Boxer Lisa O’Rourke shot to national stardom last year after securing a gold medal at the 2022 World Championships in Istanbul, following in the footsteps of Katie Taylor, Michael Conlan and Kellie Harrington.
Last month, the 20-year-old Roscommon native was awarded the Freedom of Roscommon with her older sister Aoife, who represented Ireland at the Olympics in Tokyo and has won two European gold medals.
O’Rourke, who has the Paris 2024 Olympics in her sights and won $100,000 (€92,145) in prizemoney at the World Championships, has been participating in Smart Money Habits, a financial wellbeing programme that LIA, the centre of excellence for the education and development of finance professionals, and the Sport Ireland Institute have started to deliver to Olympic and Paralympics athletes.
What did you do with y our $100,000 windfall?
I enjoyed a small bit of the money by buying a new phone, training gear, and equipment. I’m saving the rest of it to help buy my first house in the coming years. I hope to be financially stable and not have to take out a mortgage.
What was your first ever job?
When I was 17, I spent the summer after transition year working at a company called Color Communications in Castlerea. I worked on the line that manufactured products to ensure accurate colours in paints.
Have you been affected by the current spike in inflation and energy prices?
Yes. I feel inflation has affected everybody in some way, but I am lucky enough to be able to live at home with my family. It’s been very helpful in allowing me to continue saving for my future.
What’s the most expensive place you’ve ever visited?
When I went to Venice, I found it very expensive for basic things like a bottle of water and a sandwich.
What did you learn about money while growing up?
That it doesn’t grow on trees and that you have to work hard for everything you want.
What’s the most expensive thing you’ve ever bought?
The iPhone 14 Pro that I bought after I won the World Championships.
Do you still carry cash?
Not as much as I would have before Covid.
Do you use any of the digital banks?
I use my bank cards on my phone, and I mostly use Apple Pay as it’s fast and time-saving. I also use Revolut when I’m abroad to avoid getting my main bank card blocked.
What was your biggest ever financial mistake?
My mother and the postman would tell me I have an addiction to online shopping -- it’s too easily accessible from anywhere in the world.
Are you a spender or a saver?
I’m 110pc a spender, but I have improved in recent times, thanks to the advice given to me by Niall O’Donoghue, one of Sport Ireland Institute’s life skills advisers. He encouraged me to open a savings account and to add weekly contributions to it and to not spend money on unnecessary products.
What was your biggest career mistake?
I wouldn’t say I’ve made huge mistakes, but I have learned a lot from previous losses in my sport. Losing the final in the youth Europeans really gave me the motivation to train harder and to have the hunger for winning even more, but it also taught me that you have to be a better loser than winner.
What was your best financial killing?
My Communion money. My family were very generous to me and I took the money for granted.
What three things would you not be able to do without if you had to tighten your belt?
My car, my phone, and my gym memberships.