How I Saved at Least $50,000 by Buying New Furniture

 

How I Saved $50,000 by Buying New FurnitureA few weeks ago, we wrote about how we were considering moving.  We had caught the housing bug again, and our eager realtor had been fueling the fire by sending daily real estate listings to my work email.  We had begun rationalizing and dreaming of moving to a nearby community with more highly rated schools and higher real estate prices to match.  With interest rates at 2.65% for a new 15 year mortgage, it seemed almost silly to not at least look.

So we looked.  We stumbled upon several houses that we thought were okay…but we found two houses that we loved.  One was in a pristine neighborhood with an amazing outdoor area and a beautiful, manicured lawn.  It had covered front and back porches and lots of room to live and grow.  The downside to this property was that the great room was laid out very strange. Although we tried our best we just couldn’t figure out how we could arrange any furniture so that it would make sense. Ultimately, we walked away.

The second house we found was perfect!  We loved everything about the inside.  It had 4 bedrooms, an office in the front of the house, an amazing kitchen with super fancy appliances, and a huge great room.  The back yard was an entertainer’s dream.  It had a covered back porch, a beautiful lawn, and a hot tub that was built into an attached deck.  I have always wanted a hot tub!

Unfortunately, the dealbreaker for this home was the neighborhood.  It was the most expensive house on the block, and the street connected to another neighborhood that looked a little shady.  We just couldn’t see ourselves living there and we thought that its location made it a bad investment.

 

Why Move?

After these disappointments, I started thinking about why we really wanted to move in the first place.  Afterall, we have a nice house.  It isn’t perfect, but it’s clean and in a safe neighborhood.  We have plenty of room here, and the kids are very happy.  I started wondering why I was feeling the need to upgrade.

When we bought this house, it was probably my dream house.  Why has that feeling changed?  Isn’t it good enough anymore?  As our incomes have grown, am I getting spoiled?  Would moving and upgrading just be giving into the very lifestyle inflation that we claim to loathe?  Can someone please tell me that we are not turning into the Joneses!?!?!?!?!?

 

Could Our Current House Work for Us?

A few days later, Greg asked me what it would take to make this house work better for us.  We talked about remodeling the bathrooms.  We brainstormed possible solutions for our back yard.  We talked briefly about what we could do to make the kitchen better.  Ultimately, we decided that the money we would need to spend to do any of those projects would not be a good investment.  Our house is probably worth about as much as it could ever be worth because of the neighborhood it is in. Thus, any money that we spend remodeling here would probably be wasted.  Since that’s the case, I don’t think it would be wise to do any remodeling.  Even if we remodeled the kitchen, I still wouldn’t like the bathrooms and vice versa.  It just wouldn’t be worth it.

 

Is New Furniture the Answer?

After talking about it at length, I realized that one thing that drives me crazy about our house is our living room furniture.  We bought it three years ago, and I never sit on it because it is totally uncomfortable.  I had back surgery in my early 20’s and have to be really picky about where I sit.  Since my furniture is oversized and fluffy, I have been sitting on my living room floor for the past three years.  Although I really didn’t want to buy new furniture again, I began to realize that I wasn’t feeling at home in my house because I didn’t have a comfortable place to relax.  After sitting on the floor all this time, it took almost moving to make me realize that one thing I really need is different furniture.

I started looking for furniture on Craigslist.  I found sofas and loveseats that looked really nice from elite companies like Coaster Furniture.  The only problem with buying used furniture is that we don’t really have a way to move it.  Also, since my back problems are an issue, buying used furniture would probably mean driving to a bunch of people’s houses and asking them to let me sit on it for a while before I could decide.  Plus, used couches have been puked, drooled, and farted on so you can’t really clean them like you can a piece of used wooden furniture.

That convinced us to do the unthinkable.  We went furniture shopping at real stores!  At furniture stores, they let you sit on them all day! I didn’t even have to worry about any awkward moments.  After visitng several stores, we found a couch, chair, and ottoman that were extremely comfortable for both of us….and we bought them! Of course, we wanted to get some credit card rewards, so we purchased them as such. As per usual, we’ve already paid the cards off online.

 

That is how I saved 50K by buying new furniture.  It will get delivered in a few weeks, and I think it will help us stay in this house a lot longer.  I can’t promise that I won’t be dreaming about real estate ever again, but I truly believe that it will make this house feel more like my home.  I still think that we will move in the next 5-10 years, but we are hoping to wait until we can buy our new house in cash.  Besides, we’ve only got 35 more months to go until we are debt free. It’s too late in the game for us get off track!

