Frugal Way To Furnish A Home Without Charging It On Credit
Rushing to buy furnishings for your first home is a big financial mistake for new home buyers.
Furnishing your first home doesn’t have to be expensive with these tips for saving money on furniture.
Your parents took years to furnish their home and with the cost of buying real estate, it’s a financially smart move to wait.
Many new home buyers have found frugal ways to find furnishings without extra costs.
Home furnishing companies are everywhere and if you have the cash they have the time to outfit your home beautifully.
Most first time home buyers don’t have the spare cash to hire a professional to furnish their home.
I have never met anyone who has had their home professionally furnished.
Perhaps I’m hanging out with the wrong people or maybe the smart people are choosing furnishings the frugal way.
Looking for affordable frugal furniture won’t happen right away especially if you are looking for quality and durability.
Finding furnishings that will last you a long time or that have some resale value is important.
Be patient when it comes to home furnishings and seek only the items you can and will use.
It doesn’t matter if they don’t match either.
Frugal Furnishings For Our First Home
We purchased our home in 2009 and quickly become a house built on thrifted decor.
Just about every item in our home was thrifted and anytime someone came in they thought it should be featured in a magazine.
That was a compliment for us especially since we didn’t have a home decor degree and paid a fraction of the price for everything we had.
If you walk into our home today you won’t see a couch set in our living-room nor will you see a coffee table.
When we first bought our home we purchased second-hand pleather (fake leather) couch set from Kijiji for $900 cash.
The set was still wrapped in plastic but had been used very little as it was purchased by a man who had to move back to his home country.
Almost all of the furniture in our home was either found free on the curb, second-hand purchases or given to us by friends or family.
All of our 3 bedrooms are secondhand furnishings from the beds to the decor although we bought the mattresses new.
Furnishings and Bed Bug Tips
You do want to be cautious about buying certain items that could be on the iffy side especially with bed bugs.
Be prepared for any bugs that tag along but there are also ways to inspect what you buy before you take it home.
We’ve never once had an issue with bed bugs but you never know even with new furniture it can happen.
Live bed bugs leave clusters of dark brown or black spots of dried excrement on infested surfaces. Bed bugs also exude a subtle, sweet, musty odor.
They they like to get into small cracks and crevice near where people sleep. Examples include mattresses, box springs, headboards, footboards, bed frames and other furniture that is within 5-8 feet of the bed. – Orkin
- Inspect all furniture you buy or get for free
- Clean any furniture before you bring it in the house
- Sometimes even new furniture can carry bed bugs if it came from another country. Stick to North American Furniture only for this purpose.
- Buy wood or plastic furnishings as bed bugs tend to like soft furnishing such as leather couches or pressed wood
- Reupholster and clean before you bring it into the home
If you really love the piece, clean it before bringing it in the house.
In the meantime, keep it in your driveway or garage if you’ve got one. You don’t know the background story of the piece, so it’s better to play it safe.
If the piece is upholstered, have it steam cleaned.
Source: Abels Pest Control
Home Furnishings Take Time
With the expense of a new house and moving in without any furniture but a small air mattress, it was looking empty.
After months of shopping the streets, in stores, online, and at garage sales we managed to find enough furnishings to make our home feel like home.
We would often have friends laugh at us when they found out nothing was new in our house.
I sort of half-expected that from some of them as they are the people who will rush to the furniture store.
Not us, although we did have a look around to compare prices and learn more about costs.
I think it’s always important to research what you need to buy so you have that pricing idea in the back of your mind.
Our current $450 Pier 1 chairs in our living room we purchased for $20 at the Goodwill store.
We couldn’t believe it when we saw it and scooped them up pretty fast.
The idea is that they will go on the new deck once I finish building it this summer.
There are lots of renovations that I need to get done in here so after dumping our pleather couch we left it empty.
Our basement is another space we will have to buy furnishings for once I get it that finished but we still have lots of time for that.
