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finance

With the expense level of living in Dublin at the moment, you'd be forgiven for feeling down in the dumps about wages right now.

Good news is needed, and thankfully some was released today regarding the average weekly earnings for Irish workers; it's actually…*deep breathing* … INCREASED.

Increased? We haven't heard that word in a long time. Too long.

According to the Central Statistics Office of Ireland, the average weekly earnings in the fourth quarter of 2018 were €761.64, which is a four percent increase. We'll take what we can get, eh?

The preliminary estimates of the Earnings and Labour Costs Quarterly release were published by the Central Statistics Office on Monday, and the increase is from the same period in 2017.

It's an increase of just under €20 per week from the figure taken from the third quarter of last year.

Average hourly earnings increased from €22.60 in the fourth quarter of 2017 to €23.46 in the fourth quarter of 2018. However, the figures represent gross amounts before deductions for PRSI, tax and other levies.

The average weekly earnings for Irish employees in the public sector increased to €966.40 in the fourth quarter of last year, while average weekly earnings increased in all 13 sectors of the economy in the same time frame. 

The Information and Communication sector saw the highest average weekly earnings in Ireland, with a weekly figure of €1,175.46, followed by the Financial, Insurance and Real Estate activities sector at €1,084.89. We're not jealous, though.

The lowest average weekly earnings were €360.73 in the Accommodation and Food Service activities sector and €493.12 in the Arts, Entertainment, Recreation and other service activities sector. (That's us…Oh sh*t…)

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We all feel the pinch every once in a while, and wondered where the hell our salary went at the end of a busy month.

We use our smart phones for everything, so utilising your iPhone to track your personal spending is one of the best ways to go about it, as you have a constant reminder in your hand.

There are literally hundreds of personal finance apps out there, but Spending Tracker is probably the most concise and simple of them all. 

The app lets you plan out your monthly expenses, so you know exactly how much disposable income you have left. 

It then allows you to add expenses for your disposable income as the month goes on, so you always know exactly how much money you have to play with. 

The app also allows you to plan out future purchases so there is no panic in the last week of the month that the Netflix bill is due. 

If you think you'd need a reminder to update your spending log, make sure you put the app beside your favourite social media app, so every time you go to check the likes of Twitter or Instagram, you see it. 

The app also lets you carry over money from the previous month, and you can choose whether to keep it for extra fun money or to put in savings.

Pretty genius if you ask us. 

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An 18-year-old Belfast man has accidentally become the JAMMIEST teenager in the universe.

Dane Gillespie cashed an £8,900 cheque from his granny into his Nationwide account the other day, only to see that there were some extra 0's there that could light up anyone's world.

Basically, he was an absolute millionaire, with a cool £8,800,000 in his possession. For a day, at least…

Dane's mother was interviewed by Belfast Live about her son's bank balance, and it's pretty gas.

"We couldn’t believe it. My son thought he was a millionaire for a few hours. Next minute my husband messaged me with the photograph of his bank account details. It took me a wee while to click," she said.

"He’s going to me, ‘I’m gonna order a Porsche’ and I said, ‘Don’t be daft, that’s not our money, we need to get this sorted," she laughed. That lad has expensive taste…

His mother talked some sense into him;"It was like that for a good few hours. For an 18-year-old being a millionaire for the day, he just can’t believe it. He just wanted to go out and spend, but if you do then you have to pay it back."

"He thought all his birthdays came at once this morning. It’s mad," she finished. Unfortunately for Dane, Nationwide corrected their mistake ASAP, so his good fortune didn't last long.

In a statement to MailOnline, a spokesman for Nationwide said:

"The customer paid the cheque in at the branch and unfortunately the wrong amount was keyed. The error was noticed straight away and the balance was corrected in a matter of seconds."

"While the amount was shown on his balance, cheques do not clear straight away, so the funds were never in is account. Sadly he may have to wait a little longer to buy the Porsche he wants," they joked.

Savage stuff, Nationwide.

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Being financially independent is hard enough as it is, without the possibility of living in New York. Forget the student lifestyle of drinking all night and having a lie-in until midday. It takes hard work and financial discipline to survive the NYC life.

