Name: Amanda Gardiner
Location: Ingleby Barwick
Job: Managing Director, Durham Lifting, Middlesbrough
TL: Does money make you happy?
AG: I don’t think money makes you happy, but it allows us to enjoy great things in life, like holidays, clothes, nights out and cars.
TL: What was your first paid job and do you remember how much it was?
AG: I cleared tables in Sarah’s Café in Middlesbrough town centre when I left school in 1989. I earned £2.60 an hour part-time while I was at college. I refused to go on a YTS for my father, but ended up running his company!
TL: Are you a saver or a spender?
AG: Definitely a spender – I love to spend money. But I save as well, we all have pensions and ISAs. It’s nice to live and enjoy the now, but it’s also important to think of the future.
TL: What is currently the biggest drain on your resources?
AG: Teenagers! We have a 15-year-old and a 13-year-old. There’s always something needed, especially with the eldest. He’s gone from 5ft to 6ft 2 in about eight months. So we’ll go and get him a nice pair of Armani jeans and he’ll quickly outgrow them.
TL: Have you done anything for the money that you wish you hadn’t?
AG: Taken some financial risks in the market place which didn’t do well. We now try to stick to what we know and invest in the business.
TL: What’s the most you’ve splashed out on a single item (excluding a house)?
AG: We bought a caravan – it cost us £12,000 but we only had it two years. My husband Paul hated everything about it – he hated pulling it, being stuck in it, he complained the TV was too small. It just wasn’t for us.
TL: What has been your biggest financial mistake?
AG: Going to the races! I seem to forget it’s my money I am spending. Most of my mistakes would have been at work, risking credit to clients. We’ve lost more than £1m in business write-offs over the last few years. It’s sickening when it happens, but we can’t run the business without taking risks, and we have to make those decisions daily.
TL: What has been your best investment?
AG: Investing in myself and growing my knowledge has allowed me to succeed. I completed my degree at Teesside University just two years ago, in business leadership and management, and I’ve also had some business coaching, which has been invaluable.
TL: Do you dabble in shares and other investments?
AG: Yes, a little. We have in the past, without much success, so we just stick to running the business.