I'm going to tackle a bit of a touchy subject in this part of the Building a Home blog series.
Basically, when building a home you are going to feel like you are bleeding money. Trust me. No matter HOW frugal you are.
Wait, that was just me?
Anyway, even if you DON'T feel that way, a lot of money will be flying out of your account for various things. What DOESN'T need to happen, if you're wanting to stay under a reasonable budget, is new EVERYTHING.
When we sold our home, I went through a minimalist frenzy and I got rid of most of our furniture. A lot of it was cheap stuff and what we held on to were the "good things". Which, basically amounts to 3 beds and our gargantuan couch that will not fit in the new house.
So, I had to buy some furniture. Some basics. But, I stayed away from websites that encourage fancy duds for the home, big spending, or refurnishing the ENTIRE home from scratch. I didn't go for big ticket items like Restoration Hardware or Anthropologie, I instead waited out sales at Wayfair or hit up my favorite local "refurbished" store Vintage Bliss. I found patience was my biggest asset when hunting down furnishings.
So here's some ways to save big when it comes to furnishings
1. DELAY GRATIFICATION
This is so hard, I know, but there are NEEDS and WANTS. Most furnishing type stuff is definitely "want" more than "need", honestly. We needed beds and a new mattress for us (more on that mattress later). We needed to probably replace our couch. The rest was just pretty fixins. Know what can wait. Always pay CASH.
2. Stay Organized and Save
We made an excel spreadsheet of everything we wanted to get for the house, down to trash bins and towel racks. We budgeted out an amount for EACH item and socked cash aside each month for "extras". Anything that we couldn't get within budget had to wait. Once something on the list was purchased, it came off the spreadsheet and the total was adjusted.
3. Don't Fear Used
We went into the nastiest flea market type store and scored a side table basically for free. We chalk painted it and it's super cute now for one of the girls' rooms. I got a TON of our stuff from a local used and refurbished vintage store whose prices are amazingly reasonable. On top of that, the pieces are typically one of a kind and don't look cheap and mass-manufactured.
Don't be afraid to buy used, fix up, recover, or repurpose.
Also, don't be afraid to ask about scratch and dent at appliance and furniture stores.
4. Minimalist Design = Money Savings
I can't stand a lot of decorative clutter. It's probably why it took me years to put anything on my walls in my old home. Being a photographer by trade I'm always encouraging folks to purchase wall art, but I probably need to heed my own advice sometimes.
But, having a minimalist aesthetic saves you money just because you don't have to buy as much STUFF. I don't need a bunch of tchotchkies that are just going to collect dust and become something to clean.
The most important thing to keep in mind is to not get in the habit of just saying "Okay". Okay, we can buy that. Okay that upgrade is fine. A bunch of okays turns into a bajillion dollars. Keep tabs on what is needed, wanted, where you can save, and what can wait and you'll be able to move in worry free.