We all dream of it; the bottomless brunches near Central Park, shopping debt-free on 5th Avenue, living in an apartment that’s LITERALLY the exact same as Monica’s from Friends.

New York is heavily idealised as one of the greatest cities in the world, but it’s hard to deny how magical it can be. Ice-skating at Rockefeller centre at Christmas, essentially recreating Home Alone 2, hitting the iconic bars and gliding past skyscrapers and Broadway.

It permanently feels like you’re on a movie set, the city that never sleeps embodies movement and energetic culture. It’s impossible not to love it, but is it possible to afford it?

Insider recently rated New York eight on the list of the world’s most expensive cities to live in. It was the only American city to make the top ten, and once you break down the costs such as travel, food and rent, it’s not hard to see why it made the list.

We spoke to one of our New Yorker contacts who spent one year living the New York lifestyle to get the 411. You wanna see the receipts?

Rent

Rents have increased at double the rate of incomes in the last seven years alone, according to StreetEasy, which means that you need to make six figures to live in many of the city's most elite neighbourhoods. Yikes.

An average Irish student living in NYC could be paying amounts which range between $700 and $1500 a month on rent, as well as utilities. This would of course depend on location, size, how many housemates you share with and facilities like Wi-Fi and laundry.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Our lucky wanderlust gal spent $900 on rent per month, a good deal seeing as it included utilities and the internet, as well as a washer and a dryer inside.

“I shared with three others, and only had one bathroom, and it was in a pretty dilapidated building in Bushwick with a not so helpful landlord.”

Secret deals in NYC in terms of rent are essentially non-existent. Most people agree that seeing a unicorn is probably more statistically likely. Or a Friends reunion.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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One major extra cost comes in terms of furnishing an empty space, as most apartments in the city will come unfurnished.

Buying second-hand items can be a huge help, and finding things on the street, but both of these options of course have their limitations.

For example, I got my mattress in Berkeley from the street outside our fraternity house, which most people did, and got a very rude awakening when our entire room was visited by bed bugs.

If you think California rent is better than New York, you’ve got another thing coming.

Food and Drink

First thing’s first, you HAVE to limit eating out and going for expensive drinks in glamorous bars. Many New Yorkers are blasé about dropping $10 on coffee and a mediocre muffin.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Joana  (@eatwiththeye) on

We’d all love that lifestyle, but you have to prioritise. Pre-packed lunches is the way to go, and cooking at home.

“A cocktail in a bar would set you back about $14, and in a trendy rooftop bar you could easily spend $20 on a drink. Eating in a restaurant could set you back about $35 for a meal if you included a drink, sales tax and tip."

"This is the worst thing about price of food and drinks in NYC! You think the price will be less, but a 20% service charge adds on a hefty chunk to your bill.”

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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NYC also has a city tax, so your paycheck won’t have much spending power. Supermarket food in New York is also highly expensive, so even if you want to cook from home, finding lower-cost ingredients can be tricky at best.

My J1 was essentially a three month binge on fries, $4 pizza slices and the occasional scrambled egg on toast if I could afford it. Eating healthily is even harder, considering fast food and ramen are the only semi-affordable meals.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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“Places like Trader Joe's were good for lower cost own-brand items and for whole food/grain type things, but fruit and vegetables generally were always expensive. Meat and fish were also very pricey, there was definitely a good incentive to turn vegetarian.”

I’m personally astounded that I escaped contracting scurvy on my J1 to San Francisco, I barely saw fruit or vegetables the entire time. Spending under $10 on one meal became a challenge that was seen as the Mount Everest of nutritional budgeting.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Try starting an Excel spreadsheet for all of your expenses, so you can budget in advance. Prepare as many meals as you can to prevent buying expensive snacks in stores, and avoid buying too many perishable food items that you would throw away if it went uneaten.

Wasting perfectly good food will become a mortal sin to you after a few weeks of living the NYC life, trust us.

Nights Out

“If you pre-drink in advance, then you don't have to spend too much on a night-out. Liquor in shops is actually quite cheap. The subway runs all night so you can get around cheaply, and otherwise a shared Uber wouldn't be too expensive."

"Some clubs charge entry and then have expensive drinks. I don't smoke but cigarettes were also a massive cost.”