 

 What do you think? Have you ever spent money on one thing that saved you from spending money on something else? Let us know in the comments below! Also, feel free to subscribe to our blog by clicking the link or adding your email to the form above.

 

 

About Holly

Holly Johnson is a wife, mother of two, and frugal lifestyle enthusiast. She is the co-founder of Club Thrifty and a staff writer at Get Rich Slowly, Frugal Travel Guy, and U.S. News and World Report's "My Money Blog." Holly has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Kiplinger Personal Finance, Fox Business, and Daily Finance.

Comments

  1. Hey! Nice post… It is amazing how some new furniture can completely transform your opinions of a house and boost your happiness. When Mrs Scot and I moved into our new house back in March, I used a 0% credit card to buy a lot of new furniture. I wrote a post on it and got absolutely slated by some people… Do I regret it? Not at all! It makes the house look amazing, we were able to host our families over summer (and continue to do so). I often make similar calls to you guys that doing certain work would not be a good overall investment. Furniture.. you can take with you :)

    PS LOVE the comment – Plus, used couches have been puked, drooled, and farted on

  2. Good thing you resisted the temptation to go for the most expensive house on the block! I would go ahead with the renovations too, after all, it is your home and should be for years so why not spoil yourselves?

  3. Sometimes making “smaller” purchases can help us be content with current living situations -> this is the perfect case! Thanks for sharing.

    • I agree….and the furniture we bought wasn’t very expensive. I think we got a good deal! Plus I am selling my almost new furniture on craigslist and that will make some of the money that I spent back!

  4. This is a really common sense idea. I’m surprised you waited so long if your back was no good on your old couches!

  5. Good post. Looks like you made a good call all the way around. I would’ve totally gone for the new furniture as well, especially as it’s for your living room. Having little kids ourselves, all sorts of crap happens on those things.

  6. My wife has similar back problems. She had surgery 16 years ago and complains about our furniture.
    Sometimes all we need is a little paint and a fresh look at a place to fall back in love with it.

  7. Good thing you realized what was really bothering you about your home before jumping the gun! It’s amazing how changing furniture or sprucing up your living space can make you see your whole house in a different light!

    • I think it’s time to reorganize my kitchen cabinets too. They aren’t very wide and they don’t have shelves in them….but I am always much happier when they are organized well!

  8. I’m surprised you bought furniture just three years ago and didn’t get comfortable stuff then. What’s the story there?

    • My back problems started after I had my first daughter who is three. At the time I bought the furniture, I didn’t have any back pain….so I bought it just for looks!

  9. Having nice furniture is important to feeling comfortable in your own home. We bought a couch on an absolute whim a few months ago and are super happy with it. Before, we had this old, run down loveseat – and ONLY the loveseat!

  10. I like how you detailed out your process of looking for other solutions, like renovations and ruling them out. We’ve recently changed plans regarding moving across the country and now we are actively doing a few more things to change our home. :-)

  11. This is great! This is something that I constantly think about also. I love my house, but would love a new house. However, our house works for us so why change it?

  12. Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. Way to go Holly!

  13. It’s great to hear that you changed your mind about the house. You guys initially had some great/aggressive goals in paying off the house early and I think it’s awesome that you’re going to stick with that. Lifestyle inflation is difficult to overcome but I think you allowed yourself enough time to get over the real estate itch.

    My wife and I visited IKEA last week and it was amazing. While remodeling the bathrooms wouldn’t add value to your house, it could be a worthy investment if it meant you were going to stay there longer because of it.

    • I went to IKEA not too long ago. Holy crap! That is one huge store with a ton of crap! Some nice stuff and some junky stuff….just stuff everywhere. It was overwhelming!

  14. You made a wise choice. You shouldn’t move because you are unhappy with the house inside. Move because you don;t like the neighborhood, or because you need more space.

    Sometimes doing a few things inside the house make a world of a difference.

  15. I really like this post! I like that you guys thought about every alternative before coming up with the best option. New furniture is definitely cheaper than a new house :)

  16. It’s nice to hear what a difference that new furniture can make in how we view our home. And, that’s a great savings too!

  17. “used couches have been puked, drooled, and farted on” – my daily dose of humor! Hehe. I think you made the right choice, sometimes improving something you have is better than buying something new. In your case they were 2 different things.

  18. Amazing how we can almost jump in head first when something as simple as new furniture could make all the difference. We are always looking at new homes and get excited but then realize, why? We have a great home and although we don’t have a walk out or a huge lot it has everything we need and besides who wants to pay a mortgage for another 20 years just to get another 1000 sq ft, higher bills and more work- not us. Cheers Mr.CBB

  19. I am chagrined that it took us twice as long to figure things out as you. If there had been an Internet with PF/frugality essays back then! I enjoy any opportunity to listen to and talk with younger people who can think for themselves, analyze, and aren’t afraid to be different. We were full of diffuse energy but woefully ignorant.

