‘I ran around the shop telling everyone, I rang everyone I knew’
2 MIN READ
‘From the day I was born, I’ve been saving,’ Helen says, one of the five people who won €5,000, each, in our most recent Goalsaver competition.
Always a saver
‘I’ve always been a saver,’ she says. ‘My mam instilled in us, at a very young age, that saving was one of the best things you could do because you never know what could come on tomorrow. Save something small when you can.’
Helen says she would have been a good saver up until about three years ago when she decided to go back to college. ‘That took all my savings out of the picture, altogether.’
Retraining as a pharmacy technician
She left her job and took a three-year course to retrain as a pharmacy technician. The first year was full-time but the second and third years were part-time so Helen worked in a pharmacy in Drogheda and studied at the same time.
Two months after Helen’s course ended, baby Donnacha arrived
‘Then, in the autumn of my last year in college,’ Helen says, ‘I was fortunate enough to get pregnant. I graduated in May 2017 and welcomed my son into the world in July 2017 – so it was a bit of a hectic time.’ Helen and fiance Seamus, a motor mechanic, now have a son, Donnacha who will be 1 year old soon.
Getting back to saving
‘I’ve literally just got back into saving. I’m juggling going back to work and trying to save. It’s difficult,’ admits Helen. ‘No nights out, no fancy meals, you know yourself. We’re just trying to do our best.’
Opening the Goalsaver account
‘I came into the branch and got talking to one of the advisors, Mary, and she suggested that a Goalsaver might be the best option for me. She talked me through everything and helped me make the decision.’ It was when she opened her Goalsaver account, that Helen entered the competition that she later won (even if she didn’t believe it, at first, when she learned she’d won).
‘Didn’t believe it: ‘No, that wasn’t me!’
When she got the call telling her she had won €5,000, she was in work. ‘It was a really busy day, one of those days when you could really do with going home early! I was sitting on my lunch, got the phone call, didn’t believe it. ‘No, that wasn’t me’.
‘I must have asked her six times ‘was she telling the truth or was she messing?’ When Helen finally realised that the call was genuine and she really had won €5,000, she says she was ‘absolutely elated. I ran around the shop telling everyone. I rang everyone I knew.’
‘The win means an awful lot’
‘There’s lots of stress and pressures when you’re trying to go back to work. You’re living on the minimum just trying to get by, day by day, and it just takes a little pressure off. You don’t have to stress as much about the day to day things.’
What will she do with the money?
‘I’ve thought about it a hundred times,’ Helen says. ‘Thinking I’m going to do this, I’m going to do that’. But I have to be a little bit sensible. I will put a good chunk towards paying for my wedding (Helen and Seamus are getting married in November) and some towards my honeymoon. And a little bit towards into a savings account for Donnacha.’
Paying it forward
Helen says she thinks it’s important to ‘pay it forward’ so she’s going to give a little to charity. ‘I’m thinking of splitting it between two charities. One is St. John of God’s, as my brother is a service user there, and the other is Breast Cancer Awareness as my mam had breast cancer three or four years ago. Thankfully, she is in remission now.’
‘I was lucky enough to get this money from somebody else so I think I should pass some of it on to others. I haven’t had it easy but I’ve had it easier than some.’
Helen’s plans are no longer on hold
A lot has happened in Helen’s life over the last couple of years. ‘We started to plan our wedding but then I got pregnant so we had to put our plans on hold for a little while. We’ve only really started planning again in the last six months. So this windfall is going to be great for us.’
Find out more
Goalsaver helps you to save regularly for things like home improvements, a wedding, a car, a new baby, a holiday, or for whatever will make a difference in your life. Find out more about Goalsaver here.