Keep the receipts from any bar you go to, and it will be come alarmingly obvious that purchasing drinks the entire night most definitely adds up.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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The Irish have perfected pre-drinking culture, so don’t let yourself slip too much on your night out by buying $16 cocktails every ten minutes, or you’ll be in for a rude awakening when you check your bank balance.

For a couple of free beers, one of Brooklyn’s best craft distilleries (New York Distilling Co.) opens its doors to the public for free tours and tastings on weekends from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m, don’t miss your chance.

Travel

“This was one of the most expensive aspects of living in New York. Flights in and out of the city were always pricey. There is no Ryanair equivalent of budget flights unfortunately."

The Amtrak train service is notoriously expensive. Without advance booking (and even then), it can be $100 for a measly two hour journey… good God.

Buses are the cheapest option for the city, but the reliability and quality leave a lot to be desired, as you might imagine. The buses are often incredibly late, over-booked or cancelled.

The public transport system (MTA) costs you $121 per month for unlimited use, which isn’t bad compared to Dublin, and can be used on buses and subways. However, any of the longer commuter trains are much more expensive

If you’re thinking of parking in the city, be warned that the cost of this is extortionate, as are the prices for renting a car in NYC.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Neil Churcher (@neildchurcher) on

People would often go to neighbouring states of New Jersey or Connecticut to get cars, rather than face the pain of using their hard-earned cash on New York prices.

Activities

Hidden costs and fees are what make so much of New York that bit more expensive than Europe and other places.

Laundromats charge extremely high prices purely because many apartments in the city don’t have laundry facilities, so they take full advantage of this. Hand-washing some of your clothes can aid this process.

When it comes to activities, there are ways of finding cheaper alternatives. The amazing city has a vast array of things to do; the buzz and excitement of the place is captivating.

The tourism industry in NYC is always booming, so charging huge fees for activities such as the Empire State Building, Rockefeller entre, boat rides in Central Park and more can be expensive beyond belief.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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The Staten Island Ferry is free though, so take advantage of that.

Are you desperate to see the Picassos in the Museum of Modern Art, but don’t want to hand over the $25 admission fee?

The museum offers free admission every Friday from 4 p.m. to 8 pm, and you can also visit the sculpture garden for free every morning from 9:30 to 10 am.

Chelsea’s unreal free art galleries are mostly located between W. 14th Street and W. 29th Street around 10th and 11th Avenues.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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The Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s fee is waived on Tuesdays, which means you have the ideal escape for the hustle and bustle of Manhattan life.

Finding activities for free is hugely common in parks, try bringing a picnic to Central Park, embarking on a free yoga session in Bryant Park or grabbing street food (the hot dogs are mouth-watering) and chilling on the lush grass.

Central Park Conservatory offers free tours as well.

The Federal Bank of New York’s Gold Vault has free tours every afternoon. Built in the 1920s and containing over 6,500 tonnes of gold, this little-known treasure can teach you some fascinating financial secrets of the city.

Try stargazing on the High Line, a public park built on a historic freight rail line elevated above the streets on Manhattan’s West Side.

Neighbourhood residents saved the location from demolition, and the High Line opened in 2009 as a hybrid space where visitors can experience nature, art, and design for free.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Watch outdoor movies at HBO Bryant Park Summer Film Festival and Syfy Movies with a View at Brooklyn Bridge Park. Grab a seat and bring some snacks, it’s one of the best free activities New York as to offer. Soak up the skyline, it’s one of a kind.

Grand Central Terminal is also a tourist favourite, the 102-year-old train station is still in massive use but it embodies NYC grandeur. The outdoor part of the 9/11 memorial is also free to visit.

So there you have it, if you budget like your life depends on it, you can survive the financial battle of New York City.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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It may not be exactly like Sex and the City, but who would ever believe that Carrie could afford a huge Manhattan apartment BY HERSELF on a columnist’s salary? It’s ridiculousness. We still want her life though.

Susan Ertz summed it up pretty well when she wrote that New York was "never built for the comfort and happiness of its citizens, but to astonish the world." Well, it succeeded.

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Pay-Day Purgatory. That middle time during the worst month of every year where you literally forget the concept of monetary transactions because money does not exist in your life anymore.

Spare change? Goodbye.

Contactless card? Forget it, gal.

