Furnishing and decorating a new home can be an expensive exercise, particularly if you have excellent taste! This is also true if you need to furnish an entire room, or an entire home, all at once.
If you’re looking to furnish your new home without breaking the bank, a budget will become your best friend. It’ll be your most essential tool in ensuring that your furnishing efforts stay aligned with your available funds.
Read on as we explain how to budget for furnishing your new home so that you can live in style—for less.
Start with a Wish List
A budget can be quite a strict and constrained guide. But interestingly, your first step to drawing one up is to let your imagination run wild. As a starting point, draw up a comprehensive wish list of all the furnishings you would like in your new home.
Hop onto Pinterest and Instagram or gather some magazines and start thinking about what you would love to do with each room—budget or no budget.
Are there certain styles of furnishings that speak to you? Do you absolutely love reclaimed wooden furniture or marble countertops? Does the look and feel of leather or linen match your personal aesthetic?
Make a list of all the items you want to include, as this will help you to draw up a realistic furnishing plan later down the line.
Set Out a Realistic Budget
Once your wish list is complete, it’s time to set it aside and create a budget for your whole furnishing and decoration project. It’s essential that you’re honest with yourself about your available funds, recurring expenses, and how much you can realistically spend on this project.
No furnishings are worth splurging on if you will have to compromise on other important aspects of your life, or if you will feel regretful about your decision after the fact. Figure out how much money you have to spend now, and you can decide later how you will spend it.
Draw Up a Furnishing Plan
Your furnishing plan will need to include absolutely everything you need to furnish your new home.
Consider how you will create the overall look and feel of each room. Take into account the floor plan and any other fixtures that are already present or must still be added during the decorating phase.
Work from your wish list, bearing your budget in mind, and figure out exactly which furnishings you need in each room. For example, an adult’s bedroom may need a double bed, two side tables, a dressing table and matching chair, and a wardrobe. You may want to add some accessory furnishings like Ottomans, day beds, or small side tables too.
Begin Comparison Shopping
It’s time to start shopping for the furnishings that meet the requirements of both your wish list and your budget. However, don’t be too hasty!
Shopping around is the key to getting great deals when you’re buying furniture. Never settle for the first seemingly good deal without doing your homework. Comparison shopping helps you to become familiar with how much furnishings really cost. You can find the best deals that look great while saving yourself as much money as possible.
Remember to include factors like shipping and delivery costs, installation costs, and labor costs for custom pieces over and above an item’s original price in your comparisons. These prices can quickly add up and become intimidating. But there are always other ways to find what you are looking for at a better price, as long as you are willing to compromise.
Streamline Your List
Unless you have a huge budget at your disposal, you probably won’t be able to buy every piece of furniture on your wish list. Once you have comparison shopped, it’s time to streamline your buy-list.
Take a long, hard look at it and eliminate all the items that don’t fit in with your budget.
You can also make adjustments and compromises by opting for smaller, more affordable, or more easily transported pieces instead of the ones you originally wanted.
Make Purchases in Order of Priority
If you’re furnishing your new home on a budget, chances are you might not be able to buy everything you need in one go. This is why it’s important to purchase furnishings in order of priority. Take some time to select the items on your list that you need first to make your home functional and comfortable.
For instance, beds and sofas may be priorities, while dressing tables and coffee tables are not. Your priority list will be unique to you and your preferences, so it’s up to you to choose which items you buy first.
Keep to Your Budget as Far as Possible
One of the most challenging aspects of furnishing any new home, whether for yourself or as a rental, is sticking to your original budget. This is especially true if you have a strong vision for how you wanted your new home to be furnished. It’s all too easy to lose track of how much you have spent on furnishings so far, so keeping careful track of your budget and your expenditure is essential.
Stay organized as much as possible by writing down each item you’ve bought and its price during the furnishing process. Calculate your total expenditure after each new purchase and keep an eye on how much this number represents of your total available budget.
Bear in mind that if you overspend on one room or area, you will have to make up for it in another area, lest you run over budget.
The secret to furnishing your new home with stylish, high-quality furnishings without breaking the bank is to draw up a clear budget before you start the process. Additionally, you have to stick to this budget wherever you can to achieve the results you’re looking for.
One final tip for the frugal furnisher is to find high-quality second-hand, reclaimed, refurbished, and gently used items in great condition instead of buying new. This approach is fantastic for the environment, and may enable you to pick out the exact styles and pieces you want. Even if the new versions didn’t align with your budget!