So, you have decided to buy furniture for your home. You have probably searched the Internet and found beautiful furniture that would look perfect in this or that room; the type of furniture you have dreamed of. The trouble is, you are unsure exactly how much money to spend. The first step to buying new furniture, then, is setting up a budget.
Setting a Budget
Write down exactly how much you can expect to make in a month. This is no time to be optimistic, so pay no attention to what you made in your best month, but rather take the average of how much money you will make per month. Subtract all your expenses and what you want to save for the month and you will have a reasonable amount of money left to either meet the monthly payments or pay for the furniture outright. Of course, situations change depending on how much you might have in savings or whether or not you want to splurge on this purchase, but at the very least this method of setting up a budget will give you the most reasonable amount of money you should spend for your purchase. Also, if you are on a tight budget, be sure to be extra conservative in your estimate of your monthly income and overestimate your expenses. This ensures that, if everything goes right, you will have more money than you expected for that new furniture, but if something goes wrong, you will be prepared.
Know What You Are Looking For
Take a look around your home. Chances are, even if you were not entirely aware when you were buying your furniture and home accessories, you have developed a style. Consider what that style is and whether or not it is something you want to continue. Also determine what color(s) the new furniture should be by considering which colors occur most often in the room, and which are rare and bold. That done, decide what you want this new furniture to do – blend or pop. With these thoughts in mind, you can narrow your options down a bit.
If you want to continue in the style you have created, begin visiting furniture stores and asking for furniture in that style. It might help to give you a picture of some of your favorite pieces of furniture to help the salesperson get a better idea of what you want. Continue stockpiling information and develop a kind of internal furniture catalogue, remembering what you like best, as well as those characteristics that make other pieces so unappealing.
If, on the other hand, you decide you want to change the interior design of the house, you need to determine how quickly you want to make the change, how much money you have to do so, and what change you would like to see. Determining how quickly you would like to change the décor of your home can be determined in large part by the amount of money you have to change it. Wanting to buy an entirely new bedroom set is nice, but if it is not within your budget, it might not be worth considering. This does not mean, however, that you are stuck. Simply buy a single piece of furniture this time, or spend less on one piece in order to get two in a style you like. Save money for a while after this, and buy another piece or two in the future. In no time your home décor will match your personality and you will be able to enjoy it for years to come.
Starting Your Search
Between the Internet and bricks-and-mortar stores, beginning your hunt for new furniture can be a daunting task. So where do you start?
First, ask around. Furniture is an investment no matter how much is spent, and people usually have strong feelings one way or another about the company from which they bought their pieces. Most consumers will have an opinion about the service, price, and quality of local retailers and after asking around you should have a general idea about which companies are trustworthy and worth your while and which are best left to someone else.
Next, visit that store with no intention to buy. Make sure the sales associate knows you are only browsing but would like information about certain pieces. The way the associate treats you in this instance will say a lot about the company. If an associate is curt and uncooperative because he or she knows you will not be providing him or her with a commission, this attitude will tell you a lot about the company. In this instance, this company is not overly concerned with customer service and, considering the fact that new furniture might break or crack and you have spent a substantial amount of money, a good way to look at buying furniture is that the end of the sale is the beginning of the relationship. Before you buy, know that the company is interested in your satisfaction as much as their bottom line.
Comparing Pros and Cons
When you have finally decided on a place from which to purchase your furniture and you have narrowed down your choices, it is time to make the really tough decisions. When deciding between two or even three pieces of furniture, it is often best to weigh the pros and cons. Ask yourself if the price is right, and if it isn’t, how much over budget, if at all, you are willing to go. What are the consequences of going over budget? Do the same when determining if it is the color you want, or the style, or if it will fit easily into your home.
Choose, Buy, and Enjoy!
After you have weighed the pros and cons, the decision should be obvious, and if it’s not, the furniture isn’t going anywhere. Take your time and have confidence in your decision. Once you are able to muster this confidence, confidently walk up to the sales counter and make your purchase. Set up a convenient time for the delivery to take place, set up your home to receive the furniture, and enjoy.
- The Budget Calculator – You’ll have an idea of how much you can spend by taking a look at “monthly discretionary income”.
- Make a Budget and Stick to It – (PDF) Put pen to paper with this budgeting system and you’ll have that new couch in no time.
- 10 Unconventional Money-Saving Tips – Saving for your new furniture might be tough, so here are some tips from outside the box.
- Sofas: How to Uncover Value – An in-depth look at what makes a sofa high quality, so you can find one at low cost.
- Selecting Wood Furniture – (PDF) Going for something a little classier? Maybe an antique? Check out this resource to help you do just that.
- Antique Furniture Tips – If you decide to go with antique furniture, here are some tips to make that decision go as smooth as possible.
- MyDeco – Use the tools provided by this site to decide what style your room is and what you might like it to be in the future.
- Furniture for Small Spaces – Learn how to best choose furniture for small rooms or a studio apartment.
- Furniture Style Guide – A guide to the different styles of furniture and what sets each apart from the next.
- Arranging a Room – How to best integrate your new furniture with the old.
- How to Choose Outdoor Furniture – Consumer Reports gives some tips and tricks to make sure your outdoor furniture never disappoints.
- Interiorholic – This site gives even more tips to help you choose what type of furniture will go best in your rooms.
- Homedit – Coming up with an entirely new interior design can be challenging. This site tries to help.
- Apartment Furniture – Choosing furniture for a home you plan to stay in for years is one thing. Choosing furniture for a place you might not be in next year is another. Know the difference, and what you can do about it.
- Decorating Diction – Learn how to choose furniture for your child’s room.