Belfast Telegraph

Petra Wolsey: I've made a big effort to be less reliant on credit

By Staff Reporter

Petra Wolsey, of Beannchor Group which includes the Merchant Hotel confesses all about her personal finances.

Q Are you a plastic or a cash person?

A More plastic than cash.

Q How much money do you usually carry with you? 

A No more than £100 in cash.

Q Do you see personal debt as inevitable, or best avoided?

A Definitely best avoided, but often inevitable.

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

A An eye-wateringly expensive Rick Owens shearling jacket I coveted for a very long time before taking the plunge and buying it (currently selling for £2,055 online at I'll have it forever and I'm working on "the price per wear" theory. By the time I've worn it throughout next winter, it will be a bargain. Ahem.

Q Are you a saver or spender?

A A spender with aspirations to be a saver.

Q What are your best, and worst, spending habits?

A The worst is my propensity to impulse buy. As for my best spending habits, I'm not sure I have any.

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

A I did receive pocket money - the initial deal being for the princely sum of 50p a week. I remember my dad agreeing to put it up to one pound a week on the proviso that it didn't all get spent on sweets. That was no real hardship when a 10p mix could, in theory at least, contain 20 sweets (Mojos, Blackjacks and Fruit Salads were all 1/2p at the local 'Postie' when I was a little girl). I think that's me showing my age quite enough.

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

A Yes, from a young age my best friend and I would help my eldest sister on a fairly regular basis. She organised craft fairs (as well as making her own jewellery). We were deployed to keep a steady stream of tea, coffee and Custard Creams available to harassed craftspeople. I don't know how we didn't scald anyone, dodging through the melee of shoppers with giant catering pots of tea that would have made Mrs Doyle proud! I also enjoyed helping out on the jewellery side of the business, and I suppose that has come full circle now that I also have a small jewellery business on the side - A.P.D. Jewellery - just in case the day job and my daughter don't keep me busy enough.

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

A Absolutely, yes.

Q Where do you do your food shopping?

A I'm completely disloyal - anywhere that's handy.

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

A I think the recession really made everyone (me included) re-evaluate what was important. It made us look for a good deal more carefully on what money was actually getting spent on. I have also made a conscious effort to be less reliant on credit, and I'm happier to wait and save.

Belfast Telegraph