Online shopping? You're delusional.

pay me jenny slate GIF

The days of being financially independent are long gone. Winter is here.

None of us can recall a time where we could 'spot' our friends for food, or the blissful moment when you don't have to check your balance because you're aware that it ain't empty. (Rarely happens but for some unicorns apparently it exists)

Those were the days…but now we're trapped in Pay-Day-Purgatory, land of the tense and agonising wait to be paid. Those last few days where all you can do is sit in your home and mope, because moping is free. 

 life vs GIF

1. Looking in long-lost-lands…

2. Time no longer has meaning

3.  Have centuries passed or is that just us?

 4. We're getting snappy, to say the least

5. We've even turned to milk for guidance

6. There's not much time left to wait, but we don't know if we can hold on much longer…

7. When dat sweet, sweet coin finally hits the bank, those heart eye emojis will be let LOOSE

8. Let's be grateful we're not American federal workers right now, those people need prayer

9. We'll be like Mario himself collecting those beautiful golden coins the SECOND the cash slides itself into our banking DMs

10. We're being majorly left on read by pay day…Not cool

11. Let's be honest, we really shouldn't be trusted with money in the first place, should we?

12. Finally, we'll leave you with a soporific lullaby to put your worries to bed…Pay day will come. Eventually. From the ashes. Maybe. 

The countdown continues anew, once again we wait in the darkness by the frosty window, trying to remember a time when we could wave our bank cards and expect something in return.

Shout out to January for being an absolute B*TCH.

pay me GIF by The Late Show With Stephen Colbert

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Iconic whiskey distillers Jameson are making a final call for college graduates to apply for its renowned 2019/20 international graduate programme.

The programme is known globally for offering world-class experience and two international placements, but they've claimed that the latest candidates need one thing; 'Serious character'. 

The grad programme has been running for an outstanding 27 years, and gives graduates the chance to fulfil their personal and professional potential while working with an Irish brand with worldwide influence.

The successful candidate will be working on the international stage, and are supported by a competitive benefits package, multi-award winning training and development programme and a global support network.

The leader of Jameson's programme, Sinéad D'Arcy, commented that;

“The Jameson International Graduate Programme is a truly unique programme offering graduates three-years’ experience in a marketing role, in one of over 50 countries across the world."

"Every year we look for driven, charismatic and creative graduates, from a range of diverse backgrounds, to serve as brand ambassadors in cities across the world," she added. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Over 400 countries to date have completed the infamous graduate programme alongside Jameson since it began in 1991.

Alumni of the Irish distiller's programme have progressed to high quality roles internally and externally in over 33 cities, and Jameson maintains its role as the fifth most popular graduate employer in Ireland according to gradireland

If you want to kick-start your career, why not start now? Applications for the 2019/20 Jameson International Graduate Programme close on Wednesday 16 January 2019 at 1pm, so get on it.

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What does it mean to be an ‘empowered woman’ in 2019?

The phrase ‘empowered woman’ is intrinsically loaded with underlying meaning and misunderstood perceptions. When many of us hear the phrase, most people envision a sexually-promiscuous woman who refuses to have children and most likely drinks scotch.

Arguably, its meaning has dramatically changed in the last year, ever since actress Alyssa Milano’s ‘Me Too’ tweet went viral.

2018 has not been the easiest of times for Irish women.

Watching the news everyday has been a tortuous experience, with violence against women splashed across every publication, the media raining debilitating double standards upon anyone remotely famous and the paparazzi splashing unflattering female body images across the internet.

Two massively painful rape trials have illuminated the imperative need for changes in the Irish law regarding sexual violence and assault, and the horrific way in which women are treated and cross-examined in the courtroom.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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The Repeal movement was draining for everyone involved, the right to bodily autonomy is still undeniably under threat.

It’s worth noting that standards are changing all around us, lines are being drawn, boundaries are being set. Finally, I might add.

Women are always hyper-aware of the need for self-protection, especially when it comes to sex and dating.

We’ve all held our keys in between our knuckles as we walk down a dimly-lit road at night, we’ve all experienced unwanted attention on nights out, and we’ve all worried about what we wear, and the negative consequences our clothes could potentially bring.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Standards of relationships are changing in conjunction, as women entering the dating world have new questions which they are asking of potential lovers.

