‘It was a point of pride to buy my own wedding ring, which I had to explain to my fiancé’

Sinead McDonald, Director of Marketing with Doyle Collection Urban Hotels, tells us about her spending habits
‘It was a point of pride to buy my own wedding ring, which I had to explain to my fiancé’

Sinead McDonald Director of Marketing, Doyle Collection Urban Hotels

What is your relationship with money?

My relationship with money has certainly changed over the last number of years. In my early 20s, I don’t think I gave much thought to it. Following a trip-of-a-lifetime (6 months backpacking around the world with friends), and returning home with a small amount of debt as a result, I hit 28 and I made some simple plans to get my personal finances in order, and now, I am much happier with my relationship with money.

Are you a spender or a saver?

I have become a saver, but let’s say it’s not in my nature. I am far more comfortable with spending, and enjoy the occasional rush of retail therapy. I’ve now experienced the pride and rush that can come from having savings.

Do you find it hard to splurge?

I think that I have found a way to splurge that doesn’t riddle me with guilt afterwards, and that’s down to more planning and saving. I feel that the process of buying a house puts manners on your splurging habits. I understand how privileged I am to own a home with my fiancé in the current climate, but it is definitely the thing that made me realise that a bigger investment in our future was going to be far more rewarding than frivolous, short-term splurging.

What is the best money-related advice you were ever given?

My favourite piece of money-related advice is a quote from my uncle, Gerry. Gerry was always so kind to myself and my siblings whilst we were struggling students, and when we used to protest at his generous gifts of ‘a few bob’ here and there , he would always say ‘It’s only money.’ I just love that. I think it’s poignant for many reasons, but it reminds me firstly, not to make money a God, and secondly, when it comes to tough times, asking for help is so important and not shameful at all.

Do you follow a budget and what is your process?

I definitely don’t set out a spreadsheet each month, but I am very aware of what my outgoings are, what I need to allow for that month (birthdays, weddings etc) and what I am putting into savings. I then look at either trips, special occasions or those unavoidable larger purchases that I might have coming up, and make sure that these are accounted for.

What’s the most expensive thing you have ever bought?

I felt very proud buying both my own wedding dress, and wedding ring. It was a point of pride for me to buy my own wedding ring, which I had to explain to my fiancé! There’s something about a woman buying her own diamonds that I find massively empowering.

What is the biggest mistake you have ever made financially?

Not asking for guidance on how to get on top of my debt sooner. I finally prioritised it, and asked for advice and was able to put a plan in place and feel a massive weight off my shoulders.

The lesson I took from it is to always ask for help — there are always ways and options out there to make things easier and more manageable.

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