Hello all! Happy happy Tuesday! I hope you’re doing well. Today, as I was driving home from work thinking about setting up some more fall touches around the house, I started to calculate how much money I could spend on making fall happen around here. Now, if you know me at all, you know that there are two things I’m very passionate about: home decor and budgeting. Most of what I do here is super budget friendly, and it’s a part of everything I do, but I realized I’ve never shared exactly how I budget or why. So today I wanted to share with you a few things you can do to decorate on a budget, but more importantly, why you should keep a budget.
Now, this blog is not about money. It never has been. But I know most people feel like they could use some more of it (me included), and it seems like there’s never enough for extra things at the end of the month, especially for frivolous things like decorative pumpkins. I get it. But hear me out.
I budget absolutely everything. Ethan and I start each month with a written gameplan of what we’re going to spend our money on for the upcoming month. And because we’re like most millenials with a mountain of student loan debt, most of our extra cash goes there. But that’s not what’s important today. At the beginning of the month, each of us get a certain cash amount to spend on whatever we feel like spending on that month. For me, this usually falls into the frivolous decorative pumpkin category.
But here’s the cool part. I have cash that I get to spend on decor each month that is totally accounted for. It’s written into our budget, and so I can shop for house stuff completely guilt-free! If I want those curtains, or that pumpkin, or those candles, I can buy them because there’s a certain amount already set aside for that type of spending. Of course, it’s pretty tiny, but it’s there nonetheless.
Now, while we’re talking about tiny budgets, I have learned to get pretty creative when it comes to decorating. Here’s how:
One. DIY it. Almost everything in our house is made or refinished by me. Our headboards, most furniture, candles, signs, wall art, just about everything. I can’t even calculate how much this has saved us throughout the entire house. Our headboard was made from fence posts our neighbors were replacing. Seriously! It cost me nothing! Getting creative with the things around you is my biggest advice to someone wanting to decorate on a budget.
Two. Shop after-season clearance. Since I was a little girl, my favorite shopping day has been the day after Christmas. It’s the best time to stock up on things for the next year because as soon as December 26th rolls around, everything is 50-80% off. This can be a little annoying because you have to wait an entire year to use it. But it is a pretty fun surprise opening the things you bought and forgot about a whole year later. It’s like getting gifts for yourself!
Three. Shop the flea markets and the thrift shops. I went down this weekend to our local thrift store where I realized when the owner approached me asking about my family, that I am now a regular. I mean, I’m in there all the time. But I’ve gotten a heck of a deal on many occasions. My favorite type of thrift store is one where you can negotiate prices, especially after you’ve built a relationship with the staff. I can talk down just about anything when it comes to flea market and thrift store shopping. And if the seller isn’t willing to come down, just walk away! Someone else will have something just like it who is dying to get rid of it! It’s all about patience.
Four. Allow yourself some spending. Seriously. Picture it as an allowance to yourself. I have bought almost everything in our house with my spending money, and I never have to worry about feeling guilty or saving for priorities. The essentials are taken care of, and this money is free for the spending!
My house is certainly not very big or fancy, but I love making it my home. Sticking to my budget when I’m decorating is something I take super seriously. While I would love to go out and spend a ton of money on new furniture and rugs and all kinds of things, I piece things together super slowly as time and money allows. Here’s a sneak peek of our fall dining room. Those flowers? I picked them from the side of the road. They’re just weeds.
If you take away one thing from this, let it be this: I don’t spend a lot of money on my house. At all. But that doesn’t keep me from trying to make it a house that I love. I hope this inspires you to be able to decorate your own home on a small budget. I promise it can be done. That’s all for today, friends. Have a fabulous day.