Belfast Telegraph

Cash for questions: 'It's surprising how far 7.5p could go'

Every week, we ask a businessperson to tell us all about their personal finances. This week it's Alan Lewis who owns east Belfast fit-out firm Alan Lewis Displays.

Q. Are you a plastic or a cash person?

A. I use my credit cards for most purchases and would only use cash for smaller items.

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

A. Normally I would carry £50, using this for smaller everyday items while knowing that the cash dispenser is there if I need it.

Q. Do you see personal debt (ie credit cards or personal loans) as inevitable or something best avoided?

A. I was brought up to avoid debt, although in the early years credit was tempting.

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

A. The most expensive thing was a holiday tour of the Far East with my wife Marjorie for our 25th wedding anniversary.

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

A. Worst spending habits are cars and gadgets. My "best" spending habit is buying as little fuel as possible.

Q. Did you get pocket money as a child?

A. Yes I did and it was the equivalent of today's 7.5p. It is surprising how far you were able to make it go.

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

A. Yes, I would leave it to my children. I have four - Nigel, Stephanie, Julian and Anthony, and 12 grandchildren. I think a huge fortune would be needed.

Q. Did the recession teach you anything about personal finances?

A. It has taught us to watch our overheads both personally and also in business as well. It has been a great teacher.

For more info about ALD Fit-Out, based at Prince Regent Road in Castlereagh, visit

Belfast Telegraph