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I’d be the first to tell you that I’m not amazing with money.

When everyone else was getting the 411 on financial competency, I was asking for an advance on my pocket money because I had likely spent every last penny on a subscription to the Boyzone fanclub.

While I make rent, pay my bills, and top-up my Leap Card every month without fail, I still find myself staggering towards pay day, hands outstretched and tongue hanging listlessly out the side of my mouth.

I’m genuinely shocked when friends and colleagues casually mention restaurant bookings or after-work drinks in the final week of the month.

Yes, I still have a roof over my head, but the only thing I’ll be eating and drinking is tinned tuna and coffee supplied by my employer in the seven days before that sweet, sweet salary drops.

This is not how exactly how I envisioned adult life, but if social media is anything to go by, it’s not exactly how anyone envisioned adult life.

While, admittedly, I’m not in a position to lecture anyone on their money management, I do feel certain tips and tricks I’ve picked up along the way have kept the wolf from my door.

So, without further ado, here are three tips which help me to stay on track when my heart seems intent on ruining my own life.

1. Divide and conquer

I've found that using pay day to immediately divide my money between what's actually mine and what is soon set to leave my account is a handy way of getting to grips with my budget for the month ahead.

The vast majority of my direct debits leave my account mid month, and manual transferrals often aren't required until the end of the month, so once my salary drops, I immediately transfer my anticipated outgoings to another account, so I get a proper handle on exactly how much disposable income I have.

And while your current account takes an immediate hit, at least the money in there is yours and ultimately allows you to budget more accurately.

2. Use cash, not card

This required a lot of practice, but I've ultimately realised that the months I opted to use cash over card made me a lot more responsible when it came to my spending.

Withdrawing a lump sump every Sunday evening which you feel will realistically see you through until the following Sunday is one of the simplest ways to keep control of your money.

Breaking a €20 note on a €3 coffee is a lot less appealing than simply tapping your card, and ultimately helps you to identify the times and events when you spend money needlessly.

3. Save a little

It can be so difficult to save money when you seem to have countless outgoings every month, but once you make a habit of it, it becomes second-nature.

Open an account that requires seven days notice to withdraw, and deposit a small amount in every pay day, and then – here's the important part – forget about it.

If it takes you a week to access it, it gives you time to consider whether you're actually comfortable dipping into your savings over a fleeting desire.

And the best part? Seeing your small nest egg increase with every passing week.



We're nearing the end of the month which means the vast majority of us are currently living off beans, pasta and half-price fruit.

And that, ladies, is because we did what we do every other month, and blew our salary on non-essentials leaving us incapable of procuring actual essentials for the rest of the month.

So, the cycle continues; you know how it is.

Thankfully, our good friends out there in the Twitosphere are just like us, and know all too well the agony of the final week of the month.

Behold your friends, ladies.

1. We hear you, girl.

2. You heard her.

 3. Praise Jesus.

 4. Hell, yeah.

5. Do not donate, he has more than us.

6. Ah yes, the porridge bowl diet.

7. It's certainly something to consider.

8. We don't need that negativity in our lives.

9. You could have gotten 4 Taz bars back in the day.

10. Life is cruel.

11. Whatever helps, dude. 


Some of you may be getting paid tomorrow while the rest of you are forced to endure the 'last day of the month' salary cycle, but regardless of when your wages eventually drop, there is a very high chance you are flat broke right now.

It's been a long old month, and with more and more invitations for post-work drinks cropping up as the evenings get longer, you've undoubtedly burnt a right old hole in your current account.

And, if you're anything like us, you are now slowly but surely making your way through your savings…. which you swear you'll be paying back next week, and we totally believe you.

Here are just 28 thoughts we've all had as we wait for those sweet, sweet benjamins to make an appearance.

1. What's the penalty for getting caught without paying on the Luas?

"Do I dare?"

2. How did my parents pay for all of our sh*t?

"All the damn time?"

3. AND pay the bills?

"I mean, seriously."

4. Is it any wonder they were so stressed all the time?

"I feel you, guys."

