‘It was a very proud feeling to be able to pay for a deposit on my first house when I was 23’

Me & My Money: Peter Stringer, Bodyplan

Peter Stringer: I have €1 in my wallet for the shopping trolley. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/©INPHO

Peter Stringer: I have €1 in my wallet for the shopping trolley. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/©INPHO

 

Former rugby international Peter Stringer is still a familiar face on television as a pundit on RTÉ’s rugby coverage. He has set up Bodyplan, a personal fitness app, that allows you keep track of progress on custom built workouts and nutrition plans.

Are you a saver or a spender?

A bit of both, to be honest. When you have two young boys, you tend to start thinking about their future so you start putting a bit away. I love gadgets and all things tech, so it’s difficult not to upgrade some items when new versions come out – which seems like every few weeks!

Do you shop around for better value?

I shop online for most things I buy for myself these days and I have to admit I will thoroughly research everything about what I’m buying and how much it should cost. For more expensive items I will always go to well-known sites to be safe.

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

I’m sure there have been others but when I was living in Manchester, I found a guy online selling an original Raleigh Burner BMX bike from the 1980s. I always wanted one as a kid so bought it. £400. I told my wife it was a good investment but she’s still not convinced.

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

At the beginning of the first lockdown, I bought gym equipment and put it into the garage, and that was a lifesaver. Oscar was a newborn and Noah was three at the time, so it was important to be able to manage my time efficiently, ensuring I got my own training done as well as being around for the kids.

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

I still shop online but the delays with deliveries make it increasingly frustrating. Since Covid-19, I’ve certainly changed my attitude to shopping local and supporting small businesses. It’s great to get back out and meet people again, particularly around local farmer’s markets where we’re able to support independent traders.

Do you haggle over prices?

I used to never be able to. Even in places like Turkey or Greece where vendors expect you to haggle, I’d prefer just to pay full price rather than have that confrontational awkwardness. I have become a little better at it.

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

I would say it mainly affected how we ate as a family. With restaurants closed, our spending on eating out was eliminated. In a positive way, we were able to prepare food and cook at home, which has created some healthy habits now around how the whole family choose to eat.

Do you invest in shares?

I have invested in a pension fund that has various shares in its portfolio, but I never look to invest myself. It doesn’t really interest me.

Cash or card?

Card all the way. Phone or watch… tap and go.

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

Yet another magazine with a toy attached for my son. Very questionable build quality. Good value? Most definitely not.

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

Fortunately, through rugby, I was able to save up for a deposit on my first house when I was 23. That was a very proud feeling and one of the best purchases I’ve ever made.

Have you ever lost money?

Yes. I lost some money on property investments over the years during the recession, but there have been some good investments, too, so it balances things out.

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

No, I don’t gamble at all. For the novelty of it, I did sit at a roulette table one time in the Hotel de Paris in Monte Carlo. I took €200 out of the ATM and was prepared to lose it. I finished the night with €2,000. That was the extent of it.

Is money important to you?

I would say yes, but it certainly isn’t everything. You want to be able to provide for your family and get away on nice holidays but I’m a firm believer in the saying “your health is your wealth”. At the end of the day, having your health is everything.

How much money do you have on you now?

I have €1 in my wallet for the shopping trolley.

in conversation with Tony Clayton-Lea

www.peterstringer.ie

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