This also stands for workplace relationships, women are fighting back against pay inequality and sexism which are prevalent even in first-world countries such as Ireland and the UK.

Watching Little Mix and Ariana Grande fight back against Piers Morgan's recent sexist comments has been such a breath of fresh air.

The #MeToo and TimesUp movements have been eye-opening experiences for men, women and intersex people worldwide, with every facet of society examining its own behaviour with a new lens.

Unlike most men, women are expected to be looking for love around every corner.

During our teens and 20s, being single is depicted as a hugely empowering, freeing experience, yet a shadow dawns on the eve of our 30th birthdays: the misogynistic view that our biological clocks are ticking, and where on earth is our husband?

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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I have learnt many things from relationships, mainly that learning who you are can often only become a reality when you face tough aspects of life alone.

This is not true for everyone, of course, but many women in this day and age have to shrug off countless societal pressures and notions which are veiled in misogyny and shame.

Female empowerment in this article can only be relevant to my personal experiences, women are extremely complex beings and each feels empowered in totally different ways.

For women with disabilities, of different ages, gender binaries, classes and ethnicities, feeling good about ourselves comes in all shapes and forms.

Sex is power, #MeToo has taught me that. I cannot speak for other women, especially those in the LGBT+ community, but as a heterosexual woman, I have also learned many other hard lessons about the need to empower myself and have control over my body and mind.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by rupi kaur (@rupikaur_) on

Women are not therapists, we cannot be expected to handle the emotional baggage of other people.

We have enough of our own. Watching Ariana get blamed for Mac Miller's death is a primary example of the degradation placed on people for leaving toxic relationships.

 Ariana Grande has entered ultimate female empowerment mode, sporting a friendship ring instead of her recent engagement rock, and regularly posting images of classic film stars and female icon moments on her Instagram account.

Her new music video will be a tribute to classic movies with female leads such as 13 Going On 30, Mean Girls, Bring It On and Legally Blonde.

Thank u, next; Ari’s latest phenomenally successful single, pays homage to her past loves before declaring that her relationship with herself is now a priority.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by ArianaGrande-5H-CamilaCabello (@ag_5h_cc) on

Reports claim that her ex-fiancé, Pete Davidson, did not support her sufficiently following the death of Mac Miller, her former love.

Ariana explained how toxic her relationship with Miller was; she endured the pain of watching someone they love struggle through addiction but realised that it was expected of her to ‘fix’ his pain, to mother him through his issues.

Her realisation that she could not carry out this burden was imperative.

When Davidson joked about swapping Grande’s birth control pills on Saturday Night Live, the reaction was mixed.

Many wondered why controversy erupted over the comment, yet many reflected on the notion of literally trapping a woman into staying with you through pregnancy, a huge emotional and physical ordeal for women.

Realise that we are not defined by our relationship status, and to have a relationship with yourself can be an incredibly growth experience.

Letting go of the pressure to always have an ‘other half’ can be freeing in itself. Don’t underestimate the value of your friendships, especially female ones.

rihanna rogue man GIF

SEX is empowering:

Learning what you like (this applies to anyone with a sexual partner- in a relationship or not) is CRUCIAL.

Women have always been expected to satisfy men in terms of sex, the language was never granted to us regarding how to communicate our desires, and how to find pleasure.

Consent in this country has always been a murky topic, hidden under the surface.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by rupi kaur (@rupikaur_) on

I never heard the word mentioned until I went to college, and by the time I learnt the word’s true meaning, I had already had unconsensual experiences without truly understanding them at all.

Educating ourselves about consent, and only having relationships with those who truly respect us and our bodies can be incredibly empowering.

Learn how to say no, be selfish.

Women cannot be expected to please everyone, all the time. Often we have to work incredibly hard, in our employment or relationships, to get the achievements we deserve.

Learning to put yourself first can be a massive way of respecting our own mental health and practicing self-love and acceptance.

Ask yourself, what do YOU want, instead of what does everyone else want of you.

bossy beyonce GIF

Learning new skills

Self -defence classes, a new language, a skill such as website building, graphic design, even calligraphy. Why not?