5. Do banks facilitate week-long loans?

"They should."

6. I'd hop on that loan.

"Hop on that loan good."

7. Why is all my money tied up in different things?

"I knew I shouldn't have adopted that tiger."

8. I shouldn't have to pay the electricity bill.

"I've been outside all week… drinking."

9. I wonder how much I'd get for that watch I've never worn.

"Probably thousands."

10. Is it wrong to sell a graduation present?

"Who will know though?"

11. I literally cannot afford to buy a lunch today.

"This is a living hell."

12. I'm going to have to eat porridge from the office kitchen.

"Like an absolute peasant."

13. How is she able to buy a coffee AND a croissant this close to payday?

"What a b*tch."

14. She must come from wealth.


15. Not all of us were born with a silver spoon in our mouths, love.

"I mean, honestly."

16. Some of us are grafters.

"Proper grafters."

17. And I mean me, not you.

"Why is she looking at me?"

18. Did he actually ask if I want overtime? Is he insane?

"I work all the time and I'm still broke."

19. If I was paid fortnightly, I wouldn't be in this mess.

"It's everyone else's fault."

20. Toiletries should be Government-issued.

"Why should I have to pay for this stuff?"

21. Why did I spend €80 on cocktails last weekend?

"Am I just determined to run my own life?"

22. What is the secret to still having money on payday?

"And why did other people discover it?"

23. It's like a conspiracy.

"And I'm not allowed in on it."

24. I swear to God, it costs money to breathe in this country.

"I'm emigrating."

25. Next month is going to be so different.

"So, so different."

26. I'm going to withdraw €100 a week and live on that.

"Because I will be in control."

27. And if that doesn't do me…

"Then so be it…"

28 I'll just try again the month after.

"Because I'm a trier."


The future can seem a long way off, so saving your hard earned cash for this mysterious far-off time can seem pretty pointless.

Millennials have a notorious reputation for throwing their wages down the (Starbucks cup-littered) drain, but it’s never to early too start thinking about your impending financial forays.

Personally, my bank statement reflects a life of Lidl grocery shopping, pricey gin & tonics, ASOS orders and Netflix subscriptions, and a rather intimate relationship with Just Eat, which is probably reflective of the statements of quite a few young women in this country.

Money makes the world go round, and in a career landscape of year-long unpaid internships and zero-hour contracts, I think I should probably be a bit more mindful when it comes to my spending.

I have a student loan to pay for and rent and bills to manage, so splurging on the finer things should be a rare treat rather than the norm.  However, in any case, that happens, and there is an absolute emergency. I that case, I am likely to take the help of a small loan for personal needs with affordable rates. So, I can stay focus on my plan and repay them.

I have zero savings and no fall-back plan, and I have the attitude that when I earn more, I’ll save more, which is probably the same as most of my fellow 23-year-olds.

Reassessing the value of what I earn has been on my mind lately, and that’s where the 30 Day No Spending Challenge comes in.

The 30 Day No Spending Challenge focuses on benefiting your bank balance through by sticking to a tight budget for four weeks.

Most adventurers into this monetary management challenge stick to a budget of about €50.00 a week, to spend on groceries, transport and socialising.

The challenge omits things like rent and utilities, as it is all about making the most of your disposable income.

Things to cut out include eating out at restaurants, buying coffee, clothing shopping, and entertainment that isn’t free.

After living oh-so frugally as a student for three years, I figured I’d be up for the challenge.

And so, April has become my tragically titled No Spend Month, and I’m taking the steps to keep it that way.

It costs me €30.00 per week to get to work on my Leap Card, so that leaves me with a lean twenty quid to get by for the next seven days.

Luckily, there are more than a few bloggers who have doled out their best tips on how to manage on the fiscal fast, and one involves giving up the take-out apps.

As someone who rarely has the time (or culinary prowess) to cook a meal from scratch, the thought of deleting my precious take away apps had me in cold sweats.

I was also rather concerned that my local Deliveroo man might become genuinely worried for my wellbeing and come to investigate whether or not I was still alive and well.

