They say furniture is the third highest expense in your lifetime, after a house and car. But you can beat that statistic.
I furnished my entire house for under $2,800 by buying used items, shopping local and taking my time—and I couldn’t be happier. In this post I’ve laid out photos of each item along with where I bought it and what I spent. Furnishing your entire house on a budget is possible and you’re about to learn how!
Furnishing My New House
Right before Christmas 2020, I closed on a new home. New as in new to me, not newly built. 😉
When I realized I was getting this house, I was SO excited to style it exactly like the Pinterest board I’ve been building for years.
I’ve always had a hard time buying new things but this time I told myself: “not anymore! I have a good job and I’m going to buy the stuff I want for this house and feel good about it!”
The Way Too Expensive Couch
First thing on the list was a nice sectional sofa for my living room. I had set aside money for it specifically.
The Price of the New Sectional was $1,524, which is a nice chunk of money but not very much for a brand new couch. Due to Covid-related manufacturing shortages, almost all couches were on back order 2+ months. So I’d spend $1,524 and live without a couch for 2 months. It wasn’t ideal.
I went back and forth about it while looking for used couches and finally decided I really wanted a new couch—it was worth it to me. However, once I purchased the new couch, I immediately felt buyer’s remorse. Why would I spend over $1k on one item when I needed so many things still?
I called the furniture company and cancelled my order.
$1,500 Extra for Furniture!
It felt like someone had just given me $1,500 to spend on furniture, even though it was my own money! The simple act of not buying something sometimes feels like putting money in your pocket. Now, I was determined to buy everything I could second-hand and save money wherever possible.
How I Furnished My Entire House for Under $2,800
Below I’ve broken down all the main pieces of furniture and decor I bought (or found) for my house. I brought some furniture from my old house that I listed at the end as well.
Items I Bought Second-Hand: $1,250
Kitchen Table, Facebook Marketplace: $200
Bedroom Dresser + Night Stand, Craigslist: $190
Nesting Tables (4 end tables in total), Facebook Marketplace: $125
Sectional Sofa, Facebook Marketplace: $200
Retro Rocker, Local Thrift Store: $45
End Table, Local Thrift Store: $15
Mid-Century Lamp, Facebook Marketplace: $45
Server, Local Seller: $185
2 Outdoor Chaise Loungers + Towel Rack, Facebook Marketplace: $115
Brand New Blue Chair, Facebook Marketplace: $80
Queen Bed (barely used, from a friend), Facebook Marketplace: $50
Items I Bought New: $1,524
Bed Frame, Home Depot: $515
King Mattress, CostCo: $600
5’x7′ Living Room Rug, Well Woven:$64
8’x10′ Dining Room Rug, Well Woven: $135
Metal Trash Can, Home Goods: $50
Circle Mirror, T.J. Maxx: $45
2 Pieces Art Work, Ross: $30
Hanging Macrame Plant Holders (2), T.J. Maxx: $20
3 Large Plant Pots, Home Goods/Ross: $65
Items Given to Me: $0
Storage Bench: $0
Sofa Chair: $0
Ikea End Tables, Facebook Marketplace: $0
Credenza, Facebook Marketplace: $0
Items Found by the Road: $0
3 Ikea Chairs: $0
Items I Already Had:
- Entertainment Center
- 2 TVs
- Queen Bed Frame
- Coffee Table
- Kitchen Items
Total Spent Furnishing the House: ~$2,774
Tips for Furnishing Your House on a Budget
To me, furniture is like cars. It’s marked way up and it loses most of its value the moment it leaves the store. Besides, there are millions of pieces of furniture in circulation where you live—and most of it is like new.
Tip No. 1: Take your time.
This lesson I learned from my sister and her husband. They have great taste.
When they bought their home a few years ago, they didn’t rush to fill every room with furniture after moving in. They didn’t “go shopping” for a new entertainment center, couch or coffee table. Instead, they buy their favorite furniture when they see something they like.
They used whatever they had from their previous home and when they came across a piece they loved while shopping at HomeGoods or somewhere, they bought it. Or, when they saw an insane deal on a bedroom set, they bought it at that time—not the moment they moved in.
Not only does taking your time spread out the expenses of furnishing your home, but it also spreads out the fun!
Don’t rush to find the perfect piece and buy it brand new online—let the perfect pieces find you.
Tip No 2.: Shop second-hand or local first.
When you identify an item you need or a space that needs to be filled, start checking Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, your local thrift store or local Instagram sellers before shopping in-store and online.
Tip No. 3: Shop around.
If you still haven’t found what you want after a couple months and you can’t wait any longer, shop around for the best price online. Many companies sell the exact same pieces of furniture for different prices.
Tip No. 4: Find coupons and discount codes.
When shopping online, always Google for discount codes before you checkout. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve found a discount right before checking out and I think to myself how I can’t believe I almost spent $30 more than I had to, or whatever amount.
Tip No. 5: Forget about it.
Whatever it is, you probably don’t need it. Try forgetting about it and putting the money you would have spent in a furniture fund. If it’s something that keeps coming up or you decide you really want it, the money is there!
If you do really need it (like in the case of a bed or couch) you can probably find it used for much less than a brand new version or find a great deal by simply taking your time.
Save Your Money for Something Meaningful
Getting a good night’s sleep in a quality mattress and having a dinner table to gather around for meals is certainly meaningful, but the experience will be the same whether the item is new, second-hand or discounted.
When you decide you don’t have to have the latest and greatest new thing, you have more money for meaningful experiences. Take a trip, take your grandma for dinner or try something new, like scuba diving.
Investing in yourself and experiencing something new will give you memories you’ll cherish forever. Not collect dust in the corner of your home.