Many people, like college students, newly marrieds, and those who are limited to a strict budget, often rent unfurnished apartments as a way to save money.
However, that does leave them with the challenge of furnishing it themselves.
If you’re among those who need to furnish your own apartment with very limited funds, rest assured that it can be done.
Here are four tips for saving money when furnishing.
Try Folding Tables and Chairs
Folding tables and chairs cost very little and allow you to set up a table and chairs quickly and easily. You don’t even have to buy these items brand new. If you scour the ads on your local Craigslist or neighborhood Facebook page, then you can often get them for less than $20 and sometimes, even for free.
While this isn’t ideal for the long term, folding chairs and tables are just as functional, and even just as comfortable in most cases, as their more expensive, solid counterparts. The fact of the matter is that, in terms of tables, all that really matters is that you have a flat surface to work with. Anything fancier than these should be saved for when you have a larger furnishing budget, purchased bit by bit to avoid overwhelming your finances.
Get Bed Frames From Yard Sales or Thrift Stores
If you’re in the market for a bed, then you may think that your only to keep your mattress off the floor is a pricey trip to IKEA. Luckily, yard sales and thrift stores have bedframes that have all of the same structural benefits, but at a fraction of the cost.
Often, people will sell their bedframes at these locations when children move out and they just don’t have space to store it anymore. For this reason, you can also reach out to friends and family and often find someone willing to sell or give away an old bedframe just to be rid of it. While these may not be as crisp and new, the main goal at this point is to elevate your mattress off of the ground with proper suspension. Nicer bedframes can be put aside as a later luxury to save up for.
Use Plastic Drawers for Clothes
Plastic drawer sets with rollers cost around $25 or $30 at Walmart or Fred Meyer, and they are incredibly easy to set up and transport. These types of drawers work particularly well for students, and not just because they are kind to the budget. A set of plastic drawers are easy to disassemble or reassemble, allowing you to move them, sometimes with the contents still inside.
Many modern versions are also stackable, allowing you to save a great deal of space. In terms of meeting your storage needs, there is no real difference between a cheaper, plastic set of drawers and a more solid wooden one. For this reason, it’s best not to overspend in this area and aim for the cheaper options.
Budget for a Good Couch and Mattress
Some items should never be bought second-hand, according to an article on The Simple Dollar. Mattresses and couches count among them. The reason? They collect bed bugs, dust mites, and bacteria. Not only that, but these are the items you will be spending the majority of your time using.
For the sake of preventing unnecessary aches and discomfort in your new apartment, this is the place to invest the majority of your budget. If the budget is still tight, then try to locate these items at outlet or discount furniture stores. They’re still new, but they cost less, usually because they’re slightly less-than perfect. As long as you can find one that gives you the comfort and support you need, however, while still being clean, that’s what matters most.
For the person on a strict budget, yard sales, second-hand stores, and Craigslist are the go-to solutions for setting up an abode on the cheap. Items, like bed frames and folding chairs cost little, and are sometimes even free. Other budgeting options include buying plastic drawers and budgeting for bigger ticket items, like mattresses.
The money saved from shopping at discount stores or garage sales makes it easier for the budget-conscious shopper to spend a little more money on items that should be bought new.
Image Credit: Pixabay
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