Between taxes, school loans, and skyrocketing housing prices, it’s no wonder that most young couples have a tight budget when it’s time to customize their quarters. If you and your new spouse or partner are getting ready to do just that, you can take heart knowing that there are ways to lower the costs. From rolling up your sleeves to sticking with a minimalist theme, it’s possible to make a house a home for pennies on the dollars. Here are a few tips on how to combine your unique senses of style without draining your joint checking account.
Check Out the Big Guys
It’s understandable that you’re going to want unique home decor. However, the boutiques and branded stores aren’t exactly cooperative for those with an itty-bitty budget. Walmart, however, is. For a comparison, let’s look at this round mirror from Neiman Marcus. Currently, it’s $295. This $23 mirror, which is available online at Walmart.com, is similar and also less than one-tenth of the price. If you’re looking to save even more, Walmart has you covered on everything from sheets and towels to electronics and small kitchen appliances. Shop around for a Walmart promo code and you can keep even more cash in your pocket.
DIY Your Decor
Obviously, there are going to be things that you need to purchase. If you’re crafty, however, you can save a ton of money by repurposing your and your significant other’s existing furniture. Even your old beer-stained couch can find new life in an out-in-the-open spot in your home. Reupholstering a sofa takes some planning, but it’s a much cheaper alternative to buying a new one. DenGarden.com estimates that your total price to get the job done will be around $321. The bulk of this is in the fabric, so don’t be shy about shopping around. Your local Hobby Lobby will likely have a clearance section of designer fabrics, and there’s nothing that says you have to stick to one pattern or design, especially if your couch has cushions. Since you’re already at the craft store, grab some fleece and make a few tie blankets to cuddle under once the couch is lounge-able — this is much cheaper than buying fancy fur-lined throws.
Paint Like a Pro
The color scheme of your home can have a profound effect on how much (or how little) you want to stick on the walls. Stick with a neutral color scheme, which won’t be difficult to match and lends well to a minimalist theme. One blogger says she stuck with bland beige but was able to let her style shine through with great art. Speaking of art, you are combining households, and it’s likely that you both have vastly different ideas of what art is. Spend some time together looking at different styles until you can find something you agree on. Architectural Digest lists several affordable art sites and notes that some pieces can be had for as little as $20.
Dig for Decorative Details
If you’re truly on a budget, there’s no shame in calling on your friends and family and asking if you can go through their garage sale leftovers. You never know when you’re going to come across something that you can turn from drab to fab. Even trash can become something beautiful; it’s all about perspective and a willingness to look past rust and dust.
Being in a relationship is hard, and those difficulties are compounded when you add money and clashing personalities into the mix. However, don’t let your first home together be your downfall. You don’t have to spend your entire nest egg to make your nest is it’s best.