Moving in together for the first time is a major milestone in every couples’ lives and can quickly become an expensive one, regardless of whether you’ve previously lived independently or not.
Starting the next chapter of your lives is stressful enough, but doing it on a tight budget can make even the smallest decision feel like the biggest. That’s why we’re giving you a few top tips on how to make the most of your home AND your money.
Know what you need – and what you don’t!
The majority of first-time homeowners up-size from their previous residence and with that comes the tendency to go out and buy a whole host of ornaments, plants and other miscellaneous objects to fill the extra space they now have, but that’s the first – and possibly worst – mistake you can make when on a budget.
The best thing to do, and it sounds quite simple, is not buy any non-essential items before you’re fully moved in. Most of your budget is likely to go on white goods, furniture and decorating your new home, so these and other great long-term investments such as high-quality mattresses and showers should be your only routes of sizeable expenditure in the short term.
Keep hold of your belongings
Another common tendency when moving into a new property – this goes for anyone, not just first-timers – is to avoid the hassle of moving box after box by throwing belongings away and replacing them with new ones.
Theoretically, this is a good tactic because you can fill new space with what you want, but your bank account won’t thank you for it. Plus, unpacking at your new home gives you exact knowledge of what you have space for and what you don’t. Only then should you think about heading to the local store to pick up a few bits.
Make your money back
Now you know exactly what you’re going to throw away, put it up on Facebook Marketplace, eBay, Shpock or any other community selling site. This is a quick and easy way to regain some of your money by passing on clothes, ornaments, pretty much anything!
Don’t be afraid to buy cheap
On these same sites, you can find some absolute steals. One person’s unwanted items may be exactly what you need. Or, if you’re more of an in-person buyer, why not head down to a few charity shops? You’ll be amazed at what you can find.
But buying new doesn’t have to mean splashing out at full price, either. The internet has made it extremely easy to find the best sales and where to get good deals on delivery. Signing up for mailing lists can unlock a range of discounts and you may well be able to get hold of discount vouchers. If you don’t need something right away, don’t rush. Take your time. You’ll find the deal that’s right for you.
Go for alternatives
Everyone wants their home to be perfect immediately, but there are brilliant alternatives to the ‘perfect’ fit. Using your imagination works wonders. Wants some curtains? Find stylish blinds. Love a carpet? Rugs are beautiful and cheap. Can’t afford a three piece suite? Everyone loves a beanbag!
Do it yourself
It’s the oldest trick in the book: get down and dirty. With the risk of repeating ourselves, don’t take the easy option! There is no better way of making your home your own than by literally making it yourself.
Painters and decorators can charge high rates – and rightly so – so give it a go yourself. Not only does it make a property a truly feel like home, sitting back and admiring something you added a personal touch to gives a real sense of pride and satisfaction. Get stuck into that wallpaper, get painting, get fixing things – you can do it!
That’s it! Now you know some of the best ways to create your perfect home in a budget, it’s time to put them into practice.
If you’re interested in moving into your first home, call a member of our dedicated professional team today and make new memories in no time! Contact your local branch on either 0131 297 1637 for Edinburgh, or 0330 031 0506 for St. Andrews.