Buying a house is an expensive process and for first-time buyers there can be even more costs to face when it comes to furnishing their new home.
While it’s fine to splash out on one or two nice pieces to celebrate your new home and make it feel like yours, you want to make sure you can comfortably afford your monthly mortgage payments and bills.
Below are our top tips for easing the financial strain when furnishing your new home:
- The first thing you should do is pull together an inventory of absolute essentials – a bed, sofa, kitchen appliances, crockery and storage for clothing will usually feature highly. Don’t buy any other big items until you have purchased everything on this list.
- You should also set a budget for each of these, and shop around for the best deal. Check out outlets and clearance sales for good prices, and lookout for online discount codes for extra savings.
- One of the best ways to make savings is to shop second hand – pre-owned pieces can be a temporary fix until you can afford something more suitable, or you might find a bargain that you love
- Invest in multi-functional pieces such as benches and coffee tables with built-in storage to make your money go further.
- Try to strike the right balance between thrifty and expensive pieces – scrimping on heavily used items such as beds and sofas means they might not last, and you’ll end up spending more money replacing them in the long term. On the other hand, things like crockery can be bought cheaply, and there is always the risk it will get broken anyway.
- Make an appeal on social media for any friends and family who might be giving furniture away. Don’t immediately dismiss items if they’re not to your taste – a table cloth over an old table and a throw and some cushions over a sofa can help you live with such pieces until you can find or afford something you prefer.
- Be patient – don’t rush out to buy things all at once. Wait until you’ve been living in your home for a while and you may find you have no need for something you would otherwise have purchased.
- If you’re tempted by something not on your essentials list, keep an eye on it for a while rather than buying on impulse. You can always pick it up if you’re still coveting it after a month or two, or if you don’t need it urgently wait until the sales in case it goes down in price.
- Know the dimensions of your home and carry these around with you – furniture can look much smaller in a spacious showroom, and you don’t want to waste money on furniture that doesn’t work well with the space in your home.
- Never underestimate the power of paint – a quick coat is a great and cost-effective way to update or even transform a tired or basic piece of furniture.