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John McGowan: 'I was a Belfast Telegraph paperboy'

Each week, we ask a businessperson about their finances. This week, it's John McGowan, development director of Specialist Cost Auditors in Belfast.

Q. Are you a plastic or cash person?

A. Definitely plastic.

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

A. On average probably somewhere in the region of £20.

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

A. Definitely, 100% best avoided.

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

A. My wife's engagement ring.

Q. Are you a saver or a spender?

A. Hard to quantify - I would probably be a bit of both. My business involves helping companies to monitor and reduce expenditure in areas such as electricity and water. This has make me very cost conscious.

Q. What are your best and worst spending habits?

A. My best habits are investing in the long-term financial future of my children. My worst would be on my teams, Leeds United and Ulster Rugby.

Q. Did you get pocket money as a child? If so, what was the first sum you received in pocket money?

A. Yes, my pocket money was determined by the work that I did around the house. Washing the dishes and the car, cutting the grass, odds and ends that required my attention. Probably in the region of £10 per week.

Q. Did you have a part-time job as a youngster? What was it?

A. Yes, a paper round. I used to deliver the Belfast Telegraph around the neighbourhood where we lived.

Q. If you had a huge fortune, would you leave it to your children.

A. Yes and no. I would leave a sizeable amount to my children, but I would also leave money for good causes such as cancer and autism.

Q. Where do you do your food shopping?

A. I don't, my wife does the shopping, usually in Tesco and Asda.

Q. Did the recession teach you anything about personal finances that you are bringing with you into the recovery?

A. No question about it, in my opinion the recession brought a financial awareness of how important it is in life is to cover all eventualities, in case something negative happens. As Forrest Gump says: "Mama says life is like a box of chocolates - you don't know what you're going to get next."

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