Furnish Your First Place…Frugally!

Sign on the dotted line…and it’s yours! August is prime moving season, whether it is your first dorm room, first apartment, or very first house (and the mortgage that comes with it)!

After the excitement wears off and moving-day fatigue sets in, you might look around at your new space and ask yourself, “What’s a Spendster to do? I need new stuff!”

Furnishing a living space can be extremely expensive, not to mention time-consuming (who would have thought you could go to Home Depot five times in a single day)?! Read on for some tips on how to make your first place something you love…and not end up in the red!

Beware of the Back-to-School Display!

  • Put on your blinders. Big box stores can get you. You might stop in for cleaning supplies and a hammer and nails, but you can end up leaving with a receipt as long as your lease! Go in with a list and stick to it!

Feeling Used?

  • Shop thrift stores. Thrift stores like Goodwill are a great place to pick up cheap accessories such as candles, picture frames, wall art and more.
  • Scout yard sales. Look out for neighbors cleaning house, couches on lawns, and furniture with “free” signs on it (because many people would rather give large items away than move them)!
  • Log on. Sites such as Craigslist and eBay allow you to search for what you need, find the best price, and even haggle with the owner for a good deal.

DIY Decorating

  • Paint. Nothing brightens up a room like a coat of fresh paint.
    • If you’re renting, clear the color with your landlord first and make sure you won’t have to paint back to the original color when you move out (doubling the cost)!
    • For big projects, ask friends and family to help…just make sure to thank them with a refreshing drink or filling dinner for all their hard work!
  • Refurbish and recycle. Did you know you can turn a headboard into a coat hanger, transform a glass bottle into a soap dispenser, and construct your own coffee table? These do-it-yourself projects make for green, eclectic, one-of-a-kind decorations!

Bills, Bills, Bills

  • Comparison shop. Make sure you’re getting the best price on Internet, cable, and other utilities. Websites such as lowermybill.com let you pick the services you want and find the best provider in your area.
  • Move-in special? Check whether the cable guy offers special rates for new customers.

Borrow More Than Just Sugar

  • Neighborly love. Need a drill or a ladder to hang up your new décor? Ask your neighbor. Neighborhood Goods lets you rent or borrow household items from your community! You’ll save money, and get to know people in your area!
  • Hit up the fam and friends. You never know who has a perfect table sitting in their basement or a lawn mower that just needs some TLC to get running. There are other Spendsters with forgotten purchases all around you! Their impulse purchase could be your gain!

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