Cost To Furnish A House
The cost to furnish a two-bedroom flat when I lived in the UK cost me around $3000.
My refrigerator I was able to get free using points I had earned through the Nielsen Home Scan program which is also available in Canada.
Keep in mind we’re talking about less than 1000sq ft home so there’s not much space to cover.
The last thing you will want to do is rack up your credit card debt after buying a home.
There’s no reason to impress anyone as we all understand the financial pressures homeownership brings.
The cost to fully furnish a house depends on a few factors;
- Where you live
- How big the house is
- Size of your furnishings budget
- Type and Quality of furniture you prefer
- Timeframe to furnish the home
- Open to used furnishings or refurbished furnishings
Room By Room Furnishings
What we did when bought our house was that we went room by room to discuss furnishings and decor ideas.
Take your time and envision the space as your own so you know what you are looking for before you shop.
If you go shopping without that vision you tend to buy furnishings that you don’t need.
Also, measure each room so you know what size of furniture will fit in the space you have.
Don’t forget to measure the doors as well because if you can’t get in you’re stuck with furniture you can’t use.
Many people fall into the hoarding of home furnishings when they continue to add but there’s no home for the items.
Avoid Rent To Own Furnishings
Just don’t do it.
Save your money and buy what you need or look for other ways to find furnishings from your home.
You will pay two to three times more for rent to own furnishings.
Ikea Home Furnishings
Ikea tends to be one of those home furniture shops that people flock to for inexpensive prices and chic furniture.
I don’t mind IKEA but I’m not particular about the look when it comes to furnishings and decor from the store.
If you want something cheap that will last you long enough to get by until you save money to buy what you want, it’s ideal.
What’s not ideal is having to unpack and build anything from IKEA but that’s another story.
Build It Yourself
You don’t have to go into your garage and build a kitchen table but if you know how why not give it a try.
It may be cheaper to buy the wood and build it yourself and then style it with second-hand or inexpensive chairs from Ikea.
There are lots of chair ads on second-hand websites too so always consider what you can DIY first.
For example, I built a tomato garden stand for our backyard the first year we had a garden.
I know it’s outdoor decor but that still counts as furnishings for your home.
I’m the guy who keeps all the wood scraps from renovations because I’ll find something to use it for down the line.
The DIY wood wall shelf above from Sheri Silver is another great example of putting your skills to good use.
Restyle or Restore Home Furnishings
If you’re anything like my wife she likes to restyle our furniture by adding blankets, pillows, and fresh coats of paint.
Dip-dye paint jobs are popular with furniture that needs restoring.
Finding furniture that you can reupholster or add to in any way will help keep the furnishings in your house fresh and new.
Dumpster diving is popular all over the country especially in America where you can find all sorts of freebies.
That garden bench could easily be refinished and brought back to life without much cost.
Yet, many homeowners don’t want to take on projects like this so they throw the items in the dumpster.
It’s always nice when you find pieces like this on the side of the road rather than adding to the overpopulated dump.
Another thing to consider is that the homeowner will have to pay for dumping fees based on the weight of the bin.
Why add extra costs when someone will likely take it off your hands for you?
If your friends, family, or neighbours are moving or having a clearout go be nosey.
You never know what you will find and most often you’re neigbour will happy if you want to take it off their hands.
A word of caution is to ask the homeowner before you take anything because laws differ all over the world.
Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Our 1970’s Kenmore washer and dryer we picked up for free just after buying our house.
They worked perfectly for us in the last ten years but that finally came to an end earlier this year.
The fact that we got a further ten years of service from a free washer and dry gave us enough time to save for our new set.
Keep your eyes open on Facebook Marketplace, local ads, Kijiji, and word of mouth for free furnishings.
There’s nothing wrong with getting something for free to help save money or buy time to save for furnishings you want.
When garage sale season starts generally around May 24 in Canada that’s a great time for finding cheap furnishings.
Over the years before we had our son we would go to garage sales every chance we could get.
