Saturday 10 December 2016

'I don't really trust apps. Saving is something that your mother teaches you...'

Money talks... Hector O hEochagain

Published 06/11/2016 | 02:30

Hector Ó hEochagain
Hector Ó hEochagain

The offbeat TV and radio presenter Hector Ó hEochagáin is from Navan in Co Meath. He first became known to Irish viewers in the early Noughties with his TG4 travel series Amu. He then went on to present a number of primetime TV series including Hanging with Hector and Only Fools Buy Horses.

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His new travel series, Hector Central, runs on TG4 on Thursdays at 10pm. In this series, Hector presents his own unique and hilarious perspective on what he sees and does while travelling across Central America.

What is the most important lesson about money which your career in broadcasting has taught you?

Money is like Ireland in the wintertime - sometimes it's very dry and other times it comes in floods. Well that's my experience anyway.

What's the most expensive country you have ever visited?

Denmark. In Denmark, you get no change from €20 when you buy a sambo and a pint.

Paris is expensive too - you get no change from €15 for a sandwich and a pint there.

What's the most unusual coin you have come across on your travels?

I was in Central America for eight weeks and there are some amazing coins there - especially in Honduras and Nicaragua.

Which nation do you think has the best approach to money?

Canada. It's a rich country in many ways but they know how to mind their country. The Canadians have a good attitude to money. If you asked me where I'd live, it would be Canada. It has good wide open spaces, nature, and the wilderness.

Are you better off than your parents?

Yes. My Dad was a shopkeeper and my Mum was a homemaker. I've total admiration for the Irish mothers of the 1970s - who raised kids without Calpol and with only two TV stations!

Apart from property, what's the most expensive thing you have ever bought?

I bought a lovely Mercedes AMG once. I'm car bonkers.

What was your worst job?

Working in a dry cleaners over the Christmas holidays.

What was your biggest financial mistake?

Buying Eircom shares. Eircom shares were madness. You were nobody unless you bought them. And we were all burned.

What was your best financial killing?

I've had some good luck with the horses over the years. I've owned a few horses that have won races -including Steve Capall.

Do you use any money-saving apps?

No, to be honest, I don't trust apps. I certainly won't let an app tell me how to save money. I think saving is something your mother teaches you.

Android or iPhone?

iPhone all the way.

Do you know how much is in your current account?

Just enough.

Have you ever made an insurance claim?

Luckily no. I live in Galway and two miles each way from me, many homes have been flooded. I'm lucky enough not to live in a flood area - but I still feel the pain of those people two miles from me who have got flooded.

Have you ever switched utility provider?

Yes. And I got rid of my landline too, as line rental is a rip-off.

iTunes or Spotify?

Both.

What was the last thing you bought online?

Football boots for my young son.

Do you have a mortgage? Is it fixed, variable or tracker?

Tracker - on a tracker for a long time.

Would you buy Irish property now?

Yes, because I believe in bricks in mortar - as long as you keep a lid on things.

Cash or card?

Cash.

Do you ever haggle?

All the time. I love to haggle. It's part of who we are. You'll haggle in Navan if you're buying a kitchen. It's no skin off anyone's nose.

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