Belfast Telegraph

Cash for questions: 'I get carried away buying for the kids'

Every week, we ask a businessperson to tell us all about their finances. This week it's Shane Neary of NearyNogs, an artisan chocolate maker in Newry

Q. Are you a plastic or cash person?

A. I like the speed and ease of use of plastic but I am conscious that spending cash is much easier when trying keep track of finances on a budget.  I am less likely to over-spend when using cash. 

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

A. I usually carry under £100 simply because it is not safe to carry large quantities around, it helps prioritise spending as I can physically see where it's going. 

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

A. I don't like borrowing as I want my finances to be healthy and self-sustaining.  But as long as the borrower is cautious, diligent and disciplined on what they borrow and pay back it's something that has to be and can be done.   

Another option that young businesses could approach is rallying financial support from the local community. Kickstarter, gofundme and other avenues are useful to showcase a business and access local funding through family, friends, local businesses who want their community to benefit from your business.

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

A. Apart from a house or car I could say 12 children (joke). We are pretty frugal with our expenses and spend it mainly on the essentials. To answer the question our Chocolate Workshop for our stoneground chocolate and all the workshop's contents and equipment cost us a pretty penny. equipment has cost us a pretty penny.

Q. Are you a saver or a spender? 

A. Saver. 

Q. What are your best and worst spending habits? 

A. I am good at paying bills and saving for specific goals. My worse spending habits are when someone says to buy stuff for my kids, I sometimes get carried away and buy more than is necessary - but to be honest I'm pretty sensible. 

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

A. Yes I did. I got 50p a week at around age nine. Some friends got more but I was told that if I did a good job then I would probably get an increase.

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

A. After a paper round I worked with my dad in his office helping organise files. I also worked in a local shop as a till worker and door man.

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

A. I think I would prefer they knew what to do with it. I might be someone who would leave them all a percentage each but definitely have a clause in there as to when they could inherit it so they would be more mature with it. 

Q. Where do you do your food shopping? 

A. LIDL, Sainsbury's, Tesco's, local butchers, local markets. We try and buy healthy and often home-cook meals.  

QDid the recession teach you anything about personal finances that you are bringing into the recovery? 

A. Absolutely, I graduated in 2004 as a web-designer and graphic artist. I lost my job in the recession causing me to search for other avenues for income. I went from selling the Big Issue to the Royal Mail, tending sheep, landscaping, recycling in a factory and now to making chocolate.

Belfast Telegraph