For long-time readers of this blog, you probably already know that my goal is to be financially independent. Unfortunately, when you’re freelancing, you often end up in a feast-or-famine cycle where you’re just aiming to keep your head above water and pay all your bills.

But I’ve recently discovered a few new ways to save some money. Keep in mind that not everything I do will work for you, and vice-versa. Saving money is a personal thing, and we all have attitudes and beliefs towards money- some that were instilled in us at a very young age. 

Here are some of the things that you can try in order to get ahead financially this year:

Make a plan

One thing I’ve recently learned, is that in order to get ahead in any aspect of your life, you need to have a solid plan in place. Without goals that are written down to keep you accountable, you’re much less likely to be successful with whatever you have planned.

The first thing I did when I decided that I wanted to save money, was work out a plan. Since I never know how much I’m earning each month, I needed to come up with a way to save while ensuring I could get through the lean months. I did this by paying myself first. This means that instead of paying all my bills, buying groceries, going shopping, buying takeout, and socialising and then trying to save, as soon as I had paid my bills, I transferred a set amount into my savings account.

Make some sacrifices

Those that know me well also know that I’m not someone who likes to sacrifice my little luxuries. But when you need to make a change, you need to determine what it is you’re willing to give up, and what you can’t live without.

For example, I found that since I’m also trying to get in better shape, I find it much easier to give up eating out throughout the week than to try to conquer my coffee addiction. I also found I was willing to spend less time drinking with friends (I’m getting way too old for the club scene) in exchange for a bottle of wine and quiet night watching Netflix at home.

Shop smarter

I also recently found out that Groupon coupons are available for a number of my favourite stores. These include everything from Asos and Express to Hertz and Hotwire.

If you haven’t yet checked out these coupons, be sure to take a look at the different options available. What I love about Groupon coupons, is the fact that they’re not just for high-end stores- you can even use them for stores like Kohls and Sears. 

What do you think of these money-saving tips? Let me know some of your favourite tips so I can give them a go as well!