The best thing about garage sales is the ability for the buyer to negotiate with the seller.
Most often the seller just wants to rid of something so they will take what you are offering with-in reason.
Again, go armed with a plan of decor and home furnishings you need so you’re not wasting money.
Paying the mortgage and other bills on time comes way before buying furnishings for your home.
If you’re new to home buying or you’ve owned before but bought or built a new house consider holding off.
Having a house that looks empty is better than having a house with a lien on it or no house at all.
Discussion: What other ways can someone find furnishings for their home that are cheap or free?
Leave your comments or experiences below.
Blog Posts You May Have Missed
Below is a recap of the blog posts I’ve published over the past two weeks.
If you haven’t subscribed to the blog make sure to add your email to my list so you get my weekly blog posts and access to my Free Budget Resources Library.
Plus, now I also release a bi-weekly newsletter that comes straight to your email only for subscribers.
You’ll find exclusive updates about the blog and CBB home life including photos and exclusive contests.
- How To Make Cheap Copy Cat Starbucks Drinks At Home
- The Formula 50/20/30 Rule Of Budgeting
- Easy Keto Broccoli Salad
- Creating Wealth From Zero
- The Ultimate Canadian Credit Card Application Guide
Seasonal Frugal Recipe
Nichole at The Salty Marshmallow shared her recipe for Easy Hawaiian Dip, a 5-star rated recipe.
We don’t have an inground or above ground pool we do have a family kiddie pool which we all enjoy.
There’s something about the word, ‘Hawaiian’ that screams pineapple and summer don’t you think?
During the summer when it’s hot outside we enjoy meals on our deck and always have the grill going.
No one likes to cook indoors if they don’t have to.
What I like about this Hawaiian dip is the mix of sweet and savory with pineapple and corn combined with bacon and ham.
- 8 Ounces Cream Cheese, Softened
- 2 Tablespoons Sour Cream
- 1/4 Cup Pineapple Juice, From your can of crushed pineapple
- 1 Cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
- 1 Can Crushed Pineapple, Drained, Reserve 1/4 Cup of juice
- 1 Cup Chopped Ham
- 1 2.8 Ounce Package Bacon Pieces
- 2 Tablespoons Chopped Green Onion
None of these ingredients are too expensive to buy so I’d say this is a frugal recipe to bookmark this summer.
CBB Motivational Corner
Every time I meet myself in the mirror and am feeling down about how life has been going, I talk to myself.
This may seem strange to you but not for me because I rely on myself to stay motivated and on track.
When I turn around there’s no one other than myself who knows and understands my depths of desire but myself.
You can talk to people about close to you about personal stuff but even they won’t get how deeply you crave it.
What I’m trying to say is that if it’s so easy for us to give up on something it’s just as easy to motivate ourselves.
Stepping over the boundaries of negative outlooks is not easy but take a look in the mirror next time you’re unsure.
Scream it loud to yourself because sometimes that’s the only way to let it sink in.
Gardening Season 2020
I’m loving all of the gardening posts and photos on Pinterest these days as there are so many unique ideas.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, the green thumb has bit quite a few people who want to garden at home.
Even though our government says grocery stores will stay open, there’s something in the back of our minds that says, what if?
I find it fascinating how so many gardeners use scraps from the kitchen instead of throwing them out.
Most likely I will write a blog post about ways we can use kitchen scraps and put them to good use.
In the meantime, since the gardening season is here that using your coffee grounds to power your garden was fitting.
How many of you make coffee at home with a drip coffee machine?
We used to and always threw the coffee grounds in the garbage.
I had no idea you could use the coffee grounds to add improvement to your soil.
First and foremost, coffee grounds are an excellent, slow-release source of nitrogen.
And nitrogen is a key component in making flowers flower – and vegetable plants produce.
But in addition to providing nitrogen, coffee grounds add incredible organic material and matter to the soil. – Old World Garden Farms
Home and Blog Update
I’ve been non-stop outdoors the past week mowing the grass, gardening, and playing with our son.
