Money Talks: An Irishwoman Gets Honest About Her Finances

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We all know we should save, but the reality isn’t always as simple. From impulsive boot buys to splurging on dinners, there are lots of little temptations that can get in the way of saving plans. We sat down with some IMAGE readers and a financial advisor to see how they balance enjoying today while financial planning for tomorrow.

Recently we surveyed all our lovely readers on how life events affected their spending and saving. It turns out that many of you – almost 70%* – regularly contribute to a savings fund and for half of you that money goes towards a nest egg you can fall back on. It seems that the rise and fall of the Irish economy has taught us to be much safer with our incomes. Aoife Kelly, Head of PR at Havas Worldwide, was raised in a financially savvy household and that is reflected in her current situation, as she has both a savings account and a pension (unlike 41%~* of our readers who do not have a retirement fund). 

Aoife Kelly, 34, Head of PR at Havas Worldwide, Single, Breadwinner

“I love my job and life in Dublin” says Aoife. “I live in Ringsend, renting with a housemate, and I am eternally grateful that I didn’t get on the property ladder years ago, as I’d be in negative equity now. I started earning enough money to pay my rent and bills in my early twenties and I’ve been financially independent since, something my parents instilled in me from very early on. My mum was always savvy when it came to money matters”.

While Aoife may have been a bit carpe diem with her funds in her early twenties, she’s now started to seriously consider her future plans. “Now, I always save ten per cent of my paycheque in a savings account for a nest egg and I also have a pension”. She finds that her biggest financial constraint is living in Dublin as the cost of living is just so high. “As much as I love the city and the lifestyle that comes with it, when it comes to finances, living in Dublin city can be very stressful. There’s always a bill around the corner and…my financial pressure comes mostly from not budgeting properly. I’m a left-brained, creative person, so accounting definitely isn’t my strong suit. I have a car that required a loan, which I recently finished paying, and I’m going to put some of that extra cash into my pension. I don’t have any shares or investments, just my current and savings accounts and a credit card.”

Sinead Ryan, financial advisor, says …

“Aoife’s situation is great overall. She’s not in debt and rents rather than pays a mortgage, which gives her flexibility. Her pension plan and savings show discipline about future finances, but I wonder whether it’s at the expense of her current outgoings? She doesn’t have specific goals for her money, which makes it easy to dip into her savings. Aoife has paid off her car loan, so why not divert some of the monthly amount toward saving for the next one? If this is put in a deposit account earmarked only for The Car, it will make it less likely to be raided for other things. It will also reduce the need to borrow next time round. She can open another for The Holiday! To stay on top of bills and help reach your savings goals, it’s worth keeping your savings accounts separate from your actual current account; for example, with a RaboDirect savings account – they cost nothing to set up, so have several earmarked for different things. In Aoife’s case, one could be for household budgeting – a set amount, directed from her current account every payday, will keep it topped up when those pesky bills come in.”

We’ll be talking to other women about their financial concerns over the next few months so stay tuned…

Talk to RaboDirect today about setting up your own saving plan. Visit or call 1850 882 244. 

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Coöperatieve Centrale Raiffeisen-Boerenleenbank, BA, trading as RaboDirect, is licensed by the Dutch Central Bank in the Netherlands and is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland for conduct of business rules. Terms and conditions apply. RaboDirect is part of the Rabobank Group.
*Based on a survey of 370 Image Publications’ digital subscribers


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