Furniture Upgrade Trap

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So you've moved into that new Condo, or townhouse and you’re really to celebrate. After all, look at all the cool new space you have! Just think of the possibilities…

*crickets chirping in cavernous empty living room*

I'm Worth It!

Oh yah, the new mortgage payments or increased rent costs have hamstrung your housing budget for the foreseeable future, so what is a guy/gal to do when it comes to picking out furniture to fill this new not-so-humble abode? Well the common answer for most people is to seek the immediate gratification and break out the old plastic in order to bring home some sweet new modern furniture that was “like 30% off”. You basically just made money right? Or even better, sign up for a new credit card and take advantage of a special sale that gives you 3 years to pay for the stuff you get to enjoy today! Was there ever a marketing tactic better designed for our “I’m so special and worth it” generation? The fine print that says they will take your first born child at the end of 3 years if you don’t pay up can easily be ignored, after all you’re totally going to be large and in charge of something really important in 3 years and this purchase will seem like chump change right?

This Costs How Much?

furnitureBuying furniture is just one of the unexpected hidden costs that often accompanies a new move. Whether someone is renting or buying a new property, if they have upgraded in terms of space and décor, there is always a strong temptation to accessorize in order to fit in better with your new surroundings. Furniture costs can really escalate if you allow them. It doesn’t take long for most people to begin down the slippery slope of renovations and home improvement only to wake up with a hangover-like feeling, and a Visa bill to match. (But hey, you got some air miles at least… for that trip you’ll never be able to take. At least you have a nice couch to sit on for your whole vacation.) It starts with a new couch, then a new chair is needed, but now that other room looks shabby, etc. I don’t want to demonize buying furniture, because if it is worth it to you, then you should enjoy your purchase to the fullest! I simply want to make people aware of the dangers that can come with making major house decisions on impulse. Especially when you’re young, and probably already having a difficult time keeping your head about the debt waves as it is.

Don't forget about the home renovation tax credits:

Freebies Are Awesome

One alternative to buying new is to simply suck it up and beg for free furniture for friends and family or shop for used items. In these days of bedbugs and other heebie jeebies, just make sure things are fumigated before bringing them into your house. I was fortunate that my last two moves (a rent and then a purchase) I managed to talk the people that were moving out into leaving a whole bunch of furniture at no extra cost. Not only did this save a little wear and tear on everyone’s favourite piece of plastic, it also saved me from bugging someone to help me move the furniture, and renting a vehicle etc (I am that cheap dude who drives a Hyundai Elantra and consequently would have trouble moving a bean bag chair in terms of furniture-moving capability). If you absolutely need the newest furniture offerings in order to complete your whole “Feng Shui” experience, then just pay attention to the actual cost of what you will pay. How quickly will you be able to pay the purchase off, and how much interest will accumulate in that time? Enjoy your luxuries in life, just don’t go into excessive debt to do it, and make sure they are really the ones you want!

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4 Comments

  1. SavvyFinancialLatina on June 17, 2012 at 3:07 pm

    It’s so easy to fall into the new furniture buying spree. We will be moving into this new nice apt really soon, and I catch myself imagining a new couch or bed. 🙁



  2. femmefrugality on June 17, 2012 at 8:03 pm

    I don’t think we’ve bought any of our furniture new. Except our dining room table. Which I found, still in manufacturer’s packaging, at good will for $75. Amazing deal. Oh, and I guess the bed. But everything else is just a hand me down. It works for us.



  3. Shannon-ReadyForZero on June 18, 2012 at 4:43 pm

    I’m moving into a new apartment in a few weeks and have spent hours on Ikea’s website since we found out we were approved. The prices on everything keep me from clicking the buy button though, so maybe buying used is a good idea!



  4. Pamela @ FabulousSavings.ca on June 19, 2012 at 2:12 pm

    Very good point about the slippery slope of renovating – we’ve been doing renos on our house for almost 2 years now & as one thing improves, it just makes me look at everything else that needs sprucing up – it’s never-ending! The only good thing is I refuse to buy new furniture until all the renos are complete – at this point we’re probably looking at sometime mid-2020!



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