But I knew that if I was going to stick to the masochistic monetary constraints, they had to go.

The next step was meal prep, planning exactly what I was going to eat for the next week and adjusting my shopping list accordingly.

While the struggle is not yet real, I’m sure the self-inflicted trial and tribulation I’m about to put myself through will be well worth it, financially speaking.

The thought of possibly getting up to six months ahead in my student loans or splurging on something I’ve wanted for a long time is keeping me on the straight and narrow so far, but hey, it’s only week one.


It's one of the hardest things to approach when you're working, and can be quite scary to do if you crumble at the thought of rejection – but sometimes, salary negotiations are absolutely essential.

Looking at various articles, discussion pages, and just general advice from colleagues, there are two major mistakes that people make when trying to ask for a raise.

Either, you'll wait and wait for your management to acknowledge your work (and they won't) or, you go into a discussion, totally unprepared and demand X amount of money, and come out with a less than great result.

To avoid these pitfalls, here are three steps to help you along the way before you go anywhere near a meeting room:

1. KNOW what you bring to the table

If you don't already, keep tabs on your wins and your responsibilities. Whether you keep note on Google Drive or in your ratty TY notebook, make sure you write down and record every major project, task and meeting you do well in.

Then, every few months, go back and see how much you have achieved. This way, you will know what you spend your time on, as well as being prepared for the 'what do you bring to the table?' question.

3 Women in Suit Sitting


2. KNOW your market rate

There's no point going in and asking for 40 grand, if everyone else in your field is only earning 30. 

Research how much your worth, by using Internet tools such as MyWage, or simply, by asking people in and around your industry.

However, don't forget that these will be ballpark numbers. So, consider as much information as you can, and be honest with yourself.

How long are you working there? How much do you put into the company (in the grand scheme of things)? How large is the company? Where are you based? These questions all need to be asked and considered.

business, computer, device


3. Plan, plan, plan

The worst thing you can do is go into a meeting with absolutely no information. Plan your proposal and what you're going to say. Plan an intro and an ending (for both good and bad outcomes).

Make sure you include your data sources and research, and have it all laid out on paper, so everything is clear to both you and your employer.

And be careful not to exaggerate or embellish. If you reach too far, your employer will know this and it could be what tarnishes your whole proposal.

businesswoman, company, computer


It's going to be a daunting conversation, but if you feel you need to go for it, then GO for it.

If you don't get the answer you were hoping for, ask for a review in three or six months time. And, remember to always follow your conversation up with an email.

Whether your salary increases or not, keep tabs on your work going forward and your progress, so you'll be prepared for salary negotiations the next time they come around.

Good luck!


Oh, and while we have you; don't forget to have your say in the inaugural SHEmazing Awards this May! It's time to vote, and you can do it right here!


Finance for 20-something women usually means not checking your bank account because you're too afraid to see the figure staring back at you.

We all know it's bad and that we should really keep on top of our money – but it's hard.

Your 20s are supposed to be a time of freedom, and sometimes that freedom means buying the latest Topshop vinyl trousers and having brunch every Sunday morning.

But, there are times when we need to save and budget our money. So, whether it's saving for a holiday, renting your first home, or working out what the hell an overdraft is, we're going to be here to help you along the way.

Gold 20 Round Coins

We're kicking off our new finance series with basics steps on how to save and budget your money each month:

1. You need to actually have a budget

This may all seem pretty simplistic, but it's where most 20-somethings go wrong. Know how much you make (whether it's weekly or monthly), figure out what you spend your money on and then find out how much is left over.

Stick to your budget each and every month without fail.

When you're aware of your spending habits, you'll be more able to control your money so you won't be wondering where that €300 went at the end of the month.

There are loads of online tools to help you, too. Check this out if you're planning your first budget.

Black Calculator Near Ballpoint Pen on White Printed Paper


2. Understand that saving money early is important

You need to save for your future. Whether you want to travel, buy a house, move country, or build a business – you need to save for it.

Most people in their 20s think that the future is so far away, but that means you have the advantage of time.

