Congratulations! As a homeowner, you are living the American dream. Moving into your new home can cost you more than your mortgage payments. You’ll need to find the money to furnish your new apartment, condo, or family home.
Most people think that the closing costs on their real estate are the only expense they have to worry about when purchasing a home. However, what are you going to do about the furniture? Similarly, students renting an apartment also focus on the monthly rental amount. However, they don’t take into consideration how much it can cost to furnish their new place.
Furniture is expensive. If you wander around the showroom floor of a local furniture retailer, you’ll find that a new couch or bed can cost more than you realize. Fortunately, you can save a stack of money using workarounds when purchasing your furniture. We put together this list of ten ideas to help you furnish your home on a budget.
1. Check Out Yard Sales
- 1 1. Check Out Yard Sales
- 2 2. Visit a Thrift Store
- 3 3. Look Through Classifieds Online
- 4 4. Wait for Seasonal Sales
- 5 5. Use Reclaimed Wood
- 6 6. Visit Factory Furniture Stores
- 7 7. Always Ask for a Discount
- 8 8. Look for Freebies Online
- 9 9. Set Up Price Alerts
- 10 10. Visit an IKEA Store
- 11 Wrapping Up – Stick to Your Budget
It’s incredible what Americans throw away every day. Start your search for affordable furniture by reviewing the yard sales in your area. Most people organize yard sales at the beginning of winter before the weather turns bad, or the start of summer.
People toss out all kinds of stuff during a yard sale, and you’ll probably find a few of your furniture items for dirt-cheap. As a rule, don’t purchase any electronics from yard sales. If something goes wrong with the TV or gaming console you bought, the seller will most likely deny that they sold it to you broken. Purchase your electronics from a reputable retailer that offers a guarantee on the merchandise.
Yard sales are great for finding household items and furnishings such as curtains and blinds, kitchenware, old sofas, beds, and cupboards. People advertise yard sales through local newspapers and in online forums. Some sellers may also advertise their yard sale by pitching posters around the neighborhood. Keep your eyes peeled for events in your area.
2. Visit a Thrift Store
Some people can’t deal with the hassle of hosting a yard sale. Spending all day in the hot weather watching your neighbors go through your old stuff is not an ideal way to spend your time. As a result of the effort involved with a yard sale, many sellers decide to take their unwanted furniture to a thrift store instead.
Many people balk at the thought of buying their furniture from a thrift store. However, you won’t believe what some people decide to sell. IF you visit all of the thrift stores in your city, the chances are you’ll find some great deals.
Thrift stores are excellent locations for finding furniture like cupboards, coffee tables, dining room sets, curtains, and much more. Most people sell their goods to thrift stores for next to nothing, and they are happy to get rid of the clutter in their home. You’ll find some outstanding deals if you spend enough time bargain hunting.
3. Look Through Classifieds Online
Another excellent resource for finding used furniture deals is through online classifieds. Take some time and go through the furniture section of Craigslist. People that sell their used furniture on Craigslist are competing with hundreds of other sellers that may be selling the same item. For instance, search Xbox on Craigslist, and you’ll see hundreds of listings from people that are desperate to sell their console.
These sellers are often in distressed financial positions, and they are willing to sell everything in their home to cover their bills. As a result, you have more negotiating power when dealing with sellers. Make a list of the top-10 deals for the items that you want. Call each of the sellers and offer them 30-percent less than the advertised price.
Using this strategy, you’ll find that many people refuse your offer; some will do so in a profane manner. However, the chances are that you’ll find a couple of distressed buyers that are more than willing to give you a deep discount.
4. Wait for Seasonal Sales
If you want to purchase your electronics on the cheap, wait for the seasonal sales. Black Friday is an annual shopping festival that occurs the Friday after Thanksgiving. If you wait for Black Friday to make your electronic purchases, you could save yourself a bundle.
Research shows that the best time of the year to purchase electronics is October through the end of November. Most companies and brands introduce their new product lineup at this time of the year to prepare for the Christmas shopping season. As a result, you’ll find that there are deep discounts on last year’s range of electronics.
We recommend that you hold pout on your electronics purchases until Black Friday or Cyber Monday. Cyber Monday is like the online version of Black Friday, and this shopping holiday occurs on the Monday after Black Friday.
January sales after Christmas are also an excellent time of the year for furniture specials. Companies want to stimulate spending in January, and they offer some incredible deals on appliances during this time. Labor day and 4th of July sales are also excellent times of the year to capitalize on seasonal furniture sales.
5. Use Reclaimed Wood
Stop your search for a coffee table right now, and try building one with reclaimed wood instead. Reclaimed wood furniture is the hottest furniture trend of the year. You don’t need to be an expert craftsman to manufacture furniture from reclaim either. Raw and rugged is the best description of this furniture, and it adds style and character to your home.