If you have valuable assets such as the ability to drive, and even do nitpicky jobs such as online banking or tax can be empowering in terms of releasing yourself from co-dependence.

why do you need to do this sandra bullock GIF by Ocean's 8

Don’t let opportunities pass you by.

Go with your instincts. Do what you’ve always wanted to do, but always found an excuse never to do it. You miss 100% of the chances you let pass by, and you never know how much you can gain from letting your fears dissipate and challenging yourself.

Mental health

The importance of having a health mind can never be underestimated. Take personal time whenever you know that you need it, don't succumb to pressure. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Body confidence

Society makes it so damn hard to allow you to feel secure in your own skin. In a world with such fascination with image and beauty, loving yourself is a completely rebellious act.

Beyonce Satisfying GIF

Everyone is unique, so don’t try to fit a beauty mould which will undoubtedly change in the next five to ten years.

In the 90s it was bone glamour with malnourished models such as Kate Moss on the runway looking like all they needed most was a McDonalds, and now the Kardashians have transformed cosmetic beauty into plastic surgery-induced curves, glossy brunette hair and big lips and bums.

Who knows what the next big trend will be, but why force yourself to look like someone else? You are worth so much more than what you weigh or what you see in the mirror.

Taking control of your love life

The laws of dating have transformed recently, with apps such as Bumble finally realising that women don’t always want to wait around for the right person to ask them on a date.

unbothered michelle obama GIF by Obama

Try asking someone out, the worst that can happen is that they say no.

Food and health

I lived in San Francisco for four months and had the most atrocious diet, and when I came home I vowed to learn at least ten easy home-cook meals that are quick to make, and have health benefits. Having independence in terms of your body and health can be crucial to an empowering mindset, especially for women with chronic health problems.

Career

serena williams tennis GIF

Finding career success can be a huge morale boost, especially for women. Success shouldn’t be based on how much you earn, but how much you love your job and how you contribute to bringing a positive energy to the world around you.

Fight to be heard at the table, realise how intelligent you are and how you should be valued in your workplace. Don’t let anyone invalidate you.

You have the key to your own happiness, no one else.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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To be totally independent, ‘empowered’ single gal has countless benefits. Find your own definition of ‘empowerment’, some women are empowered by their style, their job, their relationship, their sex life, and others are empowered simply by being happy in their own skin.

Whether you're feeling great and powerful totally covered up or completely naked, do whatever makes you happy.

we did it mic drop GIF by U.S. Soccer Federation

As Ru Paul the Great regularly claims, “If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell are you gonna love somebody else?”

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How much would you turn down to maintain the integrity of your family business?

For global business woman Phuong Tran and her home-grown Vietnamese company THP Beverage Group, it was $2.5 billion dollars. Yup, just think of how much guilt-free online shopping you could do…

An unimaginable sum, but for Tran and her father, allowing Coca-Cola to acquire controlling interest in their valued family business, no sum was worth it.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Phuong Uyen Tran (@uyenphuongtran3) on

Watching her father, Dr. Tran Qui Thanh, reject such an incredible amount of money that most could never even dream of has shaped Phuong Tran’s entire legacy from that day on.

Her philosophy revolves around the lessons learned from attempting to compete with giants, and face them down.

Since Tran and her father turned down the astounding offer, they have grown their business to full flourishment and have spread their company to over 16 countries including China, Australia and Canada.

She has now written her debut novel, Competing With Giants, and aims to inspire businesswomen around the world.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Phuong Uyen Tran (@uyenphuongtran3) on

Her first book involves Tran, as Vice-President of THO Beverage Group, weaving her advice from her father alongside her own insights into a rich tapestry which divulges fascinating facts on the changing global business landscape as well as the incredible origin story of her own company.

According to Tran, David can indeed compete with Goliath, and even outperform him. “We proved that nothing was impossible.”

Western style multinationals are now being incentivised to devise of new strategies to compete with the emerging Asian market.

“To western countries, the Asian market is a big piece of pie with robust growth in new economies. The world needs to know how an Asian business runs and how its business culture is formed. That’s the story that I wanted to tell in the book.”

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Phuong Uyen Tran (@uyenphuongtran3) on

Tran will travel to Ireland to launch Talent Garden Dublin’s Innovation School on October 30th and will share her vast expertise by delivering an exclusive lecture free of charge.

