How To Save Money On Home Decor & Furniture: 23 Hacks

How To Save Money On Home Decor & Furniture: 23 Hacks, home decor ideas on a budget for all styles whether you love modern, cozy, country farmhouse, bohemian, vintage, or elegant, ways to save money on home decorations for your living room, bedroom, or apartment that include both DIY and shopping smart, cost saving hacks and frugal living tips for furnishing and decorating your home, #homedecorhacks, #homedecorideas, #frugallivingI can't believe it was this very month last year that E and I stumbled into our first home! In fact, we were just talking about how strange it is to no longer be renters. Since I moved about 13 times in a decade, I got pretty used to putting my blinders on when it came to home decor. Often times, I lived in pre-furnished places. In fact, it wasn't until our last lease that we even owned forks or our own towels! Home decor was something I could blissfully ignore from our budget each month. But then our last rental before becoming homeowners was completely unfurnished. We needed to start from scratch; which took some financial savviness. I had to get pretty creative with ways to save money on home decor since we started with nothing only two years ago while both working from home and now have a baby. I'm excited my top money saving tips for all things home decor with you today!

This post is part of my money saving series sponsored by Lexington Law. I've been sharing money saving tips on everything from grocery shopping, having a baby, buying your first home, and so much more! Check out the entire money saving series here! They are committed to helping people improve their credit profile. If you believe there are inaccurate, unfair, and unsubstantiated negative items on your credit report, they are offering you a free credit repair consultation here!

How To Save Money On Home Decor & Furniture: 23 Hacks

Start with necessities & basics

When we moved into our first unfurnished place, we started with the absolute basics. I'm talking a mattress on the floor for a while and hand me down silverware and plates. Over the previous six years, we'd been in 900 sq ft at most.  All of the sudden, we found ourselves in a 3 story townhouse that felt like a mansion… with nothing in it. We set the bed up in a guest room, and put our TV on a tiny console table. We bounced between that room and the kitchen.

In the two years we lived there, we continued to get stuff slowly, but based off necessity. We never even purchased a kitchen table in fact. The rational here was that we knew we'd only be in the space for a couple of years, and didn't want to buy a dining room set for it to not fit in our next place. 

A guiding question for us (that you can use too, even if it doesn't apply) was: “Do we want to lug this up the tight townhouse staircases and down again when we move?” It was the best filtering system for whether or not things were truly a necessity.

Test things out

If you can drive to the store to test things out before you purchase, do it! We were thinking about a couch that cost a few thousand dollars. We were going to purchase it online without ever sitting on it. I was looking for something very specific and fairly custom and it checked off every box… (hence the hefty price tag). The retailer only has a handful of show rooms. Lucky for us, around the time we were going to make a decision, we had an unexpected trip to LA where we got to stop by one of their show rooms and sit on it. 

BOY AM I GLAD WE DID! One reason we are looking for a new couch, is that our old one sinks in so much that it hurts my back. Well this one was a real sinker friends! It made our current couch seem firm! That trip (which was about an hour out of our way during our trip thanks to LA traffic), saved us from thousands of dollars of regret! 

Leave the tags on

Speaking of buyers remorse, my other tip for saving money on home decor and furniture: leave the tags on as long as possible. This is for two reasons:

1) Sometimes stores will drop the price while still in the return window.

A lot of stores will honor the price drop if it's within 2 weeks of purchase without you needing to do the return/buy back. However, some stores don't have a price drop policy at all, and others may drop it a month after you purchase. Leaving the tags on lets you bring it in, and buy back your same item at the lower rate. 

2) Sometimes you realize you just don't love it. 

Purchasing home decor can be tricky. For me, there's this adrenaline rush of excitement that takes me on a wild ride of buying things that can end up looking like a hodgepodge mess. I leave the tags on for things as long as possible incase my accents end up taking an unexpected turn. 

Protect your identity

I bring up protecting your identity here because when you are in the excitement of decorating a home, you may not have your guard up to protect yourself financially. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, identity theft is now surpassing drug trafficking as the number one crime in the nation! It's become easier than ever for identity thieves to visit a crowded place with a scanner in their bag and swipe people's information who walk by within range, like when you're out furniture shopping! Or, maybe you click on what you think is an email from a favorite retailer for a coupon code, only to accidentally give thieves all of your information via a scam. You can read other ways the identity thefts happens here from the professionals at Lexington Law. 

Having your identity stolen can cost you a lot. Just like using a coupon code, sometimes the best way to save money is to have a strong offense. Lexington Law recognizes the severity of this issue and just how much it can end up costing people like you. They put together the Lex OnTrack Identity Theft Protection tool to help. It monitors and protects your identity from theft with $1 million in identity theft insurance. The Lex OnTrack tool can aid in catching fraud on your accounts and will work with you to quickly rectify the situation.

