Welcome to My Personal Finance Journey! If you are new here, please read the “About” or “First-Time Visitor” pages to find out more about us. If you would like to receive free updates on articles like this by email, then sign up here or you can subscribe to the RSS feed. Also, check us out on Twitter or Facebook. Thanks for visiting! Keep on learning!
Click here to enter my free $65.84 giveaway for a chance to win 5% of My Personal Finance Journey blog income and give another 5% to charity! Deadline to enter is May 31st, 2013.
The following article is by MPFJ staff writer, Miss T from Prairie Eco-Thrifter. If you want to learn how to live your dream life in a sustainable, healthy, and money savvy way, check out her site here.
There are so many things to consider when setting up a new home, especially if it is your first home. There’s lots of stuff to buy, redecorating to be done, maybe even some renovating, and it all seems so very expensive.
Well, read on, because here are some great ideas to help you save money when setting up a new home.
Organization is the key when taking on any big project, as it helps you understand what has to be done and what order it all needs to be completed. This can save you money right there; when you have a time-plan, everything flows smoothly and you don’t waste money having to do things more than once. Make lists for everything so nothing is forgotten. You need a list for what to buy, what to do and when to do it.
Consider which things on your list are necessary to have straight away and which can wait.
I found the best way to sort this out was to ask myself if the item was a need or a want. A ‘need’ is something you can’t live comfortably without, like a refrigerator. A ‘want’ is something that would be nice to have but you could live without it, like a second TV or artwork for the walls. Focus on the ‘needs’ when just starting out and you will save money by spreading the expense; when you are settled in a bit you can save up for or manage to pay for the ‘wants’.
The next step, after you’ve made your lists, is to do some research.
Don’t be tempted to just rush out and start buying; there are much more money-saving methods for getting the many things you need, when setting up house for the first time. First of all, ask around your family and friends to see if anyone has a spare/old/no-longer-used refrigerator, TV, vacuum cleaner, microwave oven, washing machine and whatever else you need. You might be pleasantly surprised at what people have stored away that they don’t use anymore and would be happy to let you have. It’s fine to have second-hand goods when you’re starting out; it cuts costs dramatically at the time and then spreads the expenses of getting new things over time. As these second-hand goods wear out or you find you have the cash, you can then replace them gradually, in your own time. This also reduces your stress levels!
Take Advantage of Thrift Stores
I’m sure you will have crossed several items off your list with this strategy and saved hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars. The next step is to scour the thrift stores, auction houses and second hand shops to see if you can find a few more things at amazingly low prices. These outlets are a great place to find sofas, dining tables and chairs. If you are little bit of a handy person, like me, you can restore older furniture to make it look like new; this is a great way to co-ordinate pieces with your new décor. I bought a beautiful old oak dining table that had seen better days but was solid and sound. I sanded it off, filled a few dents in the surface and then re-polished it. It only took me a couple of weekends and our friends thought it was a new piece of furniture! It cost me under $50 for the table and the reno, plus a bit of my time.
Now you will be left with items you might need to buy new.
Again, research will save you money when setting up a new home. Go online to compare prices and check out your local stores to find where the best deals are. Be prepared to negotiate; you ‘ll be surprised how many stores are happy to drop their price. Look at different models and don’t be temped to buy more than you need. You are just starting out; there is just you or maybe a partner as well; do you really need a 12 seat dining table or a huge family-sized refrigerator? This is what I mean when I say don’t buy more than you need. Later on, when you are able to spread your expenses, and the need arises, you can upgrade to the bigger, better pieces. Right now, it’s more about getting yourself set up without going into huge amounts of debt to do it.
Another tip about saving money when setting up a new home is not to rush into buying lots of decorating ‘extras’. Take some time to settle in and get to know your new place. If you’re anything like me, you’ll probably move the furniture around numerous times before you are happy with the placement. Wait until you’ve lived with your stuff before deciding on a firm decorating scheme. This will save you money because you won’t buy something that doesn’t fit in.
Setting up house is so much fun, whether it’s for the first time or the tenth. There’s going to be lots to do and even more you need to buy, but by using some of these ideas, you will certainly save some money in the process.
How about you all? How have you saved yourself money when getting a new house/apartment set up after a move?
Share your experiences by commenting below!
***Photo courtesy of http://prairieecothrifter.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/iStock_000016696172XSmall-300×198.jpg