She will join the faculty at the Innovation School to share her knowledge with Talent Garden’s Innovation School students across Europe in the coming months.

Talent Garden’s Innovation School is a highly-regarded digital skills boot camp model with a proven track record in giving it’s entrepreneurs the skills they need to succeed.

Tran will focus specifically on granting expertise to the Innovation School in the areas of female and family entrepreneurial business, through Skype calls, online chat forums and podcasts.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Talent Garden (@talentgarden) on

She will join the commendable faculty at the Innovation School, which boasts employees such as Jen Stirrup, a data strategist and Microsoft Data Platform MVP, and Steph Locke, one of only 58 people globally recognised with Microsoft’s AI MVP award.

Innovation School Director Ruth Kearney comments on the school’s aims: “Put simply, we are in the business of developing great 'digital talent' and bringing about a digital cultural and mind-set within organisations.”

The exciting event is free to attend, but places are limited so register early to avoid disappointment. Gets your tickets now from Eventbrite or check out www.talentgarden.org for more information.

The Innovation School is also launching two courses for November;

Executive MINDSET (23rd November): a one-day masterclass on leadership outlooks aimed at CEO’s and senior managers.

Data Science in Practice Informing Real Business (29th & 30th November) for IT professionals, scientists and software engineers.

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We can all admit we’ve daydreamed of being a bridesmaid one day.

Playing such a special part in your sister or best friend’s big day is the ultimate honour, however, it will set you back quite a lot of money.

Weddings are certainly a pricey affair, even for the regular guests. However, when it comes to the bridal party their big role in the wedding sees them spending an extortionate amount of money.

The Vow has conjured up just how much money the average bridesmaid is spending. Those of you with upcoming bridesmaids duties may want to close your eyes.

They revealed that the average bridesmaid spends a whopping €500.

24 percent of women involved in their study said they spend €500-€800, however, 17 percent admitted they have spent an eye-watering €1000 on the nuptials.

Others (8 percent) even admitted to spending over €1500 on their friend or family member’s big day. Ouch!

The bride and groom tend to look after the bridesmaid's outfit and all things beauty, but what’s really costing bridesmaids a small fortune is the little things.

Things like decorations for hen parties, alcohol, and engagement gifts are costing a pretty penny.

Being a bridesmaid may be a huge honour but you’d certainly want to start saving straight away if you’ve got a big wedding coming up.

It’ll cost a few bob, but there’s no doubt in our minds that it’ll be worth every penny.

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So, we have barely reached mid-month, and let's call a spade a spade, most of us are already broke AF. 

Every month, we swear that we will be better, but we fall into the same traps. 

But a few significant changes come a long when it comes to your budget.

We have identified some key areas where a bit of an effort can really make a difference long term, without completely making you feel miserable.

Coffee

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but your daily latte can cost you up to 750€ a year. That's basically a week of holiday or a designer bag.

While we understand it is pretty essential in your working life, sticking to buying your coffee only twice a week instead of five times can save you up to 400€ a year. 

Lunch food

Say you spend on average 8€ a day on lunch food; at the end of the year, it comes up to almost TWO GRANDS.

We are not going to list everything you can do with that money, you get the picture. But we can only advise you to try and bring your own food for lunch as often as possible. 

Struggling for inspiration? Just double the portions of dinner to have enough for lunch or click here or here to find tasty recipes.

Phone bills

Love your fancy phone? Of course, we all do, and we couldn't really imagine not owning a smartphone.

But once your contract is up, don't immediately go for the upgrade if your phone is still working well. Switch to prepaid and you can save up to 500€ a year!

Cocktails

We are not telling you to stop going on nights out, but just to have a quick think before you order.

A simple G&T should be no more than 7€, while the fancy cocktails for a few floating berries and flavoured syrups can go up to 12-15€. We'll let you make your own calculation of how much the difference can be over a night.

Entertainment

Instead of cinema and book store, think Netflix and library!

The price of one cinema ticket is usually the same as your Netflix monthly membership and library memberships are usually free.

So try to stick to the cheap night to go to the movie (it's usually Tuesday) and look for the closest library to start borrowing classic gems and new releases.

 

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OK, let’s be straight. We’re all fecking broke.