If you’ve been a victim of identity theft, give the professionals at Lexington Law a call today! They are here to help repair your credit.

Accept hand-me downs

There's no better way to save money on home decor than to accept all of the hand-me downs! After all, they're free! We did this with everything in our kitchen initially and guest bedroom furniture.

Opt for second hand

If hand-me downs aren't a possibility, shopping used is always going to save you some money. 

Invest wisely

When you are making larger purchases, you want to invest in them wisely. There are a couple of layers to this. First, there's obviously the quality concern. You want to invest in things that are going to last you a while and really get your money's worth. Second, there's the trendiness factor. Meaning, don't buy something because it's the current hot item, if you don't absolutely love it and see it in your life beyond a season or year. Lastly, there's the repurposing element. I am a huge fan when a home feels cohesive. Meaning I can take a bookcase from one room, and move it into another. Repurposing the same item throughout your space allows you to keep breathing fresh air into your home without having to buy something new constantly. In other words, just because something starts feeling stale in one room, doesn't mean it can't bring you joy in another. Which leads me to…

Work off a moodboard 

A moodboard for your home is essential in my opinion! You can set your moodboard up wherever you like (a Pinterest board, poster board, even a little physical tray). This is where you'll choose the main elements of your home. I love this because it means that when I'm purchasing items, they'll likely fit in more than one room in my house.This way the home feels cohesive and you can keep switching things up to feel new and inspired. No room feels awkward, misplaced, or stale. 

You can do this again for each room in the home to get more specific too and ensure you don't have a million return trips from impulse purchases. Learn more making your home moodboard and see mine here

Live in the space for a year 

Essentials aside, you really need to live in a space for a full year (in my opinion), before making a ton of purchases or large purchases. This allows you to see what you pain points are and focus your budget accordingly. For instance, in our last place, we spent a ton of time in the kitchen, family room, and our bedroom. We accepted hand-me downs for all of our kitchen stuff, but quickly realized the silverware we were gifted really hurt our hands and that we needed a better stand for our TV to go on in our family room. Instead of focusing on the other two bedrooms in our place, we decided to focus our budget on those upgrades.

Dollar Store is your friend

The dollar store is a total treasure trove for home stuff. Seriously, they have you covered with loads of organization items and cost effective dishware. Plus they have lots of home decor touches to warm up your space like picture frames, vases, and candles. It's also a gold mine for holiday decor!

DIY home decor

I find a lot of items at the Dollar Store or craft store and DIY things from art work to holiday accents. You don't need heavy power tools in order to make some beautiful pieces thanks to online tutorials today. I typically will find a piece of art online that I like and then just make my own version of it. There's been a major rise in DIY'ing everything from art, to lighting, to ottomans. The best part? You rarely need expensive tools to do it! 

Think long term

Whenever I'm looking to bring a piece into our home, I always ask myself these questions:

1) Is this a style I've loved forever and not just for the moment?

2) Where else will this work in my home?

3) How much care/upkeep will it require to really last? 

Pass on most store credit cards

When you've just moved into a new space and feel like you have nothing it can be easy to rack up a pretty high bill splurging on all of the things. However, be cautious about opening up store credit cards. First, they typically come with very high interest rates incase you don't pay it off in full each month. Second, since they can typically only be used at one store, it's easier to forget about them (re: end up paying that high interest rate even though you have the money). That type of financial chaos costs people every day. Thirdly, whenever you open a new credit card, it acts as a hard inquiry. The professionals Lexington Law point out that too many hard inquiries will lower your credit score.

With that said, when you have absolutely nothing (like we did), it can make sense to open up a store credit card if you are purchasing pricey things like a couch and your bedroom set at one retailer who is offering great terms like 0% interest the first year. Just make sure you meet the minimum requirements for approval beforehand. Also ensure you can in fact pay off the balance before the high interest rate kicks in. 

[RELATED] What You Need To Know Before Applying For A New Credit Card

Opt for rewards credit cards

Instead of a store credit card, I actually recommend people have a solid rewards card. This way you can earn rewards for all of your regular purchases no matter where you shop. Think of it as a trade off – sure you won't save 20% for opening a store credit card at one retailer but with the right rewards card, you could earn 2% cashback on all of your purchases at other stores. 

With that said, the best reward credit cards typically have higher requirements for who they approve. In other words: your credit score should be at least in the “good” range before applying. Whenever you apply for a new credit card, always make sure you know and meet the minimum requirements for approval beforehand.

If your credit score isn’t where you’d like it to be and you believe there are inaccurate, unfair, or unsubstantiated negative items on your credit report, give Lexington Law a call today for your free credit repair consultation. 

