Whether you live in Washington, D.C., New York City or elsewhere, furnishing an apartment for the first time can cost a fortune, but it doesn’t have to. When you’re just starting out, there is no reason to spend a lot of money furnishing your first apartment. In fact, there are many reasons not to and and any budget saving tips for furnishing your first apartment can really help for the short and long term. Here’s why.
Many young people today are racking up so much credit card debt that they will never pay it off in their lifetimes, according to Time Business. You don’t need to add to your financial difficulties by purchasing expensive furniture and housewares on credit. If you play it smart, you can furnish your first apartment without fear of debt. Here are five ways you can save while furnishing your apartment to make it feel like home without racking up more debt than you need.
1. Learn with Free Stuff
There are numerous places where you can get free items to start furnishing your place. Friends and family, Craigslist, Freecycle and thrift stores are all places to look for basics. Later on you will want to buy nicer things, but free stuff will give you a chance to learn what you like and will guide your future purchases.
2. Grow Plants
Some people like to grow things they can eat, such as herbs or vegetables, while others prefer decorative plants. You may be worried about killing your first plants, but if you start small you can get in practice without spending too much. Small plants are inexpensive. If it dies, you can always buy another.
Huffington Post recommends easy to grow house plants like the Rabbit’s Foot Fern or the Croton. You can also talk to your local garden shop about what grows easily in your area.
3. Learn to Use Basic Tools
The resurgence in the DIY movement can be seen everywhere — from refinishing worn furniture to reupholstering a headboard. People are even making their handiness useful to their safety, installing their own security systems, according to www.HomeSecuritySystem.com. DIY activities save you money, and teach you lifelong skills along the way.
You’ll need some tools to start fixing and tinkering with things. Buying a few basics: flat head and Phillips screwdrivers, an adjustable wrench or a hammer will be enough to get you started. Then you can do your own assembly and fix minor things around your place if need be.
4. Budget for Furnishings
At some point, you are going to want a nice piece of furniture or a good set of cookware. You really do get what you pay for, within reason, so it’s worth saving up for higher quality goods when you can. Start putting away money each month for furnishing your place. You may be surprised at how quickly it adds up.
5. Time your Purchases
Like couponing, waiting for sales seems to be confined mostly to older people. If you really want to land deals, though, it can pay to adopt this habit. Many of the things you really want for you place will fluctuate in price over the course of a year. Bide your time, look for sales and strike while the iron is hot.
Remember: You are in Control
It’s quite empowering to realize how much control over your budget you actually have. Use these ideas to get started furnishing your apartment without borrowing any money, from credit cards or otherwise. You will thank yourself later.
Rachel is not THAT (Evan) Rachel Wood. She’s just a small-town journalist who enjoys writing about food, home and design.