  20. Great job, Holly! I can’t believe I was wrong. I thought for sure you guys were moving based on your last few posts! I’m glad you were able to figure out what it was about your house that didn’t feel like home to you. Those fluffy couches are awful! You sink into them and get stuck! I haven’t even had back surgery and it happens to me. Congrats on your new hou….living room!

    • Haha. Thanks! I did do the frugal thing and buy furniture with the same color scheme as our old stuff so that I didn’t have to change all of my decor!

  21. It’s kind of like how the right necklace or jacket will transform an old dress into a new outfit again. ;)

  22. “puked, drooled and farted on” LoL. Oh, and theres more, but we won’t go into that here.

    You are paying off your mortgage soon, DO WHATEVER THE FLIP YOU WANT! If we were in your situation, we’d definitely buy some new furniture. Currently, though, we are re-decorating our house with a ginormous of $0. I’ll let you know how it goes :)

    Also, new furniture…..pics or it didn’t happen!

  23. You have to have a comfy mattress and couch to make a home in my opinion. I don’t want to feel like I’m sitting in a doctor’s office in my own home. I bet you’ll like your house more when it’s paid off!

  24. I would still continue looking, but I agree that you never want to buy the most expensive house on the block… this is always a bad idea. Still, not a bad way to save 50k, you may want to look for new furniture in another room when you get the itch to buy again.

  25. I used to re-arrange the furniture in the house to make it seem new and different. It helped.

  26. I wondered where that was going….great title! Congrats on the new furniture. Have you already read the riot act to the kids?

  27. Nice! Sometimes I think that it’s no so much about keeping up with the Joneses (although that does play into it,) but our need for change. I’m like that. I like to mix things up every once in a while. The boyfriend….doesn’t. Which is really great. We balance each other out perfectly. It sounds like you guys did that for each other here, too.

  28. Holly, it’s totally cool that you guys have a 3 year, feasible, plan to be debt free!
    I had a little case of Jones-itis this week too. You’re right when we moved into this house it was a dream. We can rationalize that our circumstances change, but the driving factor is that we’re always greedy for more. If you find a cure I’d be interested, I’ve only managed to keep it at bay :)

  29. This is a great post and very true. Sometimes just tweaking things in your current home puts the moving bug at ease. Plus, you’ll be able to take that new furniture with you if you do decide to leave at one point. So, it’s really a win win. Way to go!

  30. I really think real wealth in real estate is owning for the loooong term. Look at our grandparents! They made multi-baggers for holding so long.

    Never sell! Just accumulate and create cashflow!

Trackbacks

  1. […] Club Thrifty decided that a new home is not what’s been missing in her life when she discusses “How I saved at Least $50,000 by Buying New Furniture.” Sometimes all that’s missing is a bit of new furniture to keep us comfy at […]

  2. […] Around the Web « How I Saved at Least $50,000 by Buying New Furniture […]

  3. […] How I Saved at Least $50,000 by Buying New Furniture […]

  4. […] Club Thrifty- How I Save At Least 50k by Buying New Furniture […]

  5. […] How I saved at least $50,000 by buying new furniture – Club Thrifty Holly discusses the predicament she had on whether to buy a new house or not. In the end she upgraded the furniture and saved a small fortune! I think this is a great example of thinking outside the box. Too often people think that they need a new car, or a new computer etc. when giving it a clean, getting some new software, a new stereo etc. often makes it seem ‘new’ and refreshed. […]

  6. […] Club Thrifty – How I Saved at Least $50,000 by Buying New Furniture […]

  7. […] How I Saved at Least $50,000 by Buying New Furniture at Club Thrifty […]

  8. […] few weeks ago, I wrote about how we did the unthinkable and bought new furniture from the store.  You see, my furniture was completely uncomfortable.  Since we were trying to […]

  9. […] How I Saved $50,000 by Buying New Furniture – Club Thrifty: Greg and Holly wanted to buy a new house. They upgraded their furniture instead to make their existing home feel new again and saved themselves a boat-load of money! […]

  10. […] do you guys think?  Are we giving into lifestyle inflation?  Do you tend to do all of the work yourself?  Do you feel snowed in by chores and buy more time […]

  11. […] that you can choose from Citibank.  We used the cards for one month’s groceries and put our new furniture on the cards in order to reach the $1,000 spending requirement on both.  With ease, we scored $300 […]

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