Recent Divine Discussions

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Being frugal pays off big time

I have been racking my brain over ways to furnish my house but NOT bankrupt myself in the process. I created a shopping list/budget for things I will need to purchase for my first house. Even after using sale prices for pieces at modest furniture and home decor stores, my total was inching a little over $7500. This includes all appliances, living room furniture, formal area, two bedrooms, dining, office, rugs, decor, and lighting.

My facial expression ---->
(Translation: "Good lawd dats a lot of money!!")

So I started searching through sales papers, visited some furniture stores, and found different areas to cut back on. After recalculating the shopping list, my new budget is around $6500.

My current facial expression ---->
(Translation: "Uhhhhh....")

Now I had only been looking at brand new furniture. I came across a website,
Apartment Therapy, that I found very resourceful and pretty neat. I was inspired and started searching Craigs List in hopes of finding furniture that could be restored into something beautiful and grand (those who know me know that this would definitely be a project that I would have no problem taking on). But instead I found practically brand new furniture at a fraction of its current retail price. And guess what?!

Ya girl is making a killing!!!

I just purchased a 4 month old American Signature dining set that currently retails for $500. I paid $300 for the set.

I also purchased a beautiful espresso colored bed which included a headboard, foot board, side panels, and rails for a total of $200. I paid an extra $20 to have the guy who was selling it deliver it to my apt.

My most latest purchase involved a gigantic work station that included an chocolate desk with a hutch and filing cabinets. This thing measured 6 ft x 9 ft. Cost: $300!

You guys need to see these to really comprehend how much I saved without having to take a hit in the quality department. I am plan on buying majority of my stuff through CL, even my major appliances. There are tons of people who either just bought a house that contained new appliances that they don't like and need to get rid of, or people who moving out of town/state for whatever reason and need to get rid of their things ASAP. Tomorrow I am going to go look at a stainless steel Whirlpool side-by-side fridge which the couple purchased 3 months ago but now need to move out of state. Asking price: $475.

Here is my new home shopping list:

I am aiming at spending no more than $4000. That's $2000 less than my proposed budget! Can I do it?

I won't be relying solely on CL. I have been looking into different "Going Out of Business" sales that have been popping up. Nothing has caught my eye as of yet. e-Bay has had some lil treasures in the lighting and decor department.

If you guys have any suggestions leave a comment.


Fabulously Broke said...

Hey, that's awesome!

That, and I should mention that you are doing a great thing for the environment by repurposing what other people are essentially tossing/selling.


Kate said...

Goodwill around here always has some great finds - especially if you are willing to put some work into the pieces to make them yours! I have a few pieces that I spray painted, stained or recovered chair seats with fabric.


African American Mom said...

This is great! From reading your post, I decided to look the craigslist in my area and scored a book shelf for $5. I will be giving it some TLC this weekend. Thanks for reminding me about craigslist!

Her Royal Highness said...

I've been reading Apartment Therapy for several years now (it's my longest-subscribed RSS feed) and I use the handy Google Reader star to keep things that appeal to me.

I've set up several Google Alerts to let me know when someone posts something I ABSOLUTELY MUST HAVE (or at least...something I should look at) on CL.

Doing this, MY budget is $500 to fix up my entire apartment ;) Being frugal pays off, certainly, but above all, you must:

1. Know what you want (or what style you want).

2. BE PATIENT. CL's a revolving door of stuff; it sometimes takes a while for what you want to cycle through.

3. Stick to your budget. If you put aside $300 for a couch, don't spend more than that.

4. Be resourceful. You have to be willing to update a piece, refinish a piece, or strengthen a piece if you're buying secondhand.

5. Most of all: Know your prices. Do some research - what does it cost new? What does it cost on Ebay? Use Google to look at cached pages selling the same thing - what has it sold for previously on CL?

Sistah Ant said...

Craigslist is an old friend of mine. I have sold stuff there, and shopped there as well. This is a great economy to furnish a house in. There are deals everywhere. You may want to check out early morning weekend yard sales and estate sales, as well. A lot of my furniture is from an estate. Estate sellers get desperate when they have to clean out a house and sell things for really low prices.

from the desk of said...

try a local rental store. i bought an entire bedroom suite (queen-size headboard, dresser, mirror, and a nightstand)for 200 bucks.

i applaud you for not getting caught in the hype of buying a new house and rationalizing debt. thank you for being such a great role model.

Kacie said...

Good work! I'm confident that you'll be able to do this all for under $4k at the rate you're going!

Ellipticals and other exercise equipment can be found at a lot of garage sales for a really good price.

Also, you might call some local gyms to see if they can notify you when they're getting rid of old machines. They've gotta go somewhere, right?

Maybe you could buy one off of them.

Dimples said...

@ Fab

Thanks. I am more conscious of the state of our environment and have been doing my best to help out.

@ Kate

I may hit them up this weekend. Hoping to find some unique lamps and other decor. I love restoring things.

@ AAA (lol)

Girl don't sleep on CL! A lot of great finds on there.

@ Royal

I love Apt Therapy. I love the other websites, especially the garden one. Can't wait to try out some of their ideas. Let me know how the remodel goes and thanks for the do's and don'ts. They are on point.

@ Sistah Ant

Thanks for the idea on estate sales. Checking out the paper today to see whats going on for tomorrow. We will get up bright and early and go hunting.

@ from the desk

Cort and GFL are having a huge tent sale. I got there flier yesterday. Going to hit them up today.

@ Kacie

Thanks for the info on the elliptical. I'll check out the local gyms.