‘Biggest gamble of my career was going all in at Spectrum Wellness’
Me & My Money: Stephen Costello, managing director, Spectrum Wellness
Spectrum Wellness MD Stephen Costello: “Having the financial freedom to support me and my loved ones is important.”
Are you a saver or a spender? At this stage of my life, I’m more of a spender than a saver. I do have a pension, however, and at the moment I’m saving for my wedding next year.
Do you shop around for better value?
When I shop online, I try to find the best price but it’s not something I practise in my everyday purchases. At work, I’m always conscious of negotiating the best value, whether it’s for a supplier or a new service. Maybe it’s something I should start doing outside of the office as well.
What has been your most extravagant purchase and how much did it cost?
As of yet, I haven’t had the good fortune to make an extravagant purchase of note. At work, I’d imagine it would be something mundane like a new customer relationship management system.
What purchase have you made that you consider the best value for money?
I’m very good at getting good value for money on flights and accommodation, which is fortuitous as I love to travel and try and get away as often as I can. I’ve actually turned into a mini travel agent for family or friends now as a result of my online bargain-hunting abilities.
How do you prefer to shop – online or local?
It really depends on what I’m buying. Clothes and household items would certainly be online, while I tend to shop locally for food and drink.
Do you haggle over prices?
In business, always. When you’re on the other side of a deal, you always know there’s room for manoeuvre. Every business has a degree of discounting built into its pricing model – you just have to ask.
Has the recession changed your spending habits?
I was 17 when the recession hit, so my spending habits hadn’t fully developed at that stage. However, the importance I place on hard work and value for money was certainly shaped by the recession.
Do you invest in shares?
I don’t. My biggest investment, financial and personal, has been in Spectrum Wellness, and growing the business has become my passion. We’ve trebled the size of our workforce in a matter of years so, for me, that is the sign of a very worthwhile investment. Cash or card?
Card, always. What was the last thing you bought and was it good value for money?
I just got a haircut on Baggot Street, Dublin, at a cost of €37. I think it was value for money, but how good my haircut looks is definitely subjective!
Have you ever successfully saved up for a relatively big purchase?
My fiancé Luke and I are on track to save up for our wedding. We’re getting married in Portugal, which, despite what people say, is not cheaper than having a wedding in Ireland.
Have you ever lost money?
I did physically lose money when I was younger. Flying out to my Leaving Cert holiday in 2008, I left my wallet with all my spending money on the plane. Thankfully, my dad was kind enough to provide a bridging loan.
Are you a gambler and if so have you ever had a big win?
The biggest gamble of my career has been going “all in” at Spectrum Wellness; as co-founder and MD. And based on the success of the company thus far, I’m quietly confident that it’s a gamble that will pay off.
Is money important to you?
I would have to say yes, but it’s not my primary motivator. Having the financial freedom to support me and my loved ones is important. It’s also about working towards the quality of life that I want to achieve in the future.
How much money do you have on you now?
Zero. I just have a switch wallet with some debit and credit cards in it. In conversation with Tony Clayton-Lea