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At some point you are going to outgrow the hand me down futon and the tables you got via dumpster diving expeditions in college. At some point you’re going to look around your home and think “you know what? A real couch would be a really nice change.”
Unfortunately, good furniture is rarely cheap and if you’re used to living on a budget, buying furniture can often feel like a pipe dream. Here’s how to turn the dream into a reality:
1. Save Up
Every day put whatever loose change and paper money you have in your pockets into a jar. At the end of the week, dump whatever is left in your wallet in there as well. It might not feel like much but it’s a start!
You can also simply start setting aside ten to twenty dollars each week. This will net you a savings of $80 a month (or so). If both you and your spouse do this you can double your savings and accomplish more, and more quickly.
2. Shop Around
Don’t simply assume that the discount furniture store is automatically going to have the best deals. Spend some time searching through all of the local furniture stores in your area.
Ask each store about any specials or deals or membership programs you can join. Often new members are given discounts off of first purchases as a reward for joining the program.
Some shops will also offer financing, allowing you to pay your furniture off over time but be careful here. You don’t simply want to increase your debt!
3. Find Online Discounts and Bargains
There are lots of places that you can find discounts on great furniture. For example, you might be able to track down a West Elm coupon code for a discount off of a single piece of furniture (or for free shipping if you choose to buy your furniture online).
If you’re looking for more general coupons and discounts on house wares as well as furniture (you know, for when you want to put flowers in a vase instead of an old jelly jar or drinking glass), you can try surfing through the promo codes listed at NerdWallet.
4. Go Slowly
You do not have to buy an entire household’s worth of furniture at one time. It’s actually better to go slowly, room by room and piece by piece. This way you can build a home that fits well together over time and feels more like “you” as opposed to “page 58 of the catalogue.”
Start with what you need the most right now. For instance, if you’re waking up with an aching back every morning, it’s time for a new bed. Buy that first. If you have very little kids, you might want to wait until they are a little older to replace the couch or living room furniture. The last thing you want is for a bright red juice stain on your brand new couch a week after you’ve bought it!
There is no shame in living on older, secondhand or salvaged furniture. If you’re creative you can make those pieces last forever. If you want something a little higher quality, though, use these tips to help you get it.