I even went as far as to clean out the garage to make space as it’s filling up quickly.
To be honest I used to laugh at other homeowners who had a garage full of stuff.
I take it all back and am sorry because once you have a child things start adding up as does home renovation materials.
We did go through lots of stuff we no longer need and have managed to sell it this week and made a profit.
All of our garden plants are in although I’m still on the hunt for a couple of ferns but not sure if I will find any.
If not I’ll find something to plant in the place of the ferns.
I’m going to share photos of what I’ve been doing in my next newsletter which will be out next Friday.
IF you haven’t signed up to the blog to get my new blog posts by email do it now so you get my bi-weekly newsletter.
It’s all the behind the scene photos from our house that I share with my V.I.P subscribers.
Other than that we’ve been doing lots of homework with our son and getting outdoors for walks every day.
I think it’s important to schedule in that walk to stay sane during this pandemic.
What have you been doing for exercise?
I’ve been working on an actual budget binder that I plan to sell on the blog for very cheap down the road.
It’s a stylized budget binder project that will have standardized budget binder printables including a cover.
I hope you will like it when I’m done as I’m putting in lots of hours to bring this to you.
As always my free printable resources will be available to all blog subscribers.
Not much has happened new on the blog apart from me updating old posts and adding new cover photos.
I’ve learned so much about blogging over the years and now I’m working on fixing the problems.
It’s always a good thing to fix what is broken when you know there is a solution.
Reader Mailbag Series
I’d love to start a reader mailbag series where you the readers send me a question and I’ll post it right here.
This will allow CBB readers to comment below to help solve your problem or give you some tips.
It can be anything from finance to gardening, relationships to parenting.
Keep your question short but with as much detail as needed to describe your problem.
If you have a photo you want me to share you can send that into my email firstname.lastname@example.org
Perhaps you have a garden plant that needs help and wants to share a photo of the issue it’s having.
Send it to me.
Question For Mr.CBB
How can I go about earning some extra money this summer?
I’m not sure how old you are but if you’re looking for spare cash why not start a lawn cutting business?
If you know your neighbours post signs or talk to them to see if they could use any help with lawn care.
Other tasks around the house might be window cleaning, raking, or cleaning the eavestroughs.
Perhaps you’re good with organization and can help someone clean out the garage or basement.
Lots of times homeowners have junk they need put to the road or brought to the dump.
It’s easy to keep social distancing with these types of jobs since you can work alone for the most part.
If you or your parents or even friends know someone with a business ask them to see if they are hiring.
Posting on websites such as Kijiji may be of interest to you or perhaps searching for any summer help listings.
One of my fans mentioned that she did corn detasseling in the summer growing up for local farmers.
The idea is to make your way out into the world and network with people.
Don’t be afraid to knock on doors or make phone calls to see if anyone needs help.
There is a shortage of farmworkers this year so that’s a great place to start.
I hope that helps you a bit.
Thanks for your question.
Saturday Search Term Giggles
These are keywords that readers typed into their search engine and landed on this blog.
I get thousands of these every single day and pick some of the best to feature right here.
- I handed in my resignation letter for teaching and now I decided that I don’t want to resign can I ask them to rip it up – Haha, um you could but that wouldn’t look good either way. You better have a good reason ready. Hi boss, just rip up that resignation letter, I’ve decided to stick it out a bit longer. Haha!
- If I put 6000 in TFSA ho much will it increase – not millions if that’s what you’re looking for. There’s no way of knowing for sure.
- Tim Horton’s Chocolate Chip Recipe– I didn’t know they made chocolate chips.
- Port wine a mortgage in Canada– I love this one, lol. Wine and mortgages go hand in hand. You drink yourself into misery owning a mortgage and you drink when you pay if off.
Until Next Time
Keep on sharing and liking posts and you’ll help celebrate CBB’s ongoing contribution to Canadians.
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