Paddy Smyth, a disability rights activist and TV personality, won Channel 4’s social media reality show The Circle in 2019, winning £70,000 (€80,844) in prize money.
The 34-year-old also appeared as a candidate First Dates Ireland and further Celebrity dragging with my parentsand now works as a creator in residence at BBC Studios developing concepts for new TV shows.
Smyth, who continued to share his struggles with cerebral palsy The circleis also a community leader at urban fashion brand Human Collective, offering workshops on diversity and inclusion to businesses.
What did you do with your £70,000 prize from The Circle?
I paid about £17,000 in UK tax on that and gave each of the two guys in the final £5,000, so I didn’t really come up with that much.
Then I brought my mother to America. My biggest purchase was a Burberry puffer jacket – I bought it at a Burberry store in New York where they gave us free champagne.
I reinvested the rest of the money to focus on my career. But I still had a good time with the money – I thought I might be dead by tomorrow.
Have your personal finances been affected by the Covid-19 crisis?
I couldn’t really jump from victory The circle because after we went into lockdown.
TV projects and other opportunities were pushed aside. I went through a period where I felt really down. But I realized there was something I could do to change my situation, so I started putting together my own suggestions.
I did my first live podcast show at Electric Picnic (in September). I co-host the Chancers podcast with Anna Clifford.
The podcast is about when you reach a certain age and if you don’t have a boyfriend or girlfriend or the right job, you’re not considered good at life – we turn that on its head and look at the excitement of that other trajectory to have.
I’ve also been given a creative residency at the BBC, where I create fresh new disability-related content.
I hate the word influencer, but I win there The circleI was catapulted into this space and enjoy working with brands like Smirnoff that address the disability space.
Were you affected by the current high inflation or the real estate crisis?
I’m renting an apartment in Temple Bar and the girl I was sharing with has moved out so I’m paying two rents at the moment.
I’m having a hard time getting the other room full.
I’m worried about the bills. Normally I never really worry – I always cross a bridge when I get to her. One day I could have €15 in my account and another day it could be €3,000.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received about money?
Live every day as if it were your last. Many people worry about the future, but I live in the present.
Do you have a pension?
I didn’t even think about it.
What’s the most expensive thing you’ve ever bought?
My Burberry jacket. I could leave it in my will.
I will be penniless when I die, but at least my wardrobe will be beautiful and that can be someone’s legacy.
What was your biggest financial mistake?
I probably don’t invest any of my profits The circle.
I wish I had a little saner head.
What three things could you not do without if you had to tighten your belt?
My cell phone, my crutches and my fake tan.
https://www.independent.ie/business/personal-finance/i-am-worried-about-bills-i-usually-never-really-worry-i-cross-a-bridge-when-i-come-to-it-42031108.html “I worry about bills. Usually I never really worry, I cross a bridge when I get to it.