Congratulations on the purchase of your home! You have achieved a major milestone. Depending on your remaining liquid funds after having made your down payment and myriad other expenses, you may be concerned about the cost of furnishing your new home.
Typically, furnishing a modestly-sized home costs about ten thousand dollars. However, it’s quite possible to create a beautifully-furnished interior for tw0 or three thousand instead—provided you’re willing and able to put in some extra effort.
Today, we’re sharing our Top Ten Tips for Furnishing Your New Home on a Budget. First, though, let’s talk about strategies for setting up a firm budget you can use while you search and shop.
Before you begin, create three lists, each with its own budget.
- Your first list will cover must-haves: refrigerator, a bed, washer, and dryer, for example.
- Your second list will feature items that are things you need in your home, but can be purchased a few months in the future: a dining table, comfortable sofa, bookcases, and an office desk might make this list.
- The third list is a list of things that would be nice to have, but aren’t absolutely necessary: perhaps a high-end television, video game system, luxury sofa, and guest room bed.
These lists will have very different budgets. Staggering your purchases in this manner may help you determine how much money you have to spend on essentials this month.
After you’ve done some research, you’ll be able to attach a dollar amount to each item. If your budget for your bed is $250, but you only have to spend $150, you may decide to go a bit over budget on your appliances.
Still, you’ll benefit by being firm on your overall established budget. Try not to be swayed by items that are 30 – 50% more than you wish to spend.
1.) Accept the Eclectic
It’s going to be difficult to put together a home entirely in one single decorating style if you’re snagging bargains where you find them. Instead, accept that your style will be eclectic for a few years, and focus on how you can use paint, accessories, and clever arrangement to create a flow you enjoy.
2.) Look for Multiuse Pieces
Instead of purchasing a guest bed and a sofa, consider sticking with a hideaway for now. Do you need a coffee table, living room storage, and ottomans? Perhaps an oversized storage ottoman can double as a coffee table—just have pretty serving trays available for use.
This type of multi-use decorating can save money, make your home feel larger, and save you time and effort when it comes to shopping.
3.) Shop Second-Hand
Before you head out to scour furniture and appliance stores, shop second-hand! Websites like Nextdoor, Craigslist, and Online Estate Sales are great places to start—but don’t skip garage and estate sales near you.
Some people are averse to shopping at consignment and thrift stores, but you may be impressed by the gems you can find. While you’re unlikely to find exactly what you’re looking for on your first, third, or even fifth visit, the high inventory turnover is on your side. Keep trying!
4.) Keep an Eye Out for Freebies Near You
As you browse online for deals on second-hand furniture near you, make sure you check “free” categories—preferably twice daily! People who are in a rush to move, have plenty of money, or just want to skip the hassle may all post excellent items as freebies.
5.) Ask Friends and Family
Many people have furniture and décor in their garage, in storage units, or sitting unloved in a back office, so ask your family members and close friends if they do, too!
Try not to say yes to everything, or you may find yourself staring at a pile of furniture you don’t love. Instead, only say yes to well-made pieces, or pieces that you’d buy at a consignment store based on aesthetics and functionality.
6.) Be Willing to DIY Improvements
Sanding, paint, new hardware, and a coat of varnish can bring furniture back to life! If you can reupholster, even better! The more you can see past the surface of real wood furniture, the more you’ll benefit from rock-bottom prices on used pieces.
7.) Shop Furniture and Appliance Warehouses
Eventually, you may be out of time to hunt for deals on used pieces—or you may have saved up for some bigger purchases. Either way, start at furniture and appliance warehouses. Here, you can shop items that are “seconds,” either to small cosmetic defects or unpopular colors.
You’ll still be looking at brand-new pieces, and you’ll be able to browse a large selection in one place.
8.) Wait for Big Seasonal Sales
If you can, shop for more expensive items during seasonal sales. Your high-end television and video game system, dream sofa, and favorite kind of porch bench will likely be discounted at this time.
9.) Negotiate On Price
Retail shops are still having a tough time moving inventory. If you’re shopping in person, indicate interest in an item. Wait for a sales associate to come help you, then strike up a friendly conversation. Finally, express your firm interest in the piece, but share that it’s outside of your budget.
Often, furniture retailers will wheel-and-deal, so don’t be nervous about asking. It can’t hurt to try!
10.) Use Price Alerts when Shopping Online
If you’re considering purchasing an item online, make use of price alerts before you add it to your cart. Wait as long as possible to see if any sellers offer a better deal.
We hope our recommendations are useful to you as you enjoy this exciting new adventure! Very soon, your home will be the cozy oasis you’ve been dreaming of.
Do you have additional tips for snagging home goods on a budget? Leave us a comment below; we’d love to hear from you.