Instead of shelling out a few hundred dollars for a coffee table, make one out of a used wooden pallet. You can pick up a pallet for free at most shipping yards. Purchase a few sheets of sanding paper and some varnish, and you have all the materials you need to make a coffee table from scratch.
Reclaimed wood also provides excellent building material for cupboards, chairs, and outdoor furniture. Search online for some ingenious furniture designs using reclaimed wood.
6. Visit Factory Furniture Stores
Before you head out to a local furniture retailer to look at couches, search online for furniture factory stores near you. Factory outlets manufacture furniture on-site, and they don’t have the tremendous showroom overheads, and other costs associated with buying from a retailer.
Some factory outlets specialize in sofas, while others may deal in office furniture or dining room sets. Very few factory outlets have everything under one roof, so you’ll have to do some searching to find factory stores for everything you need.
Purchasing your furniture from factory outlet stores can save you hundreds of dollars on the retail price of the items. There is also more room to bargain for a discount as well. Some factory stores may also have defective furniture for sale at a fraction of the cost of other items.
This furniture may have slight damage, such as scratches on a fridge door, or a few threads hanging out of sofa stitching. In most cases, a few scratched or loose threads are well worth the hassle if you can save hundreds of dollars on the retail price.
7. Always Ask for a Discount
This rule applies to anything you buy at any retailer or private seller. If you don’t summon the courage to ask for a discount, then you won’t ever hear the seller offer it to you. People who think that the price tag on the furniture item they want is the final selling price should rethink their strategy.
In today’s economy, retailers are desperate to make sales. Research shows that more retailers are going bankrupt across the country, and even large chain retailers are under threat of closing the doors. The advent of the internet, and the rise of e-commerce retailers like Amazon, turning Americans away from physical retailers.
If you see a piece of furniture you like, take an interest in it so that the store sales clerk notices you. The sales rep will walk up to you and start persuading you to buy the piece. Listen to their pitch and wait for them to go silent. After they are done talking, pull out your phone and search for the item on Amazon.
The chances are that you’ll find it much cheaper, and this gives you leverage with negotiating the price with the sales clerk.
8. Look for Freebies Online
If you are trying to furnish your apartment or home on a shoe-string budget, look to social media for deals. Sites like Facebook marketplace features people in your area that are selling their stuff. Many of the people pushing their items on Facebook will even offer the furniture for free, provided that you arrange the transport.
You’ll be surprised at how much free stuff is on offer. What’s more surprising is that this furniture is usually in good condition. A lick of paint or sanding and glazing is all you need to restore that chest of drawers you got for free.
9. Set Up Price Alerts
Don’t you hate it when you buy something new, only to see it at another retailer a few days later at a discounted price? This situation happens all the time, but there are ways to prevent it from happening on your furniture shopping spree.
Set up price alerts on items you want by using apps. There are hundreds of price-checking apps available for free in the Android and Apple app stores. Download and install one of the apps, and load it with items you’re interested in buying. The app alerts you of all the prices charged by retailers in your local area, and they also look for online deals as well.
You can set up the app to search for sales on your items as well. You receive a notification through your smartphone when a retailer posts a deal.
10. Visit an IKEA Store
Speak to people about IKEA products, and they’ll start to frown. IKEA is in every town and city across the United States, and they are well-known for providing affordable furniture to the public. However, people seem to shy away from IKEA products because they are so commonplace.
While the furniture on offer is not exclusive, and you have to put it together yourself, it comes with an affordable price tag.
Sure, your apartment or home may not have a unique and individual characteristic if you load it up with IKEA products. However, you’ll save hundreds of dollars furnishing your residence when compared to the pricing of similar furniture at other retailers.
Wrapping Up – Stick to Your Budget
When you start shopping for furniture, make three lists. The first list is for essentials, such as a bed, fridge, and a TV. The second list comprises necessary items, but you can live without them in your life. A washer and dryer is an excellent example of furniture you can add to this list. The third list is for items that are not essential, but you would like to own. An Xbox or a wide-screen LED TV are good examples.
Attach a dollar amount to each of the items on your three lists, based on your research of furniture prices. This figure is your total budget for furniture, and you’ll need to stick to this amount if you want to furnish your new home. If your budget for a couch is $100, and you find a sofa that costs $150, don’t give in to the temptation to break your budget.
There are hundreds of excellent deals available on the internet, and there’s a couch that meets your budget – All you need to do is search.
Blowing your budget on one or two items means that you have less money to spend on other furniture. Watching your shows on a large flat-screen TV sounds like an ideal way to spend an evening in your new place. However, when you have to fall asleep on the couch because you blew the money for your bed, you might have a different opinion.