Congratulations! You are ready to move into your new house or apartment. Now you need some stuff. How do you furnish your new home and not go broke?
Living on a tight budget means that we have to be creative and thoughtful. It does not mean that we have to live an aesthetic lifestyle (unless that is your lane, of course) nor that we are stuck with only dumpy furniture. And, while making bookshelves and tables out of bricks or cardboard boxes can be fun for a while, these are not our only options.
Budgeting is Key to Everything
As with everything, the process begins with a budget. Draw up a list, room by room, of what you need to buy. Spend time in all the spaces in your home and imagine yourself living in each room or hallway. If you are stuck on ideas or on what you actually need for your new home, check out DIY and Pinterest. These platforms have amazing resources for how to furnish your new home beautifully and on a budget.Go online or cruise the stores to get a realistic idea of how much it will cost to buy everything new. This is your estimate of what you need to furnish your new home. How much do you have saved up for furniture and furnishings? What you have saved is how much you have to spend. Let that be your border. With this in mind, you will be able to furnish your new home and not go broke.
Go online or cruise furniture stores to get a realistic idea of how much it will cost to buy everything new. This is your estimate of what you need to furnish your new home. How much do you have saved up for furniture and furnishings? What you have saved is how much you have to spend. Let that be your border. With this in mind, you will be able to furnish your new home and not go broke.
Put Away Your Credit Card
Now comes the next important step: resist the temptation to pull out your credit card and fill your new home with everything you see and love. That experience of joy that you feel as you sit among your new furnishings will last just until the first bills start arriving. Don’t forget that you will have other bills to pay too, such as your mortgage or rent, car payment perhaps, probably student loans and whatever charges you have already put on your credit cards. To furnish your new home and not go broke you need to be financially wise.
To Furnish Your New Home and Not Go Broke, You Need to Prioritize
Furnishing your new home does not need to be a race. You can take your time. Begin first with the rooms where you will spend most of your time. For instance, the kitchen is important, you need furnishings there. On the other hand, it does not have to rival the best gourmet restaurant right off the bat. Unless of course you are a gourmet chef and intend to do a lot of entertaining!
The bedroom is also important. And, you need a place to eat and relax. Begin with the essentials and add furniture and furnishings as time passes and you have replenished your furniture budget. Taking your time and prioritizing will not only save you money, but it gives you the option to pivot as your tastes or needs change.
Borrow from Others
To furnish your new home and not go broke, you will need to step aside from the idea that everything has to be new. Certain furniture should be new, such as mattresses. But other items can be gently used second-hand furniture and furnishings that friends or family are ready to move out. Your family might be ready to pitch in and fill your new home with all their old stuff. Be selective, make sure the furniture is usable and in good condition, and most important, be sure that you like it. Furnishing some portion of your new home with borrowed furniture will definitely save you money and free up your budget for other things.
You can find great furniture, in excellent condition, from second-hand stores, neighbors, yard sales, and through online platforms. The most popular are Craigslist and Chairish. You can also take advantage of your social media channels and let people know you are looking for gently used furniture for your new home.
The Art of Bargaining Still Exists
Furniture showrooms are filled with the most beautiful and expensive furniture and furnishings. If you decide to go this route, before you sign-off on your purchase, push the sales agent for a discount. Stores typically have a cash discount, but you will need to bargain for it. And, if you are purchasing quite a bit of furniture, you should also bargain for a discount due to your bulk purchase. Be aggressive and advocate for your financial needs.
Take Advantage of Seasonal Sales
To everything, there is a season… and this is no less true for furniture and furnishings. This is where prioritizing your purchases really comes in handy. Once you have the essentials out of the way, wait for those special times during the year, when furniture goes on sale. Typically, this is around President’s Day weekend and the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday. Also, retailers tend to price down items during the winter, before the spring arrivals. Postpone what you can until these special price timeframes. Doing so will help you furnish your new home without going broke and still have everything you want.
One final note: even though you are on a limited budget, don’t go cheap. Buy quality furniture that will last. This is true even if you are buying from second-hand resources. Buying cheap furniture may seem like it will give you more mileage for your budget. But, if you have to replace it in a year, you will not be saving any money. And, to keep the savings going, consider making your new home green. Here are some tips from a previous article about how to save money on your monthly bills with green energy technologies.