Savvy Budget Tips For Setting Up Your First Flat

Sunday, 5 November 2017

Who else has grown to love home-wares (thank you Zoella) and designing your own space? Sounds really grown-up doesn't it? I think it can be something that comes with the excitement of your first flat and finally having the freedom to do whatever you want with your new home. Also, maybe, something that comes with spending too much time on Pinterest planning your future house and all it's interiors...

All that fun stuff aside, setting up a house from nothing isn't the easiest venture. But if there's anything I have learned from my fabulous mother, it's that you can always find a way to make it work. 

Collecting items over time is a great way to put together your own style without needing a large sum of money all at once. I get that this may not be an option for everyone, but when Steve and I knew we had months before moving in together was going to be possible, we decided to buy what we need a little bit at a time. We basically had to start from scratch, so we wrote out a big ol' list of all the household items we would need and slowly ticked them off a couple at a time. I would set aside $20-$50 each pay week and before I knew it, we had almost everything we needed for the big move!

While shopping for our house I discovered my new favorite hobby: finding hidden treasures at charity shops! I'm not even joking, you can find some amazing pieces or even just some basic necessities at these stores. People donate some near-new stuff that you can raid for a few dollars. Things like drinking glasses, serving plates, jars, vases, photo frames, or just little knick knacks that makes a house feel homey.
On a similar note, there are a lot of home-ware stores that have a clearance section. Trust me when I say to never underestimate what you can find here! I think the prints we have on our walls came from this section, and for less than $5 a piece. And you would never know that you got it for an absolute bargain.

An important lesson I learned along the way was to always separate your list of needs and wants. For example, as much as I wanted to buy the adorable plant holders and succulents to decorate our house, buying a kettle was what we needed more in the end. It's important to accept that you're probably not going to have everything you want on the day you move in. That doesn't mean you can't pick it up later, but make sure your money is going to everyday items that you know you will use. I know the temptation of wire baskets and marble tables, but you have to resist until you have the basics sorted first.

You would be surprised how many people want to get rid of their old pieces of furniture to be able to buy new ones. My parents actually gave us their dining chairs, foot stools, toaster and even the curtains since they were aiming for an update anyway! I think my Mum used it as an excuse so she could shop for new stuff, but hey! It's a win for everyone. It can never hurt to ask your friends and family if there's any household items they would like to unload or sell that you could incorporate into your own home.

A few other tips that might be helpful:

Don't pay full price for bigger items, wait until they come on sale

Stick to your low-budget stores to buy the basics (Target etc)

Buy furniture from buy-sell pages
 (we got our awesome TV cabinet off Facebook for a steal!)

Ask for more expensive items as birthday presents, like outdoor furniture or a NutriBullet because I could never live without one

I'm pretty proud of what Steve and I managed to put together on a small budget, while still be able to keep our new home looking stylish. We learned a lot over the months we waited to move in and I'm actually grateful that we had that time to prepare. I got savvy with my money, which I'm sure will come in handy when I'm a mom. And then there's that lesson of not having to have the best of everything in order to be happy. Which is true! I'm proud of our home, Kmart items and all. You just learn to be grateful for the house that's all your own and the freedom that comes with it. And remembering that you can always make any budget work by being smart about it.

I hope this helps anyone else who is in the middle of moving or for those of you who may wanna update your current home while facing a budget.

What tips did you find helpful when you moved out of home?
Steph x.


  1. Aww this is awesome Steph. Your place looks amazing and so pretty. We love the design and colours. We've definitely learnt lots of these tips over the years moving from apartment to apartment and now we are getting settled back home our Mum has been doing the same, saying take whatever you want from my kitchen. :p We've been raiding Nanna and Grandad's house too, with Nanna also telling us to take whatever we need. We love having things that stay in the family, they are special to us, so things don't always have to be brand new. :) Love this post and hope you and Steve are enjoying your new place!
    Lucy and Kelly xx

  2. omg GIRL preach it to the choir! charity shops are like gold mines of beautiful trinkets and homewares - for half the price AND youre giving to a good cause! they're the dream! ♥♥ i quite often find little bits and bobs in there, which dont break the bank and leave me feeling content ive purchased from a shop thats helping someone else. really great little bit 'o advice there :)

    your new space looks gorgeous! youve done it up so nicely.

    katie. xx