My Money: “I’m actually brutal with money … it just makes a hole in my pocket”

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Gina Daly is the food blogger and author, with her husband, Karol, of The Daily Dish, now available as a cookbook. She is also one of RTÉ’s Battle of the Food Trucks judges.

What’s the most important lesson about money that your career as a blogger and cookbook writer has taught you?

It doesn’t come easily and you have to work really hard for it, so don’t take it for granted when you have it.

What did the coronavirus crisis teach you about money?

That I am very fortunate to occupy the position in which I am and to earn a regular salary. We worked from home so we were able to continue as usual. I have seen friends lose their jobs because of the pandemic and some have really struggled.

What’s the most expensive place you’ve ever visited?

Monaco / Monte Carlo – even if it was just for the day. We were in Alassio in Italy and got off on the train. The smell of money from the place. We had cocktails at the Café de Paris and people watched for an hour. The glamor and the glitter was amazing.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever had about money?

I am actually brutal with money. I wish I had received some great advice on saving, spending, and tracking, but it just burns a hole in my pocket.

Outside of real estate, what’s the most expensive thing you’ve ever bought?

While we were waiting for our eldest, Holly, I bought a great Mamas & Papas stroller, and while not the most expensive purchase I have ever made, at the time we were broke, so it was a huge expense.

What was your worst job?

The worst job (even though I loved people) had to be my first job at 15. My mom dragged me to the local shredders and asked if there were any jobs going on. I prayed there weren’t any but, hey, there was! I got 35p per hour which was increased to 50p after a few months. I thought I was loaded.

Are you better than your parents?

My mom was a crazy saver. She used to take my dad’s paycheck and give him a few bobs for the week. If we ever wanted money for the shops or for going out, she would say “ask your dad”. After her death we found savings accounts everywhere, it was a woman. I would say if she was still alive she would have trained me well with money and would be pissed off that my dad had his own bank account.

What was your biggest financial mistake?

Getting a credit card in your early twenties … back in the days when they were handing them out left, right, and center with huge limits. I thought I was loaded. I think I only finished paying a few years ago.

What was your best financial killer?

When I sold my first house. I sold it at the height of the boom. The house prices were crazy so I was very lucky.

If you won the Euromillions, what would you do with the money?

Spend it… I would make sure to take care of my immediate family and then enjoy!

Have you ever made an insurance claim?

In our last car, we were hit by a truck. The car was completely destroyed, but luckily everything was fine.

Would you buy a property now?

We are very lucky to own our own home and to have bought at a good time, but if I was looking for a new home, yes I would, but I think if we had to move one day we would probably move across the country, out to sea and get a repairman and avoid the big city prices.

Have you ever haggled?

No, Karol is the merchant, and now I have my dad with us, he’s even better.

What three things could you not do without if you tightened your belts?

Eating out, great wine (even though I’m 20 weeks pregnant so watch Karol drink it) and traveling with the kids.


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