From rent, to bills, to student loans and car insurance; there’s a lot we have to pay for each month.

Yes, it’s hard. And yes, you will sometimes feel like you need to crawl into a black hole in order to save yourself a few quid.

However, there are some things in life that you should spend your money on. These things will not only enrich your life, but they’ll make you feel a little bit better about yourself too.

1. Treat yo’self

We know, it’s a strange place to start, but the best place to start.

Sometimes, money problems can get us really down, so if you killed it at work this week or did a deadly presentation in college, treat yo’self girl.

Whether it’s buying yourself a new top, or going for a cocktail with your BFF, take some time out to just celebrate you.

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2. Education

Yep, you knew this one would come up but honestly, it’s so worth it.

Continuing with your education, whether it’s doing a masters degree, a night-time course, or even schooling yourself with the help of a good book; it’ll all be invaluable if you want to advance your career. And with reputable institutions making it available to pursue Graduate & Post-Graduate Courses online, you’ll be able to save up more than you would if you choose to further your education through traditional college.

Just think, that internship in Paris would be in your pocket after a few French lessons!

3. Your home

Now, we’re not saying splash out on a fancy apartment in the city centre or put down a mortgage on a country house. But putting time and effort (and a bit of moola) into your home will make all the difference.

It’s where you spend your down time, so you need to be happy in it. Buy a few fairy lights, some deliciously-smelling candles, and a cosy blanket to throw over your bed and you’re good to go.

Silk pillowcases FTW.

4. Night out with friends

You might not have expected this one to pop up either, but you know you want it.

If you’ve been saving for a couple of months, then going out was probably off the cards for you. But sometimes, you just need a few drinks with friends to make everything better.

So, dust off that LBD you’ve been dying to wear, grab your heels and head out for a night on the tiles.

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5. Good quality food

You might look at this one and think, WTF being broke doesn’t mean I can’t eat, but we’re talking about fresh produce and great quality.

Having a €2 frozen pizza for dinner might seem like you’re saving money, but you’re going to be hungry an hour later and feel stodgy AF too.

So, make sure you’re fuelling yourself with good food that will make you feel healthy and energised every single day.

Spices Avocado and Ingredients on Table

6. Experiences

Whether it’s a concert, a day trip to Glendalough or a weekend in Spain, you get so much more from experiences than material goods.

A trip away will give you memories that will last a lifetime, and you don’t need to break the bank to do so.

Check out Groupon for deals, or Booking.com for low prices. Ryanair has also recently launched deals on flights and hotels so take a gander over there too.

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Make of this information what you will, but according to new research, if you have a brother, you’re less likely to earn a high income.

Yep, according to researchers at Cornell University, your male siblings could be to blame for your low pay packet.

Researchers Angela Cools and Eleonora Patacchini found that women who had a brother or brothers had a 10 percent lower income than the average woman in her late 20s or early 30s.

However, if a woman had no brothers, the overall gender pay gap would likely be five percent smaller.

The researchers say: 'Siblings may affect each other indirectly, by changing parents’ investments or expectations for a particular child.'

'Siblings may also affect each other directly through their interactions with each other.'

Researchers believe this pay gap difference can be attributed to the fact that women with brothers tend to be more family-oriented and prioritise being in a committed relationship than those who have only sisters or no siblings.

Apparently, those who have brothers also tend to express more interest in having a family, also.

'We find that women with brothers have more traditional gender roles and family responsibilities,' an excerpt from the study explained.

Now we're not so sure if having male siblings influences our likelihood of having 'traditional values,' but the researchers examined a number of other factors.

These included differences in parental investment, cognitive abilities, parental expectations, or personality traits – but found no evidence that any of these contributed to the wage gap.

Despite the efforts to narrow the gender pay gap, researchers say women continue to earn less than men on both an annual and weekly basis.

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Researchers say these findings could be crucial in narrowing the pay gap between men and women.

'By examining the role of sibling gender composition on women’s wages, we show that exogenous changes in family environments can lead women to adopt less sex-typed attitudes and behaviours, potentially reducing earnings gaps between men and women later in life,' the study reads.

We’re a bit disheartened to learn our beloved brothers might be the reason why we aren’t making the big bucks!

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