One of the biggest financial traps and mistakes is to spend a fortune on home furnishings and decorations, and the added injury is to put it on credit and pay interest on a depreciating object. There are so many great examples of making a house look great on less. We will provide some examples and resources.
First I have to emphasize how important this is. If you are just starting out in life, some people want the image of success. People feel compelled to signal to others that they have it all; the house, car, marriage, etc. But what does this have to do with furniture? When a person buys the big house and everything, they then fill it up with fancy, expensive new furniture!
We have seen lots of folks spend a fortune on furniture and home decorations, AND to make matters worse they put it all on credit at a high interest rate! I think they are trying to tell others that they have arrived and have the complete Instagram life, but it’s a trap. Do not do it. If you put $40,000 on a credit card for a full house of new furniture you are seriously reducing your ability to build wealth. In 10 years that $40k could be $80k and spinning off dividends. By then you won’t care about the fancy furniture.
I am not saying live in an empty house and not have nice things. I am saying look for other ways:
1. Hand me downs from family and friends. Many people move and downsize all the time. When they do, they usually get rid of some furniture. Ask for the furniture and you probably pay much less!
2. Shop consignment shops. People drop off furniture at thrift stores all the time where you can pick it up for a fraction of the original price.
3. Garage Sales. Hit up those garage sales, I have found them to be an awesome resource for discounted pictures and furniture.
4. Craig’s List. Shopping used online is a great place to find discounted furniture of all kinds.
5. Make your own pics. Why hang someone else’s vision on the wall when you can make your own? Take a painting class and hang your own creation. Put your own photographs on the wall.
6. Make your own furniture. Take a furniture class and learn how to make something.
Also check out Better Homes & Gardens for affordable decoration ideas that look wonderful:
When I look around my home, we have probably bought everything used, inherited things, made the paintings, or as a last resort purchased an item at IKEA which is generally affordable. The only exception for us is that we have bought new beds. But everything else is used and have probably saved about $20,000 off acquiring furniture in a sensible manner. And an added bonus is that it creates a nice eclectic look and feel.