It’s not easy getting on the property ladder these days. You should be proud of your accomplishment and take a moment to enjoy it, but as move-in day approaches, it’s time to start thinking about how you’re going to furnish it.
When you move into a house from an apartment, there’s a good chance your home is going to have a lot of empty space. Completing your home may involve investing in some new furniture.
Unfortunately, new homeowners may not have a lot of money to work with. According to one recent study, nearly 70% of homeowners are house-broke, meaning they’re unable to save much after paying for basic housing expenses, including mortgage payments, property taxes, and repairs. Naturally, many first-time homeowners are on a strict budget and may not have much to spend when it comes time to finish furnishing their homes.
Where to Shop for Affordable Furniture
Before getting into design and decorating tips, first, you need to know where you can reliably find affordable furniture that will fit into your budget. There are several ways you can save on new and used furniture.
The easiest place to start is to use online marketplaces. There, you can find used furniture, open-box furniture, and deals direct from independent retailers. An online marketplace is a great place to look for a bed, dining table, desk, or sofa sale and stretch your budget that much further.
How to Furnish Your New Home on a Budget
#1 Start with Necessities
Shopping on a budget means making your decisions carefully. Before you start buying, make a list of the bare necessities. That means making sure you have:
- Enough beds
- A table with chairs
- At least one sofa
If you’re moving from an apartment, you probably have all of these already. If you were thinking about upgrading them with the move, make sure you’ve costed everything out, and you’re confident in any trade-offs you may need to make.
#2 Focus on High-Traffic Rooms
Once you have the basics, it’s time to focus on those rooms that see the most daily use. When you’re on a limited budget, it makes more sense to spend it improving your everyday quality of life than impressing for those fancy occasions.
If you prefer to spend your time at home watching TV or reading a book on the couch, put your money toward building a comfortable, cozy, and relaxing living room. If hosting friends and family for dinner parties are what gives you joy, it makes sense to invest in a fancy dining room, patio furniture, or places where you can host and create a casual, relaxing atmosphere.
#3 Get Your Measurements Right
The last thing you want to deal with is buying a piece of furniture that won’t fit or that’s much smaller than you anticipated. Take measurements of every room and compare them to the size of the furniture. Block things out to make sure they will have the same impact you imagine they will.
#4 Create Focal Points
When you’re designing your living room or another room where you plan on spending a lot of time, you want to create focal points around the best or biggest features in the room. In your living room, that might be a fireplace or a flatscreen.
Once you have a focal point, you can arrange furniture in such a way that it interacts with each other. When your seating arrangement is “in conversation,” you’ll feel right at home when you have guests over.
#5 Arrange Furniture that Fits Your Lifestyle
When you’re decorating your home, be honest about your lifestyle. While you may dream about buying a massive dining room table one day, it doesn’t need to be on the top of your list if you usually enjoy a quick dinner at the kitchen table. You can save a lot of money by being honest with yourself and prioritizing the things that make your home feel like an expression of your own personality.
As a first-time homeowner, you’re working with a limited budget when it comes to furniture. Be smart about your purchases, stick to your budget, and look for sales, deals, and bargains on used furniture wherever you can.