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How To Decorate Your Home Without Spending a Fortune

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How To Decorate Your Home Without Spending a Fortune

Decorating a new home is exciting, fun, and of course, expensive. If you just bought a house, you probably spent a considerable amount of money on closing costs. If you just rented a new space, you’ll have deposits to make on top of moving costs. Of course, when you have all of these expenses that come with a new place, the last thing you want to do is spend thousands of dollars furnishing it. Luckily, there are several ways that you can decorate and furnish a house on a budget. These include adapting a “DIY” spirit, which means refinishing furniture or sewing your own pillows. It also means scouring deals or perhaps being more creative with the items you already have in your home. Essentially, all it takes is a little bit of planning to stick to a budget when decorating your home. Once you know what you want and how much of it you’re going to buy, you can then go on to find the best deals. Below you’ll find more details on the top ways to save on decorating costs.

How to Decorate Home Without Breaking the Bank

1. Learn How To Sew

If you’re savvy at following YouTube videos and reading a manual, you can teach yourself how to sew. It’s really not a difficult skill to learn, and it just takes a little bit of practice. By learning how to sew, you can make pillows, sheets, curtains, and a variety of other household items in just a few hours. Why spend $30 on a decorative pillow when you can spend $5 on a yard of fabric and make two? Plus, you’ll get to customize your accessories exactly how you want them to look.

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2. Be Active On Craigslist

Many people know about Craigslist.com and how beneficial it can be when you are looking for second hand furniture. However, I also hear a lot of complaints about how some cities have better pieces of furniture than others. The way to really score big on Craigslist is to be vigilant. You have to know exactly what you are looking for and check multiple times a day for that item. It also helps if you are the first person to respond about an item, and you offer to go see it as soon as possible. Avoid overpaying for an item if it has damages or is not exactly as it was pictured in the ad. Bring cash and try to get the price for slightly less when you go to pick up the item.

3. Refinish Old Pieces

Many of us have older pieces of furniture from our parents or grandparents that don’t go with our décor. I often see pieces like this on the curb, only to be replaced by newer, more contemporary models. Spending the money on new furniture can be avoided if you refinish or paint old pieces of furniture. It will take about a weekend to refinish an old piece due to drying times, but once you do, you’ll have a “new” piece that actually fits in well with your overall design.

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4. Visit Thrift Stores

It’s amazing what people will throw out. I’ve found huge bookshelves, great pieces of art, and designer clothes at all thrift stores. Additionally, many thrift stores have 50% off days where they liquidate items before new ones come in. Some things I wouldn’t purchase from thrift stores include cloth sofas and sheets. However, inexpensive wood headboards, side tables, and art are definitely worth a trip to the thrift store from time to time.

5. Buy Floor Samples

When you go to buy furniture at a big box store, you often order pieces that you see on the show room floor. One way to keep costs down is to ask them when they will have a floor model sale. This is where the store sells the furniture that they used to showcase different collections. They might have a little more wear and tear on them from people trying them out. Otherwise, most of them should be in near perfect condition.

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6. Re-use and Re-cycle

Many people purchase accessories for their home like vases, picture frames, and other items. However, there are many household items that you use every single day that can be recycled into home décor. A glass bottle can become a vase. A tin can become a place to keep your pens and pencils. The possibilities are truly endless.

7. Embrace Minimalist Design

One easy way to save money on decorating is to simply buy less. Having a minimalist design means having a zen-like space. When you have less papers less clutter, and less mess, you feel much more at peace in your home. You’ll also feel much more at peace with your finances because you aren’t splurging on accessories that clutter your space.

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Hopefully, these tips will help you to decorate your new home with incredible style, great design, and without breaking the bank.

Featured photo credit:  modern interior design via Shutterstock

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Catherine Alford

Catherine is the go to personal finance expert for educated, aspirational moms who want to recapture their life passions.

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Last Updated on January 5, 2022

33 Painless Ways to Save Money Now

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33 Painless Ways to Save Money Now

In a difficult economy, most of us are looking for ways to put more money in our pockets, but we don’t want to feel like misers. We don’t want to drastically alter our lifestyles either. We want it fast and we want it easy. Small savings can add up and big savings can feel like winning the lottery, just without all of the taxes.

