‘I’m not afraid of splashing out on a treat’

Me & My Money: Sarah Gillespie, founder, Rinka children’s fitness

Are you a saver or a spender?

I will admit that I am fond of spoiling myself and not afraid of splashing out on a treat, but my default setting is to save. Having experienced first-hand the devastation that a car accident caused to my life in 2010, I am a firm believer in the necessity of having a rainy-day fund, just in case. We just never know when we will need it most, and lockdown proved this point once again.

Do you shop around for better value?

I love to research things for ages until I am satisfied with the deal I have obtained, but I think value comes in more forms than just price, as quality, reliability and comfort are all to be considered.

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What has been your most extravagant purchase and how much did it cost?

I won’t say how much it cost, but I got married in 2019 and we went for full-on, five-star treatment. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience and, looking back now, it was worth every penny. In hindsight, we were so lucky that we got the opportunity to have the wedding we wanted before Covid restrictions hit. We treasure the memories.

What purchase have you made that you consider the best value for money?

A rowing machine for use at home during lockdown. Anything that increases our ability to exercise and promotes positive well-being is always good value in my opinion. It is important that we take active steps to mind our health during lockdowns, especially with our children.

How do you prefer to shop during the Covid-19 restrictions – online or local?

Groceries and necessities are all done locally but I will admit that my online leisure shopping has increased, and I would say it has shaped the way I will shop for fashion items going forward.

Do you haggle over prices?

No! I hate the idea of it. I will pay the asking price every time.

How has the Covid-19 crisis changed your spending habits?

Whilst I would always take a keen interest in a healthy diet, I think lockdown has given me time to really invest in cooking from scratch with entirely fresh ingredients. From that point of view, my spending has decreased on processed food and increased on whole foods. Online fitness classes have also become a regular purchase for me as I love the connection with other people.

Do you invest in shares?

I am a regular saver but investing in shares is not something I have done. Yet!

Cash or card?

Card. I never even have a coin on me for the shopping trolley.

What was the last thing you bought and was it good value for money?

An updated camera and mic set for our online dance classes. They have increased the quality of the videos I am sending to parents to help keep kids engaged and active during lockdown, so, in my opinion, that is priceless.

Have you ever successfully saved up for a relatively big purchase?

I suppose paying off our wedding upfront was a big achievement as well as saving for a house deposit. I enjoy setting saving goals.

Have you ever lost money?

Yes! As one of my entrepreneurial adventures, I opened a café and lost money on that. However, when I look back, I gained a lot in terms of knowledge, confidence and skills.

Are you a gambler and, if so, have you ever had a big win?

Not at all. I cannot understand the thrill of the risk. I see it as wasteful.

Is money important to you?

I don’t think money buys happiness, but I do believe that money buys us choices, freedom and opportunities. Saving is important to me and frivolous spending stresses me. I think every child should be taught the importance of saving; money-management is a vital life skill.

How much money do you have on you now?

Not a cent.

In conversation with Tony Clayton-Lea