Right now, home is more important than ever to many Americans. Home has become your office, school, vacation spot, and spa. It also means that your space (and furnishings) might not be functioning quite as well as you’d like them to.
However, if you’re like nearly half of all Americans, you live paycheck to paycheck. Securing upfront financing for furniture or renovations might not be in your budget right now. If that’s the case for you, don’t fret. Here are four ways to update your home without breaking the bank.
A great way to refurnish your home is to shop at secondhand stores. You’ll often find gently used or vintage pieces to decorate with at a fraction of the cost of something brand new. Try local shops, online marketplaces, garage sales, or estate sales to find something unique on the cheap. Some people even swap furniture or home décor with friends or family. Just be sure to take proper health and safety precautions when purchasing furniture this way. All items should be wiped down and sanitized. If possible, they should be left in a safe location for a couple of days prior to bringing the furniture into the main room of the home.
Consider Lease to Own Furniture
If secondhand pieces aren’t your thing, check out some rent to own furniture shops. Here, you can usually find flexible lease-purchase programs. These stores may require a down payment, small monthly payments, or other finance options to fit your budget. The great thing about rent to own furniture is that you can get upscale, brand new pieces that you pay for gradually over time. This can be especially convenient for first-time homeowners, recent college grads, or people trying to rebuild their credit. You can also afford to buy several pieces at once when you consider lease to own programs.
Buy Something Multifunctional
If you don’t want used or rent to own furniture — or if you do and simply want to get more for your money — you may want to invest in just one great piece that’s multifunctional. You can find sofas that do double duty as beds, armoires that work as both storage and office space, or oversized tables that transform from dining space to classroom in a cinch. If multifunctionality is your priority, do some research and be sure that you’ll have all the essentials.
For those of you who are handy, you could try some DIY projects to create some new pieces for your home. For example, you could repurpose old furniture by refinishing it. You can change the look of something old into something new. Turn an old dresser into a kitchen island by adding a butcher block on top and adding beadboard to the unfinished back. Alternatively, you could take mismatched furniture and reupholster, stain, paint, or switch out the hardware so they look like a set. Check out some tutorials online about how to build a pallet coffee table, pallet planter, pallet wall shelf, or any number of other projects.
Furnishing or changing the look of your home on a tight budget requires creative solutions. Don’t give up hope that you’ll be stuck with what you’ve got. You just need to plan, shop around, and perhaps even roll up your sleeves to get what you want. Keep in mind that secondhand or lease to own stores can offer you more for less upfront. Choosing your purchases wisely will leave you with a home that is both functional and beautiful.