After you budget, learn how to enjoy life at a lower cost and appreciate that you'll be prepared for anything you want to take on in the future.

Visit Bonkers.ie to check out which bank will best suit you and what you want in terms of saving money. It's really easy to navigate and breaks everything down for you, too!

Coins and Bill Beside Coin Case


3. Prioritise

This is probably the hardest thing to do in terms of budgeting and saving money.

Because we ALL know that after a busy week at work all you want to do is reward yourself with a Penneys' shopping spree.

But have you paid your bills yet? Have you put some moola into your savings account? Did you do a food shop and will you have enough petrol to last until next week? These things ALL need to come before treating yo'self.

And as you hold off on buying things, you'll actually realise that you didn't need them to begin with. 

bank notes, budget, business


4. Don't let payday pass by

Yep, your money just went into your account and now we're telling you to take it all back out again. We didn't say it would be easy.

But, if your rent is due in the middle/end of the month, it's easier to set up a standing order or direct debit to transfer money on the day you get paid. That way, you won't be tempted to dip into it during the month. 

"The easiest way to save is to get used to not having it in the first place," says Petrina Grady, a savings and investment specialist.

bank note, banknote, banknotes


5. Stop wasting everything

Even if you might think you're good with the whole waste and recycling thing – save everything and waste nothing.

Get the most out of what you buy each month, whether it's lunch you can eat the next day or using less toothpaste, every little counts.

And if you have a pile of old clothes or homeware bits and pieces lying around the house, sell them on Ebay or Depop. Not everything has to be binned.

bank, blur, business


These five tips are the basics of saving and budgeting. In this series we will delve deeper into finance for 20-somethings, but for now, sticking to these steps is a good way to start off.



Following in the footsteps of Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Hungary, The Netherlands and Sweden, Ireland will next week begin phasing out its 1c and 2c coins.

The Central Bank’s Ronnie O’Toole said consumers and retailers have so far been supportive of the move.

"The reaction so far to Rounding has been fantastic. As a country we are good at making changes like this," he explained.

"We migrated to the euro ahead of most other countries, and the indications so far are that consumers and retailers alike will embrace rounding.”

It means that the 5c coin will be our smallest legal tender, with cash transactions from October 28 rounded up or down to the nearest 5c. The smaller coinage will, of course, remain legal – but the Central Bank hopes to gradually phase them out entirely.

Finance Minister Michael Noonan has been eager for the policy to be put in place following a trial carried out in Wexford in 2013.

Afterwards, 85 percent of consumers and 100 percent of retailers there said they wanted the system rolled out nationally.

A 1c coin costs 1.65c to produce while 2c coins cost 1.94c. The Central Bank estimates it has spent at least €30m on minting the two coins since 2001.

Rounding will still operate on a voluntary basis and customers can always ask for the exact change they are entitled to.

Otherwise, a transaction costing €10.21 or €10.22 would be rounded to €10.20, while a transaction costing €10.28 or €10.29 would be rounded to €10.30. And a transaction costing €10.23, €10.24, €10.26, €10.27 would all be rounded either up or down to €10.25.

The Central Bank furthermore says there is currently €35.3m worth of 1c and 2c coins in Ireland – three times more than the average in other countries using the euro.

In Ireland, we also have a habit of hoarding copper coins in jars – an activity which ultimately proves costly.

Ronnie O'Toole told Morning Ireland on RTE Radio today: "We were producing them in huge numbers. Retailers were giving them to consumers; consumers were putting them in jam jars. Retailers were coming back to us and saying we need new 1c and 2c coins."

He went on to say that as a country we have produced around 2.5billion of the smaller coins since the launch of the euro: that's 1,500 for every household.

"People prefer not using them to actually using them and they have these stockpiled at home," he added.


Battling its own financial crisis since 2008, Greece, a country of 11million people, has lately been hit yet more instability – namely because it's fast running out of money.

And, of course, if a government runs out of cash, it means that schools and hospitals can't stay open, and the likes of pensioners won't get their weekly allowance. In short, the country will shut down and likely spiral in chaos. 

