Furnishing your first Home on a Tight Budget

Furnishing a first home or student flat can soon mount up in costs. In these austere days no one can afford to spend huge amounts, or tie themselves up in expensive finance agreements. It is much better to find inexpensive furniture and keep within your budget. This might seem impossible, but when you know where to look you can pick up furniture that you want or need without breaking the bank.

Firstly, if you do not have much money, do not be tempted to buy very cheap new furniture. This falls apart very quickly and often proves neither serviceable nor cheap in the end. Used, second hand, or previously owned furniture is the way to go, because it means that you can afford much better quality, well made, serviceable items on a small budget.

There is nothing cheaper than free. Freecycle is a worldwide network of individual local groups matching people who want to give things away with others in their area who want them. It is a way to prevent unwanted but usable items going to landfill. You just post a wanted message in your local group and, whether you are looking for a wardrobe, armchair, sofa or table, another member may have just what you are looking for. No money changes hands; all you do is collect the item from the local donor.

Many areas have a free local newspaper. These often allow readers to place small advertisements free, providing they just want to give items away to someone who wants them. They may also carry classified advertisements for furniture items at small prices.

Look at the notice boards in your local supermarket, convenience, grocery or other store. People often place cards advertising furniture items either free or at a reasonable price.

Your local thrift or charity shop may have just the item that you need. You can pick up some beautiful items at low cost. Another trick with charity or thrift shops is to go to one in a prosperous neighbourhood. The items in the charity shop may well be a better quality and ‘newer’ than in a poorer area. Wealthier people often get rid of things just because they are tired of them and whereas ordinary people have to live with a ‘mistake’ buy, wealthy people can afford to buy another and put the mistake buy in the thrift/charity shop.

You can also find inexpensive furniture at auction houses. Auction houses do not just sell priceless antiques, but also sell contemporary items at reasonable prices. You need to select the items on which to bid, but you will pick up well-made quality furniture at good prices at auction. Do go to the viewing day and decide, before the auction, on which lots you will bid. Check out each item very thoroughly for damage as auction lots are sold as seen. Mark them in the catalogue and decide your upper limit, beware of auction fever in the saleroom. Auction fever is when bidders get over-excited by the auction atmosphere and over-bid for a lot. Typing the words ‘Auction sales furniture’ followed by your area or region into a good search engine should tell you where to find furniture sales.

Finding furniture for your first home or student flat, when money is tight, need not be a problem. In austere and difficult times, it is stupid for anyone to tie themselves into the expensive finance agreements that quality new furniture would require. Cheap new furniture is often poor quality and does not prove serviceable. Buying used furniture means that you can buy quality well-made items inexpensively. Also, if you do not pay much for each item, you can easily furnish your first home on a small budget. Looking in the five places above will help you find inexpensive or even free furniture. Expenses in your first home or student flat can come as a shock when you are not used to paying rent and bills. Spending less on furniture will ease your finances and make life more pleasant.