So you’ve signed the dotted line, gotten the keys, and started unpacking a few of the boxes. Suddenly, you realize although you're more in debt than ever before, you still need (and want) a few more items. Here are some tips we’ve compiled to help you navigate this overwhelming time.
1. Look at your budget
This one is simple: Take a cold hard look at what money you have available, now that you have a mortgage to factor into the equation. Be honest with yourself about what you can spend, and come up with a list of what you need/want in order of importance. Can you set aside a small amount of your monthly budget to a home-related purchase? Or can you set aside some money each month to save for a splurge?
2. Save for the splurges.
Of course, you’ll find some pieces you can’t live without, so how do you handle those? We certainly don’t recommend you roll those into your mortgage. So, how about spending $20 less on, say, groceries for the next few months in order to save for a bigger ticket item. How can you cut back without overwhelming yourself, even if it’s only temporarily?
3. Make a plan and remodel in stages.
With a new home comes the urge to redo everything. New home=fresh start, right? This kind of thinking will blow the budget in no time. Resist the urge to throw out everything from your previous place of living, and start with just one room at a time. Start with the rooms you’ll use the most and guests will most likely see. Decorate one of those rooms first, and tackle the other rooms in a few months.
4. Rethink what nice and new really means.
Make a habit of perusing ebay and Craigslist, especially the free section. People give away all kinds of stuff—from plants to furniture and everything in between. An old decorating tip: If you mix the inexpensive with the expensive, no one will notice.
5. Reuse what you have.
You’ve heard it said “One man's trash is another man’s treasure.” Well, how about “Your trash is your treasure.” Spend 30 minutes on Pinterest and you’re sure to find an endless amount of ways to reuse your old stuff. Refinish a night stand and make it an end table for your living room. How about repainting a dining chair to make it better fit into your new office space? Before you get rid of anything, see if you can breath new life into it.
Those are just a quick few tips. Got any tips, sources of inspirations, or stories of how you’ve decorated on a budget? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter.