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How To Decorate Your Home Without Spending a Fortune

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 June 20, 2019

50 Businesses You Can Start In Your Spare Time

50 Businesses You Can Start In Your Spare Time

Most people want a few more dollars in their wallets. But between an employer and family, the time most of us can devote to a second job is severely limited. Running a small side business can provide a few more options: you don’t have to show up at a set time and you can use skills you already have. Not all will be perfect for everyone, of course, and I’m sure that you’ll have a few ideas of your own after reading this list. If you’d like to share any other business ideas, please add them in the comments.

  1. Selling collectibles — From antique books to teddy bears, there are plenty of opportunities to buy and sell collectibles. It’s important to familiarize yourself with the collectible of your choice but if you choose something that you’ve been collecting for a while, you’ve got a head start.
  2. Locating apartments — It can take time to sort through apartment listings, but you can make some money by finding the perfect apartment for a renter.
  3. Baby proofing — New parents often prefer to bring in an expert to make sure their home is safe for a new baby.
  4. Calligraphic writing — If you’ve got elegant handwriting, you can pick up gigs writing or addressing wedding invitations, holiday cards and more.
  5. Selling coupons — Search on eBay for coupons right now and you’ll see thousands of listings for coupons. It’s just a matter of clipping and listing what you find in your Sunday newspaper.
  6. Pet training — A surprising number of people don’t know where to start in training a pet. Even teaching Rover simple commands like ‘Sit’ and ‘Stay’ can bring in a few dollars.
  7. Running errands — A wide variety of people want to outsource their errands, from those folks who aren’t able to leave their homes easily to those who have a busy schedule.
  8. Researching family trees — Amateur genealogists often call in experts, especially to handle research that has to be done in person in a far off place. If you’re willing to go to a local church and copy a few records, you can handle many family tree research requests.
  9. Supplying firewood — The prerequisite for selling firewood is having a source of wood; if you’ve got some land where you can cut down a few trees, you’ve got a head start.
  10. Hauling — As more people trade in their SUVs for compact cars, hauling is becoming more important: people have to rent a truck or hire a hauler for even small loads.
  11. Image consulting — Image consultants provide a wide variety of services, ranging from offering advice on appearance to teaching etiquette.
  12. Menu planning — For many people, the trip up in eating home-cooked or healthy meals is knowing what to prepare. Meal planners set a schedule to solve certain dietary problems.
  13. Microfarming — Cultivating food and flowers on small plots of land allows you to sell produce easily.
  14. Offering notary public services — Notary publics can witness and authenticate documents: a service needed for all sorts of official documents.
  15. Teaching music — If you’re skilled with a musical instrument, you can earn money by offering lessons.
  16. Mystery shopping — Mystery shoppers check the conditions and service at a store and report back to the store’s higher-ups.
  17. Offering research services — Just by reading up on a topic and compiling a report on it can earn you money.
  18. Personal shopping — Personal shoppers typically select gifts, apparel and other products for clients, helping them save time.
  19. Pet breeding — Purebred pets can be quite value, especially if you can verify their pedigree.
  20. Removing snow — During the winter months, shoveling walks can still be a reliable way to earn money. You might be asked to take care of the driveway too.
  21. Utility auditing — As people become environmentally-concious, they want to know just how efficient their homes are. With some simple testing, you can tell them.
  22. Offering web hosting services — Providing server space can be lucrative, particularly if you can provide tech support to your clients.
  23. Cutting lawns — An old standby, cutting lawns and other landscaping services can provide a second income in the summer.
  24. Auctioning items on eBay — Want to get rid of all your old stuff? Stick it up on eBay and auction it off.
  25. Babysitting — Child care of all kinds, from babysitting to nannying, can offer constant opportunities.
  26. Freelance writing — If you’ve got the skills to write clearly, you can sell your pen for everything from blogs to advertising copy.
  27. Selling blog and website themes — Do a little designing on the side? Customers that don’t want to pay full price for a website will often pay for a template or theme.
  28. Offering computer help — Particularly with people new to computers, you can earn money by providing in-home computer help.
  29. Designing websites — It may require a little skilled effort, but designing websites remains a reliable source of income.
  30. Selling stock photography — For shutterbugs, an easy way to put a photography collection to work is to post it to a stock photography site.
  31. Freelance designing — Check with local businesses: you can provide brochures, business cards and other design work and get paid a good fee.
  32. Tutoring — Math and languages reamin the easiest subjects to find tutoring gigs for, but there is demand for other fields as well.
  33. Housesitting / petsitting — Stopping in to check on a house or pet can earn you some money, and maybe even a place to stay.
  34. Building niche websites — If you can put together a site on a very specific topic, you can put targeted ads on it and make money quickly.
  35. Translating — The variety of translating work available is huge: written word, on the spot and more is easy to find even on a part-time basis.
  36. Creating custom crafts — No matter what kind of crafts you make, there’s likely a market for it. Etsy remains one of the easiest places to sell crafts.
  37. Setting up a wi-fi hotspot — With a little bit of equipment, you can set up a wi-fi hotspot and charge your neighbors for the access they’ve been ‘borrowing.’
  38. Selling an e-book — You can write an e-book about almost anything and put it up for sale online.
  39. Affiliate marketing — If you’re willing to market other companies’ products, you can earn a cut of the sales.
  40. Renting out your spare room — From looking for a long-term roommate to listing your guest room on couch surfing sites, that spare room can make you money.
  41. Offering handy man services — Handling small household tasks can provide you with plenty of work, although you’ll probably be expected to have your own tools.
  42. Teaching an online class — Share your expertise through a website, an online seminar or variety of other methods.
  43. Building furniture — For those with the skill to create handmade furniture, selling their creations is often just a matter of advertising.
  44. Providing personal chef services — Personal chefs prepare meals ahead of time for customers, leaving their customers with a full freezer and no mess.
  45. Event planning — From planning corporate events to bar mitzvahs, an event planning business can require plenty of work and offer plenty of pay.
  46. Installing home safety products — Particularly as Baby Boomers age, people able to install handrails and other home safety products are in demand.
  47. Altering / tailoring — If your sewing skills are up to par, altering garments is coming back as people try to stretch more wear out of their clothing.
  48. Offering in-home beauty services — Hair cuts, makeup and other beauty services that can be performed at home have a growing demand.
  49. Business coaching — Helping others to establish and develop their businesses can provide many opportunities to earn money.
  50. Writing resumes — Writing resumes can provide a reliable income, especially if you can put a polish on a client’s credentials.

There are plenty of offers that claim to provide you with the opportunity to make thousands of dollars a week. Unfortunately, none of these businesses will provide that sort of income, but they aren’t scams either. They were chosen because they all require a minimum investment to get started — some require nothing more than a flyer advertising your business. Even better, if you do enjoy any of these businesses, there is a potential with most of them to continue to expand — perhaps even to the point of going full time.

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Featured photo credit: Omar Prestwich via unsplash.com

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