If you are moving out of your parents’ home for the first time, you are most likely on a tighter budget and living with roommates. Thankfully, this mix is very doable. Once you and your roommates have found an apartment or condo to rent, start to divvy up costs and figure out how you are going to decorate your apartment on a budget together.
Utilize Second-Hand Furniture
The first thing you will likely search for is furniture – but don’t immediately go to the store. Instead, utilize second-hand websites to find a bed frame, a dresser, a nightstand, and a desk for your bedroom. Look at ones you find in person and determine if their quality is reliable and clean.
When it comes to living room furniture, first ask family members if they have extra couches or a loveseat laying around that they could part with. You may be surprised by how many pieces of furniture you can find this way. If you can’t find any by asking, then search online as well. You may find slightly-used furniture for a fraction of the in-store price. Be sure to find side tables and a coffee table alongside couches and a loveseat for your living room as well as a table and a set of chairs for the kitchen.
If you find usable second-hand furniture, it doesn’t mean you can’t fix it up a bit too. Buy some white, black, or grey paint or table covers and make your used furniture look good as new.
Spruce Up the Walls
Once you have furniture and have moved into your new apartment, it’s time to decorate. Depending on where you live, your rent may be very high. The average sales price in Manhattan was $1.9 million for condos in existing buildings in the third quarter of 2017. If you live in a place like Manhattan or in a different large city, you may need to save your money on rent and find cheap ways to decorate your apartment or condo.
You may want to spruce up the walls. Be sure to check with your landlord about what you can tape to the walls as well as if you are allowed to hammer nails in the walls to hang decorations. If your landlord is lenient, consider buying some removable wallpaper. This addition to your walls can make your new place feel homey and inviting. Consider finding a tapestry to hang on your wall, too.
Finding hanging decorations for your bedroom, the living room, and the kitchen in your new apartment is easy, too. You can find second-hand but lightly used paintings and wall hangings online or at a thrift store. Places like GoodWill also have an abundance of random artifacts and goodies that can add some pizzazz to your new apartment very cheaply.
Find Cheap Accessories and Decor
One of the many knickknacks you can find at a second-hand store is a vase. Flowers and other plants as well as candles are great decorations for an apartment. They bring life and a homey feeling to a room.
Did you know that the floral industry is worth over $100 billion? Purchasing real flowers can be more expensive upkeep than you’d like. Consider buying fake flowers at a craft store to put in vases around your new home. Fake plants are also easily found at home goods stores. If you want real plants around your bedroom, living room, or kitchen, consider purchasing ones that require little upkeep, like cacti.
Invest In Your Bedroom’s Comfort and Style
When it comes to your own bedroom, be sure to make investments that are worth it now and for the future but also keep in mind what can be purchased cheaply. Buy a high-quality mattress and set of pillows. Most mattress brands recommend that you rotate or flip the bed anywhere from once every three months to once a year, so keep this in mind so you are able to sleep well. You wouldn’t want to make the mistake of purchasing something big like a mattress again if it isn’t necessary. On the other hand, perhaps buy a comforter as well as sheets and pillowcases on the cheaper side. You can easily find these items at home goods stores.
Decorate your bedroom in a way that makes you happy – but don’t go overboard. If you end up buying too many decorations, your small space can feel overcrowded. Add decorations to the walls, but don’t fill them up. Maybe some of the high-quality decorations from a sweet 16 you planned could be repurposed. Consider purchasing a mirror or two to make your bedroom feel bigger, too.
When it comes to renting your first apartment or condo, be sure to keep in mind what is worth making an investment in versus what can be done cheaply. What you purchase cheaply can be fixed up, too. Buy worthwhile items, and visit second-hand stores for smaller items that will only be useful for a few years. Budgeting is important when it comes to managing your personal finances, so be sure to make smart financial decisions while moving into and decorating your first apartment.