“I haven’t bought clothes in years as I ask for new ones for my birthday or Christmas time. We have reduced eating out and are not buying takeaways.
This week we speak to Ollie Hayes, 32, who lives in Bath with his wife Sarah, daughter Billie, eight, and son Luca, six. Ollie is a personal trainer, boot camp instructor and local rugby coach. He runs SO Fit Bath with his wife.
In our How I Manage My Money series, we aim to find out how people in the UK spend, save and invest to help them meet their costs and achieve their goals.
I struggled at school and luckily discovered rugby at a young age. I didn’t learn anything about money management in school. I spent all my money on candy and soda cans. It would have been great to learn about running a business at school because as an entrepreneur or self-employed it’s difficult to deal with things like taxes.
Unfortunately my father died when I was 13 and my mother lived with my stepfather in Somerset so I stayed in Bath and lived with my grandmother. She taught me a lot when it comes to managing money and doing things around the house. For example, she always made sure I turn off the light when I leave a room!
When I was growing up, my father was a construction worker and always worked hard, my mother had a weekend job and my stepfather was very supportive of my family and me. While we didn’t have infinite cash, we were lucky enough to get the latest Nintendo 64 or PlayStation for Christmas or on our birthdays.
When I was 14 I got a job at a burger joint called Mr D’s in Bath and worked there until I was 19. I then played professional rugby for Bristol, Worcester and Leeds before retiring at 25 due to injury worked with Mr D again for some time before he started personal training. At this point we really needed an income as our second child was on the way.
I now run SO Fit and Bath with my wife Sarah. We founded the company in 2019. I lead personal training, bootcamp and fitness sessions, and Sarah manages the company’s social media accounts. We take care of the entire business administration, such as bookkeeping and insurance, together. We have been very fortunate to run the gym at Oldfield Rugby Club, where I am the head coach. The people who come to the gym and boot camps are great; everyone gets along very well. It really is a community. Most of the money the company brings in goes back into the company.
I like to spend money to eat out with friends and family and go on vacation when we can. I haven’t bought clothes in years as I’m asking for new ones for my birthday or Christmas time. We have reduced eating out and no takeaways. As the cost of everything keeps going up, I also recently bought an e-bike to save money on car fuel bills.
I started saving for a pension while playing professional rugby and have been putting money into a pension every month since. I try to spend about 30€ a month on it.
When it comes to teaching my kids how to manage money, they receive cash with their birthday cards, which is then deposited directly into their bank account. When they are a bit older, we plan to give them “pocket money” if they help clean the gym from time to time, for example.
My wife and I were able to buy a flat in Bristol in 2013 when I moved to the rugby club there. Sarah’s father kindly gave us £25,000 as a deposit and we bought the flat for £105,000. Instead of just counting on a pension, we see this apartment as our future retirement income. Rental income is around £850 per month.
In 2017 we bought a house in Bath for £235,000 and our mortgage payments are £600 a month. We were able to buy the house after my father-in-law passed away in 2015 and kindly left inheritance money to my wife and other members of his family. Without his money we would not be in the happy position we are in today.
Looking ahead, I’d like to get the money we’ve invested in the business back at some point in the future. When the business closes, I want to be able to use the money raised as a source of income for my next venture and the next chapter in my life. For example, we can buy another property. Life is tough for many personal trainers right now as such a luxury is a luxury some people just can’t afford anymore, but I hope my business will continue to thrive.