Greece owes billions to international creditors. But Athens was also been deeply unhappy with the terms of its 2010 bailout from the Troika (made up of the European Commission, the IMF, and the European Central Bank). It claims that its loan-terms are grossly unfair and, with unemployment hovering around the 25 percent mark, that growth and recovery is being severely prohibited.

On Tuesday, Greece missed a loan repayment deadline: it was supposed to cough up €1.5bn to the International Monetary Fund, but never did. It has thus become the very first developed country to miss an IMF payment. This weekend, it holds a referendum on whether it should adhere to bailout conditions or not.

A 'no' vote (oxi in Greek) is being backed by the Greek government and will likely see the return of its old currency, the drachma.

Here, SHEmazing! gives a breakdown of the latest developments from Athens:

Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras


How much does Greece owe and why is it in so much financial trouble?

Greece owes some €323bn to its creditors (Ireland owes €200bn – still considered high internationally). Understandably, its residents are beginning to panic – last weekend ATMs were emptied as citizens rushed to remove their savings from banks. The crisis has been brewing for years, however: the Athenian government spent beyond its means for a long time; it had to borrow heavily (a quarter of a trillion euro, in fact) in 2010 just to keep the country running. And because it is tied into the euro rather than its own currency, it couldn't just print more money to solve the issue.

Does it really matter if a country defaults on an IMF loan?

Yes it does – so much so that countries go to incredible lengths to avoid defaulting. But Greece's ruling Syriza party, which has been in power since January, has long wanted to prioritise domestic obligations – health, education, roads etc – over honouring bail-out installments. By missing its loan payment this week, it joined a less-than illustrious group of defaulters: DR Congo, Iraq, Sudan and Zambia have all been in the same boat. Its debt is beginning to mount too: Greece has to pay the European Central Bank €6.6bn by the end of the summer, and yesterday the IMF said Greece will need another €60bn in loans over the next three years just to stay afloat.

So, who is Alexis Tsipras?

​He has been the Greek prime minister since January, when his Syriza party gained power via a landslide victory. A member of parliament since 2009 and a civil engineer by trade, he's still only 40. He's had to dilute some of his more extreme left-leaning persuasions in recent years, but still believes in withdrawing his country's Nato membership, imposing a 75 percent tax on Greece's wealthy citizens, and totally nationalising public services – including the banking sector. Understandably, the European ruling ascendancy (especially Germany) doesn't like him and wants him out; they'd just rather negotiate with a brand new parliament, in fact. 

What's happening on Sunday?

Greece holds a referendum this weekend: its citizens are being asked whether to accept the terms of the 2010 bailout or not. Mr Tsipras argues that these austerity measures are "unbearable," and Greek finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis, has said that the programme imposed on Greece "is going to go down in economic history as the greatest cock-up ever." But German chancellor Angela Merkel disagrees, stating that the deal is "extraordinarily generous". Essentially, Greece reckons a no vote will allow it to negotiate better deals with its creditors, something the Troika has totally dismissed. Still, latest polls suggest a no vote will be passed.

What is it like in Greece right now?

The country's banks have been closed all week to all but pensioners (many of them don't have ATM cards). Otherwise, all citizens are allowed to withdraw €60 a day from cash machines: the money is released at midnight, prompting long queues to form once evening time comes around. People have been taking to the streets to protest too, though these demonstrations have largely died down now. Tourists (totaling 22.5million annually) continue to visit the country – especially the historical sites of Athens, and its picturesque islands and coastline.

'Grexit': what happens if Greece leaves the eurozone?

Well, no one knows for sure (a country has never left the EU before) – but it's likely to be pretty chaotic. For the Greeks themselves, hundreds of thousands of ordinary people would probably see their life-savings vanish. Further afield, a Grexit would have a ripple effect around Europe, but especially in fellow Troika territories: Portugal, Italy and Spain, and to a lesser extend Ireland and Cyprus. And other countries might consider leaving the euro themselves if their economies take a battering in future years. Finance Minister Michael Noonan reassured Irish people this week that the risk to our economy was small, as direct trade and financial links between the two countries is limited.