(Photo by Devra, text overlay added)
When it comes time to start a new life with that special someone, you probably have a lot of ideas about how you want to feather your nest. Maybe you’ve been adding pictures of four-poster beds and claw-foot bathtubs to your Pinterest, or maybe you’ve been bookmarking sites where you can buy sleek, metallic tables and chairs.
What you’re going to find out is that all of this stuff is expensive. However, there are plenty of ways to feather your nest on a budget, and work together to build the home of your dreams.
Take advantage of the registry
If your nest coincides with a wedding, take advantage of that registry! Use it to collect the household items that you might not be able to afford on your own, like that gorgeous, cherry-red Kitchenaid mixer, as well as any household items you might desperately need, like a toaster that actually toasts bread instead of burns it.
Be careful, though. Many couples spend valuable registry space asking for items they don’t plan to use often, like an ice-cream maker or a specialty pizza oven. Focus your registry on basics, not novelties, to get the nest-feathering items you really need.
Don’t turn up your nose at what you already own
When two people decide to create a home together, they often want to throw out the old towels, dishes, and bedding that they’ve been using on their own for the past several years. After all, starting a new life together means buying all new things as well, right?
If you’re buying on a budget, keeping those old towels, mismatched dishes, worn sheets, and other items is essential to staying on target and achieving your financial goals. Yes, it may be difficult to give up your dreams of buying everything new. However, financial security is much more important than a few new towels.
Make a plan for adding big items
Are you and your special someone currently eating dinner at a card table instead of a proper dining room table? Curling up on a ratty old couch? Storing clothes in plastic tubs instead of a grown-up bedroom set? It’s time to start planning: figuring out a way that you can get the furniture of your dreams without going into debt or breaking the bank.
Take a look at your current income and expenses and see if you can set aside a little money each month for a big-ticket item. With the right planning, you can buy a new furniture item every few months, and slowly add in all of the tables, sofas, dressers, and memory foam mattresses that your nest deserves.
Look for discounts, resales, coupons, and other ways to cut costs
Just because one store lists a dresser set at $1,200 doesn’t mean that’s what you have to pay. There are numerous ways to get that exact same dresser set at a lower price, especially when you start looking for discounts, resales, and coupons.
Start learning when furniture stores in your area have their annual sales, and wait for them to drop prices to what you can afford. Or, look for “like-new” versions of your dream items on resale sites like Craigslist or Etsy. If you’re shopping from a major online retailer like Ikea, keep an eye out for coupons that can cut significant amounts out of your shopping cart.
Spend a few months learning what you actually need
Don’t buy everything you think you’ll need for your new home right away. Spend some time living in your home and learning what you and your partner actually need to get through the day comfortably. Chances are, you probably don’t really need the towel warmers, poached egg makers, iPhone speakers, and other items that will take up space and break your budget.
Or, if it turns out that after a few months you really want these items, you can use the tips in this article to get them!
Have other tips for couples trying to feather a nest on a budget? Let us know in the comments.