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If there's one thing people in their twenties just can't seem to wrap their heads around, it's sticking to a budget. 

We have low wages, high rents and over-priced brunches to thank for our less than impressive savings accounts – But hey, we're still young. We've got plenty of time to figure out our finances, right? 

Well, not exactly. According to a recent survey conducted by ClearScore, the most expensive year of your life will begin on your 31st birthday. 

The survey of 3,000 found that the average 31-year-old will spend around €48,000 ($60,000) a year – and well, if that doesn't put the fear of God into you, I don't know what will.

It seems that 31 is the age when most people splash out on special occasions and mortgage deposits, with getting married proving to be the most costly event.  

Babies will also pit a strain on your finances, with 20 per cent of those surveyed agreeing that starting a family was the most expensive thing. 

While this outrageous may come as a surprise, Justin Basini, the chief executive of ClearScore explained: “Many of life’s big milestones tend to happen very close together so we weren’t shocked to discover how much people were spending during their most expensive year.”

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January is a grim month for most of us and if you're a bit short of cash it's even worse.

But before you start contemplating selling a kidney or returning all your Christmas pressies… have a read of these six handy tips – they'll definitely see you through until payday.

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1. Sell some stuff

Most of us have a few gadgets we don't need or clothes we don't wear anymore. Adverts.ie and Donedeal are handy ways to get rid of your old stuff and earn a few quid in the process.

Phones, laptops and cameras in particular are always in demand.

2. Get your five a day on the cheap

Check out the various supermarkets' offers on fruit and vegetables. With fresh fruit and vegetables for as little as 59 cent per packet in Aldi, we've never had such a good incentive to eat healthily!

Don't forget frozen vegetables too, these are usually cheap and can be used in stir-frys and soups.

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3. Treat yo'self ..for free!

Dying for a treat but don't want to get into debt? Dig out those loyalty cards and see if you've any freebies due. Whether it's a free latte or a new nail polish, we could all use a pick-me-up in January. 

Oh and that supermarket coupon booklet? Your new best friend!

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4. Don't hibernate, get out there!

Get creative with your social life. Trips to the pub, cinema and that new foodie place are out until February, so make plans to get outdoors with your friends and family where possible.

Walks in the park, hiking in a scenic spot or a free exhibition won't cost a cent!

If it's lashing out, a movie night with homemade popcorn is a good compromise.

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5. Stick to your resolutions

If you're struggling to stay off the fags or have a sober January, remember how much money these bad habits are costing you!

Stay strong and you'll have more disposable income at the end of the month.

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6. Plan your next paycheck

We hate to preach but if you start a budget for next month now, it'll prevent you overspending on payday and ending up back in the same position.

Yes, it's been five weeks but no you're not a millionaire all of a sudden. Exercise restraint now and you'll thank yourself for it later.

Julie Winegard animation art illustration money

 

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Getting your act together for Valentine's Day can be extra difficult, especially when you're broke.

However, skimping on the splurging doesn't spell the end of date night for you and your partner.

There are plenty of free things you can do to make that day special, no cost involved. 

1. Cycling

 

A photo posted by Cal Good (@calgood) on

The best thing about nature, besides its beauty, is that it's free.

A cycling date is an amazing way to explore parts of Ireland that you have never experienced before, all the while accumulating a smug sense of self-satisfaction knowing that you're getting your daily dose of fresh air and exercise.

Pick a delightful scenic cycling route for you and your bae, along the coast or through a big city park. 

2. Back garden picnic

Weather permitting, a dusk back garden picnic is the ultimate dream date, and it's totally free. 

Rig a fort in your garden using sheets and make a sitting area underneath with rugs, throws, and plenty of cushions. 

Keep the food simple so theres no need to keep dashing inside to make sure nothing is burning, and lose the run of yourself with the fairy lights, draping them all over everything to create a special, romantic ambience. 

You can even prop the laptop up and enjoy a movie chilling in your outdoor fort, or if it's getting too cold as darkness approaches, wrap up and take the movie inside. 

3. Night in

 

A photo posted by jenna_cosentino (@jenna_cosentino) on

Nights in have a shameful reputation for being boring, but there's no need for that.

Save the Netflix and chill for another day and get out some board games or a deck of cards for you and your love interest to play. 

Making your own pizzas from scratch (or just popping a frozen one in the oven) is the perfect relaxed games night food, and a scattering of throw pillows, fairy lights and candles gives the place some ambience. 

4. Catch a gig

 

A photo posted by Matt (@matt_s_jolly) on

The great thing about pubs is that there is a great atmosphere, great music, and most importantly, no cover charge.

Bringing your potential bae to a great pub to enjoy a spot of live music is always a good idea, and if you can bear not to buy a pint it's totally free.

Some of the best bands and singers out there began doing pub gigs, and there are some seriously talented musicians singing their hearts out in pubs all over the country every weekend. 

5. Surfing

 

A photo posted by katiesurfs (@katiesurfs) on

Pack up your car, bike or bus ticket and head to your nearest surf spot for a day of riding the waves, amongst other things.

Surfing is free if you already have your own board, and while it's technically not free if you don't, a two hour lesson is usually around €30, so pretty reasonable.

Bring a picnic of sandwiches because you're sure to be starving after, or splurge even more on some seaside chipper food, and don't forget a giant blanket to cuddle in on the beach when you're freezing to death after your foray into the Atlantic.

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This has been a BAD week for 50 cent.

Curtis Jackson (aka 50 Cent), filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection earlier today.

The court papers that were filed shows that the In Da Club singer’s economic woes are largely due to “consumer debts”. That must have been one serious shopping spree as it was only in May that Forbes had estimated his net worth as €127million.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the 40-year-old reported assets and debts ranging from €9-45 million.

Well, this makes us feel A LOT better about our own overspending problems.

It was only days ago that 50 Cent was ordered to pay a woman €4.5million for releasing her sex tape without her permission.

The 13-minute video was of Lastonia Leviston, the ex-girlfriend of 50 Cent’s nemesis and fellow rapper, Rick Ross. The sex tape includes explicit commentary by Mr Jackson and cuts to a shot of him wearing a wig and playing a character called Pimpin’ Curly.

The hefty sum obviously did more that tug on his purse strings as it was after the lawsuit that the hip hop mogul filed for bankruptcy. 

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Charlotte Church has admitted that she is just like the rest of us. The Welsh singer, who was worth £25 million at just 17 years-old, has admitted that she’s going to have to work for the rest of her adult life if she wants to maintain her lifestyle: “I will have to work for the rest of my life. Not because I want to but because I have to.

“I always understood that all that stuff isn’t important and my career was not the be and end all.”

Charlotte’s millions have been falling over the years, despite launching a successful enough pop career (her song Crazy Chick was a top three hit). In 2010, Charlotte was down to £11 million. She divorced Gavin Henson around this time so no doubt that wreaked some havoc on her finances. Last year, the Sunday Times Rich List said she was down to £8 million – which is still a fairly hefty amount of money to be worth, but Charlotte says her real worth is far less, “The tax man is looking at my accounts wondering where I’m hiding all my money.”

The star is now recording her own music in a home studio in her back garden after setting up her own record label called Alligator Wine, and by the sounds of it, despite her dwindling finances, she’s happier than ever: “My life is so full and so rich I definitely feel like I’ve had the good side of the deal.”

Though that’s not to say she doesn’t still want the big bucks: “I haven’t got a lot of money. I’ve got enough to be comfortable if I was reasonable for the rest of my life, but I’m not reasonable, so I will have to find a way to sustain my lifestyle.”

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Rumours have been rife this week that Carly Rae Jepson is broke and was reportedly seen trying to pawn off a handbag in New York recently.

Apparently, the pawn shop do not accept handbags so the Call Me Maybe singer pawned a piece of jewellery instead!

However, things may not be as bad as they seem for the singer, or at least we hope not, as her manager has denied these claims, calling them “outlandish.”

Her hit song Call Me Maybe was the ultimate song of summer back in 2012. Here’s a reminder!

 

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The young starlet has to part ways with her assistant to stay afloat!

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