Some easy ways to save money:

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  1. Online rebate sites. Many online sites offer cash back rebates and online coupons as well. MrRebates and Ebates are two I like, but there are many others.
  2. Sign up for customer rewards. Many of your favorite stores offer customer rewards on products you already buy. Take advantage.
  3. Switch to compact fluorescent bulbs. The extra cost up front is worth the energy savings later on.
  4. Turn off power strips and electronic devices when not in use.
  5. Buy a programmable thermostat. Set it to lower the heat or raise the AC when you’re not home.
  6. Make coffee at home. Those lattes and caramel macchiatos add up to quite a bit of dough over the year.
  7. Switch banks. Shop around for better interest rates, lower fees and better customer perks. Don’t forget to look for free online banking and ease of depositing and withdrawing money.
  8. Clip coupons: Saving a couple dollars here and there can start to add up. As long as you’re going to buy the products anyway, why not save money?
  9. Pack your lunch. Bring your lunch to work with you a few days a week, rather than buy it.
  10. Eat at home. We’re busier than ever, but cooking meals at home is healthier and much cheaper than take-out or going out. Plus, with all of the freezer and pre-made options, it’s almost as fast as drive-thru.
  11. Have leftovers night. Save your leftovers from a few meals and have a “leftover dinner.” It’s a free meal!
  12. Buy store brands: Many generic or store brands are actually just as good as name brands and considerably cheaper.
  13. Ditch bottled water. Drink tap water if it’s good quality, buy a filter if it’s not. Get 
      a reusable water bottle and refill it.
    • Avoid vending machines: The items are usually over-priced.
    • Take in a matinee. Afternoon movie showings are cheaper than evening times.
    • Re-examine your cable bill. Cancel extra cable or satellite channels you don’t watch. Watch the “on demand” movie purchases too.
    • Use online bill pay. Most banks offer free online bill paying. Save on stamps and checks, and avoid late fees by automating bill payment.
    • Buy frequently used items in bulk. You get a lower per item price and eliminate extra trips to the store later on.
    • Fully utilize the library. Borrowing books is much cheaper than buying them, but in addition to books, most local libraries now lend movies and games.
    • Cancel magazine/newspaper subscriptions: Re-evaluate your subscriptions. Cancel those you don’t read and consider reading some of the other publications online.
    • Get rid of your land-line. Do you really need a land-line anymore if everyone in the family has a cell phone? Alternatively, look into using VOIP or getting a cheaper plan.
    • Better fuel efficiency. Check the air pressure in your tires, keep up with proper auto maintenance, and slow down. Driving even 5MPH slower will result in better fuel mileage.
    • Increase your deductibles. Increasing the insurance deductibles on your homeowners and auto insurance policies lowers premiums significantly. Just make sure you choose a deductible that you can afford should an emergency happen.
    • Choose lunch over dinner. If you do want to dine out occasionally, go at lunchtime rather than dinnertime. Lunch prices are usually cheaper.
    • Buy used:  Whether it’s something small like a vintage dress or a video game or something big like a car or furniture, consider buying it used. You can often get “nearly new” for a fraction of the cost.
    • Stick to the list. Make a list before you go shopping and don’t buy anything that’s not on the list unless it’s a once in a lifetime, killer deal.
    • Tame the impulse. Use a self-enforced waiting period whenever you’re tempted to make an unplanned purchase. Wait for a week and see if you still want the item.
    • Don’t be afraid to ask. Ask to have fees waived, ask for a discount, ask for a lower interest rate on your credit card.
    • Repair rather than replace. You can find directions on how to fix almost anything on the internet. Do your homework, and then bring out your inner handyman.
    • Trade with your neighbors. Borrow tools or equipment that you use infrequently and swap things like babysitting with your neighbors.
    • Swap online. Use sites like PaperBack Swap to trade books, music, and movies with others online. Also, look for local community sites like Freecycle where people give away items they no longer need.
    • Cut back on the meat. Try eating a one or two meatless meals every week or cut back on the meat portions. Meat is usually the most expensive part of the meal.
    • Comparison shop: Get in the habit of checking prices before you buy. See if you can get a better price at another store or look online.

    Remember that saving money is not about being cheap or stingy; it’s about putting money into your bank account rather than giving it to someone else. There are many ways to save money, some you’ve never thought of, and some that won’t appeal or apply to you. Just pick a few of the ideas that sound doable and watch the savings add up. Save big, save small, but save wherever you can.

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    Featured photo credit: Damir Spanic via unsplash.com

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