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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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If you're anything like us, a huge chunk of your hard earned cash goes towards filling you wardrobe with clothes you probably (definitely) don't need. 

You might be living off beans on toast for the last week of the month, but hey, at least you've got a killer collection of designer heels, right?

Well, staying on top of the latest trends is nice, but have you ever stopped to think about what percentage of your wages is actually spent on clothing and accessories? 

According to Cosmopolitan, financial expert Peter Dunn reckons he's found the magic formula that allows you to strike the balance between stylish trendsetter and fully fledged adult. 

And it's all in the number five, apparently. 

He recommends that you should only spend about 5 per cent of your take home salary every month – which, when you break it down, isn't an awful lot. 

For example, if your €25k a year, your shopping budget is capped at €1250 annually which equates to roughly €100 per month.

Now, on first thought that doesn't seem so bad, but it only takes one flash ASOS sale to spoil your finances for the month. 

Our advice? Save the splurging for special events and experiment with new ways to style the clothes you already have.  

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

From rent, to utilities, to public and private student loans alike, there is simply 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.

Image result for treat yoself gif

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.

Image result for summer holidays gif

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Ah Easter, the time of excessive eating and Good Friday house parties. 

Week three of the 30 day No Spending Challenge is underway, and honestly?

I cannot wait to be released from my prison of personal finance.

In case you are wondering why in the name of God anyone would try to survive without two cents to rub together by choice, here's a bit of background.

I am embarking on the 30 Day No Spending Challenge (you can see how I prepared for it here), and I am officially over it. 

The 30 Day No Spending Challenge focuses on benefiting your bank balance 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, but essentials like rent and utilities are excluded.

After all, it's hard enough to get a house these days without potentially pissing of your landlord by not coughing up that "very reasonable, considering the area," sum of monthly rent. 

€50.00 is definitely a sorry sum to try to get by on for the week, but after you minus my travel expenses, I'm left with €20.00 to spend. 

This week, Easter was looming, and being in possession of an assortment of younger siblings, chocolate had to be purchased to satiate the Lent-mad masses.

The challenge does allow you to put an event or two aside that you have already committed to ahead of the challenge, during which you can allocate yourself a budget to spend during the event outside of your chaste weekly allowance, and Easter was my time to shine.  

 

A post shared by Jodie (@paperpipit) on

I gave myself an egg allowance of sorts, and splashed out on fancy confectionery items for my immediate family, as well as a bottle of gin for myself in preparation for the Good Friday madness. 

In order to minimise my spending, I split the cost of the gin, tonic and limes with a friend. 

It was definitely a spending savvy move, but it did remind me of my late teens, where pocket money would be pooled between friends to purchase a large bottle of blue alco-pop to be consumed with haste in some drizzly field. 

Though the beverage was an expense, my guilt was minimised by the fact that it was a house party rather than a night out, so the expenditure was dramatically lower than it could have been.

While I did not go outside my egg budget, I counted on the Bank of Mum and Dad to get my train ticket back to my home county of Galway for the family festivities. 

I have been in the process of detangling my finances from my parents for a number of years, which is probably the same as most young twenty-somethings, and now all that's left is my phone bill. 

Getting kicked off the family phone plan will truly be the moment the cord gets clamped, but the Bank of Mum and Dad does remain open for occasional necessities like this pilgrimage to Galway.

It is completely cheating on the challenge to allow other people to buy you something, but after splurging on eggs and gin, I couldn't get any more in the red than I already was. 

After the short but sweet visit, I returned to Dublin to be greeted with bare cupboards, a svelte LeapCard balance and limited plan for what I intend to spend my twenty quid on this week. 

I'm sure there's some way to conjure some broken, leftover Easter eggs into three square meals a day, right? 

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!

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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.

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Most internet trends involve ice buckets or no makeup selfies, but there is one fiscal challenge that has been doing the rounds over the past year or so that looks particularly interesting.

Rather than angling for likes on Facebook, the 30 Day No Spending Challenge focuses on benefiting your bank balance through sticking to a tight budget for four weeks. 

Plenty of bloggers and Youtubers have been taking up the challenge, and while they seem to find it difficult, they are reaping the monetary benefits. 

Consider for a moment how much money you'd save if you just gave up your daily Starbucks coffee for a month?

Well, the same idea applies to just about every little luxury you can think of. 

Most wannabe savers decide to spend just €50.00 a week for the month on everything, including travel and groceries.

Things like rent and utilities are omitted from the budget because they are necessities, and the spending challenge is all about saving up that disposable income. 

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

People who have managed to be super strict and follow the €50.00 budget per week have managed to get months ahead on loans, save up for dream holidays or that designer item they have been lusting over for months. 

If you always find yourself in the red at the end of the month, this challenge could be a good way to shock yourself into getting your finances in order. 

While €50.00 may not seem like a lot to spend on transport, food and toiletries, a little can go a long way. 

Simple things like bringing your lunch to work every day and batch cooking your dinners can help with the food spending freeze, and cycling or walking rather than getting taxis is a manageable way to make changes during the challenge. 

Deleting food delivery apps can also help eliminate any temptation from coming your way when you get those last minute takeaway cravings. 

You can also distract yourself by undertaking free activities like going to open air plays, spring cleaning, attending open mic nights, watching Netflix and taking up an exercise class via YouTube. 

With some bloggers saving up to €1000.00 after a month on the fiscal freeze, it's well worth a try. 

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!

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We're in two minds about this because, honestly, if five million quid ended up in your bank account, what would you do?

Christine Jiaxin Lee, a student from Malaysia but living in Australia, checked her bank account one day to find she had an added $4.6m in her available funds… and let's just say she went all out.

The mix-up, which was on the bank's part, meant that the 21-year-old could go on a wild shopping spree… and boy, did she.

The engineering student bought a very fancy apartment in Sydney as well as an abundance of designer handbags.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, this went on for a YEAR before the bank noticed and in that time she spent $3.3m.

However, when the bank copped on to Christine, she was arrested. Hours later she was released on bail but now has to report to her local police station twice per day, as well as give up her passport.

And she has to pay ALL of the money back.

Christine claimed that she thought the money was put in by her parents, which at first sounds like a long shot, but further reports say that her mother and father are paying the whole amount back to the bank as soon as, so their daughter won't be in debt.

She told the paper that her parents "are not very happy with me."

Well… obviously.

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Some of us love Christmas, and some of us… not so much. But one thing that everyone can agree on is that it's a pricey time of year. 

And according to a survey commissioned by the Credit Union, the average Irish adult will spend almost €600 in the run up to Christmas this year. 

The annual spending survey shows that the average shopper in Ireland can expect to spend €563 this festive season, which is actually lower than the figure produced last year. 

“We all need to remember that Christmas really is about giving, not robbing the family finances,” says Ed Farrell of the Credit Union.

A huge number of us are planning to shop online this year (67 percent), with most people saying that value can be found online and 26 per cent of shoppers said it's more convenient to shop online than trek around town. 

But many of us (70 per cent) feel worse about our financial situation than we did last year. So, do you think you'll spend that much this year? 

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