Your MoneyMe & My Money

Swimmer Daniel Wiffen: ‘The last thing I bought gives me my best chance to step on to the podium in Paris’

Me and My Money: Daniel Wiffen, double World swimming champion and Irish Olympian

Irish Olympic swimmer Daniel Wiffen says his car is still in showroom condition. 'I am one of the tidiest people you will meet – ask my family. There is no rubbish in the car or the boot. It drives them mad!

Daniel Wiffen won the 800m and 1500m freestyle at the 2024 World Championships, the first time a male Irish swimmer had become world champion. He participates in the Olympic Games in Paris this summer and, for the remainder of 2024, Wiffen will be supported and sponsored by Enfer Medical, enfermedical.ie.

Are you a saver or a spender?

I’d say I am half and half. I save for what I need and I spend what is necessary to make me swim fast. I would generally save more money around the winter months.

Do you shop around for better value?

I always find the best deal. I never go with the first price. For example, I was looking to buy compression leggings recently and the first price I found started at €1,000. I shopped around and the next day, I spotted a deal for €800. Result!

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

It’s my car – I drive a black Mercedes GLC Coupe. Again, I shopped around and got a good deal. It’s vital for getting to training and competitions – my life would be much more challenging if I didn’t have my own car. It’s still in showroom condition because I am one of the tidiest people you will meet – ask my family. There is no rubbish in the car or the boot. It drives them mad!

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

I didn’t shop that much as I was living with my parents, so all the food shopping was done by our mum. For myself, I was certainly shopping more online.

Do you haggle over prices?

I am not really a haggler, but I was recently on a training camp in Turkey, and we did a YouTube challenge where we all had to buy each other an outfit from the local market. There was plenty of haggling for that – we are all competitive so we all wanted to win.

How did the Covid-19 crisis change your spending habits, and was there something in particular that you either stopped buying or started buying, as a result?

I was buying more hand sanitiser and masks, which when you think about how much time I spend in a chlorinated environment now seems a bit redundant!

Do you invest in shares?

I do. I invest in stocks and shares. I’m studying computer science at Loughborough University, and part of my degree is studying crypto and stocks, to learn about the markets for my degree. I find it very interesting, and I can understand how many people get sucked into the market.

Cash or card?

Card or Apple Pay on my mobile phone.

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

The last thing I bought was 2½ weeks at the Gloria Sports Arena in Antalya, Turkey. It was 100 per cent value for money as it was the perfect environment for me to be in so that I give myself the very best chance to step on to the podium in Paris.

Have you ever lost money?

Yes, all the time – with exchange rates!

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

I don’t gamble. I’ve never been to Las Vegas, but I remember betting on a horse at Down Royal, Lisburn, on Boxing Day. It won, and I left the gambling world on a high!

Is money important to you?

I don’t base everything on it, but it’s vital to help me do what I want to do and achieve, which is to be the best swimmer in the world.

How much money do you have on you now?

I have one €20 note and one £20 note. I always keep both currencies in my wallet.

In conversation with Tony Clayton-Lea