Use mirrors and good lighting

One of the easiest ways to make your home go from drab to fab is with good lighting and mirrors. Truthfully, you don't need a ton of decor items, you just want the space to feel large, bright, and clean. Good lighting can do just that. You can also use mirrors to reflect that light (or natural light) which makes the space feel larger. These small changes can mean the difference between feeling like you need a new couch because your current one is feeling old/worn down versus feeling like you can breathe in your space. 

Clean & maintain

Speaking of a worn down couch, did you know, one of the easiest ways to revive an old leather couch is with some olive oil? Or that by regularly cleaning your carpet, it'll not only look better, but will last you longer? Cleaning and maintaining your existing items will save you the hassle of having to replace them if they break or by extending the life of them. 

Paint

Similar to your furniture and home decor, your walls need some TLC too. Make sure to sweep and dust them regularly. Cobwebs love the top of the wall where it meets the ceiling and little kids love to put their sticky fingers all over the lower part of the wall! Cleaning your walls aside, a fresh coat of paint is one of the most cost effective ways to redecorate your home! It can lift a room too without you feeling like you need all new furniture in the space. Check out how we completely renovated our fireplace with just paint here

Measure before you shop

I learned this lesson the hard way when ordering a couch online. Please please please measure your space before bringing anything into it! Heck, take it a step further and use painters tape or yarn to outline what the item will ultimately look like. It will definitely save you money and a headache to avoid the return shipping or rental truck to get the item back to the retailer (and that's if they even accept returns!!).

Swap cost effective pieces with a big impact

Switching out the lighting or handles of cabinetry can make a massive impact in changing the vibe of a room. These swaps won't cost you a lot of money or take you a lot of time to do yourself either. 

Less is more

When it comes to decorating your home, remember that less is always more. Clutter accumulates faster than any of us would like to believe. Resist the urge to style every inch of your house and instead focus on a few decor items that can double as storage. Nothing makes a space feel uninhabitable like a mess.

master bedroom ideas on a budget, cozy neutral modern bedroom design, #masterbedroom

Use nature

Keep up with the changing seasons by simply going for a walk outside and choosing some items to style. Like I mentioned, you can get vases at the dollar store, then just get some flowers or pinecones or leaves with the changing season to update it. There's no reason to buy pricery seasonal decor when mother nature is the original artist and usually the inspo behind it all anyway.

Shop the sales

Obviously sales are a great way to save on home decor and furniture. If you can, try to hold off on purchasing items until known sales times. For instance, holiday weekends most retailers offer store-wide sales. If you know which retailer you'd like to buy an item at, consider searching for that retailer online. There are entire websites dedicated to help you strategize you purchasing experience with blog posts detailing how to maximize your savings at a particular retailers.

Install money saving tools and extensions

Another one of my favorite ways to save money on home decor and furniture is to use various tools and extensions while shopping online. Here are 5 of my favorite money saving apps and how to use them! 

Decorating your home and buying furniture doesn't need to put you into debt or break the bank. Stick to a budget (I love this simple 3 number one!) and follow these tips to maintain your financial health. The first priority is always setting yourself up for success financially. Again, if your credit score isn't where you want it to be, the professionals at Lexington Law are here to help. They specialize in helping clients with unfair, inaccurate, and unsubstantiated items on their credit report. The likelihood that you have these items increase if you're identity has been stolen, have medical bills or student loans, are in the military, or have been divorced. If any of this sounds like you, reach out to Lexington Law today by clicking here


Catch up on the rest of the Money Savings Series here:

How To Reach Any Savings Goal

How To Save Money For Your First Home Purchase

41 Brilliant [+ Easy] Ways To Save Money On Travel

37 Ways To Save Money When You Have A Baby

How To Stop Overspending Money: 17 Tips To Stop Once & For All

How To Save Money This Halloween: 27 Tricks That’ll Feel Like A Treat

The Ultimate List Of 57 Ways To Save Money On Your Wedding

How To Save Money On Groceries Every Month On A Tight Budget

31 Ways To Save Money On All Things Thanksgiving

39 Money Saving Hacks You Need This Christmas Season


List of 23 Hacks To Save Money On Home Decor & Furniture

  1. Start with necessities & basics

  2. Test things out

  3. Leave the tags on

  4. Protect your identity

  5. Accept hand-me downs

  6. Opt for second hand

  7. Invest wisely

  8. Work off a moodboard 

  9. Live in the space for a year 

  10. Dollar Store is your friend

  11. DIY home decor

  12. Think long term

  13. Pass on most store credit cards

  14. Opt for rewards credit cards

  15. Use mirrors and good lighting

  16. Paint

  17. Clean & maintain

  18. Measure before you shop

  19. Swap cost effective pieces with a big impact

  20. Less is more

  21. Use nature

  22. Shop the sales

  23. Install money saving tools and extensions

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