When you decide to move out of your parents’ house into your own place, whether you’re renting or buying, it’s easy to forget about all the costs involved. Buying furniture and decorating your first home is certainly something that can be forgotten as you work towards saving enough money for deposits, bills, and agency fees.
But this can end up being a huge expenditure, especially when you have an image of what you want your home to look like and fork out endless amounts of cash for expensive pieces of furniture and luxuries that will make your home look great.
We’ve got some tips that will keep spending to a minimum when you’re decorating your first home, without resorting to eating your dinner on the floor.
You don’t have to buy all your furniture brand new
The first thing you should do is get in contact with family and friends and ask if they have any bits of furniture that they don’t want, or are willing to give you. If your parents have been thinking about getting a new sofa, for example, they might decide to do that now so that you can have their old sofa.
Shop around on eBay, Facebook, Gumtree, and other online marketplaces to see if you can get any good quality pieces of furniture for a cheap price. Support local charity shops by seeing if they have any items that would look good. If you can’t find certain things, at least resolve to never, ever buy something new at full price! Many furniture shops have new discounts and offers every day, so make sure you look around and don’t make any hasty decisions if you could get something cheaper.
You can make your new home look great on a budget
If you’ve seen lots of home décor ideas on Pinterest that you can’t wait to bring to life in your own home, but you don’t have a lot of spare cash, it can seem impossible. But it isn’t!
Check out our post about making your home look attractive on a budget.
Make a list well in advance of moving in
Start planning and budgeting for the furnishing of your new home long before you get the keys, if at all possible. Write a list of everything you need (including measurements – there’s nothing worse than falling in love with a purchase only to realise it doesn’t fit in your new home!) and tick off any that family members have given you.
Make sure you know the maximum amount you can spend altogether, and where you are willing to allocate more of that budget. We’d always recommend spending more on your bed and some quality bedding – after all, you’ll spend so much time there, and a good night’s sleep is one of the most important things!
Paint makes all the difference
If you’re buying your first home, don’t underestimate how much paint can transform a room. If a room has a good choice of colours, there will be less need to spend money on decorative bits and bobs to jazz it up. If you’re after a modern feel, choose neutral colours, then liven it up with colourful furniture and plants. You could get your family and friends round to help paint – why not turn it into a bit of a party!
Try to stick to buying ‘own brand’ paints if you’re on a budget – they are usually much cheaper than the paints by big brands. However, when it comes to brushes and rollers, don’t opt for the cheapest you can find – a good quality brush makes all the difference, and gets the job done quicker.
Top tip: When you’re done for the day, rather than rinsing your brushes and rollers (which makes such a mess), pop them in zip lock bags and they will be fine to use the next day.
If you’re a bit stuck as to how to decorate your home, you can always choose to get some professional help – do you know any decorators who can offer mates rates?
Of course, if you’re renting, landlords will often not allow you to paint your new home – but there’s no harm in asking! If the landlord thinks that it will add value to the property or make it look more appealing, they’re likely to agree to changes such as a fresh lick of paint.
Experiment once you’ve moved in
Move your furniture around frequently to find a layout that works best for you – plus it feels like you’re living in a new home every time!
Live with the bare minimum to begin with, then add to your possessions as you learn how your lives will work in your new home. You’ll find out where an extra side table would be handy, where you need some more lighting, or where you need some more decoration as it’s looking a little bare.