financial advice would you give to someone starting in a career?

Don’t follow the crowd, seek fulfillment first and the money will come – and, if you get the opportunity to travel, take it.

What was the best financial advice you ever received?

‘‘Don’t buy a house’’ – advice from some of the people on back in 2007.We reckon it has saved us about €250,000, even after paying rent.

If you were the Minister for Finance for a day and could change one thing, what would it be?

Change the law on social welfare payments for self-employed people. There should be a safety net for everyone, especially those who are willing to take a risk. Self employed people pay tax too.

Are you savers or spenders?

We run a website on thrifty living, so that probably makes us savers.

What’s your top financial priority?

Financial independence – our goal would be to have enough passive income from the business to travel. Not quite there yet, but working on it.

How would you describe your attitude to your personal finances?

We try to make wise use of what economic resources we have. We also have a healthy scepticism towards consumerism. Our priority is to live life well without going into debt.

Have you made any changes to your personal spending habits as a result of the current economic environment?

We were possibly ahead of the curve on the financial collapse, as we were very sceptical about the housing bubble anyway. We cleared as much of our personal debt as we could, stayed out of the property market and concentrated on building alternative recession-free sources of revenue online.

What’s your top money-saving tip?

Develop a habit of deferred gratification when buying things. Wait for 48 hours and ask yourself if you really need it. You might be surprised 48 hours later to find you don’t actually need it at all. It’s not what you earn that’s important, it’s what you keep.

What’s your biggest indulgence?

Way too many books – piled up in corners in every room.

If you had all the money you could wish for, what three things would you buy?

A mortgage-free house with a home cinema, a world cruise and a trip to New York in the autumn so we could eat doughnuts in Central Park.

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