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Cash for Questions: 'Make sure you have cash reserves'

Diane Roberts, CEO of Xcell Partners, which advises companies on how to accelerate their growth, reveals all about her finances.

Q: Are you a plastic or a cash person?

A: Plastic.

Q: How much money do you usually carry around with you?

A: Very little - I try to take out £100 from ATMs but it always seems to disappear into the wallets of my teenage daughters.

Q: Do you see personal debt (ie, credit card, personal loans) as inevitable, or best avoided?

A: I try to avoid debt and it's definitely 'no' to personal loans. However, I do have a credit card for shopping.

Q: Apart from a house or car, what's the most expensive thing you've ever bought?

A: I suppose it was my dog Blu, a black miniature Schnauzer which cost £800.

Q :Are you a saver or a spender?

A: Definitely a spender… life's too short.

Q: What are your best - and worst - spending habits?

A: I don't go shopping every weekend as I find you just buy for the sake of it but I still manage to waste too much money on food we don't eat.

Q: Did you get pocket money as a child and, if so, what was the first sum you received in pocket money?

A: No, in our house you earned money.  I used to babysit for my uncles and got £5 for a Saturday night.

Q: Did you have a part-time job as a youngster?

A: Yes. I was working part-time from the age of 12. I worked in a local private hospital serving food every weekend, with two 12-hour shifts.

Q: If you had a huge fortune would you leave it to your children?

A: Yes, they deserve it. It would be in return for all the times when I had to go to work, and was not at home when they needed me.

Q: Where do you do your food shopping?

A: I try and support local businesses so you will see me on the high street buying meat, bakery goods and vegetables. I also love the M&S Food Hall for convenience after a busy day. 

Q: Did the recession teach you anything about personal finances that you're bringing with you into the recovery?

A : Yes, always make sure that you have a reserve of cash in the business. And, you should also realise that the good times may not always be there.

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