The big day has finally come — you’re moving into your brand spanking new studio apartment! You’ve been saving for months (even skipping on dinners out with friends and canceling your Netflix membership to save a few dollars here and there) and now you’ll gonna be out on your own and enjoying life in the big, adult world. Everything is awesome. That is…until you realize that you really didn’t save enough to go all out filling your apartment with fancy furniture buys. Sure, that $1,000 might seem like a lot, but at the end of the day a dollar can only stretch so far.
Let us break the bad news now: what you’ve got stashed away in your bank account is only going to the cover the basics. That means, you can’t afford that 42″ flat screen TV you’ve had your eye on or that luxury mattress. They have to wait. For now though, let’s show you how to make the place livable and functional on that $1,000 you’ve got saved up for your new digs.
Click the links to see an example we love that also falls in our set budget ranges!
Yes, we know you don’t actually have a bedroom in a studio, but we suggest you make one part of the room the “bedroom” area. Most of your budget will go to furnishing this part of your space. A decent quality mattress/box spring set and a bed frame with storage underneath will eat at least half of your budget. (For tips on buying your first mattress, check out this article from our blogger Alissa.) When purchasing your mattress, test it out in a store before buying and always purchase from a company you can trust and that has a reputation for providing warranties and standing up behind their product. A few of our online favorite stores that do just that: 1-800-Mattress, Macy’s, and Ikea. After the mattress is bought, then worry about filling up your space with smaller, less important furniture items like a nightstand and a dresser.
Tip: Before you buy a mattress, measure doorways and stairwells to make sure the mattress can be delivered to your apartment. While the mattress may bend a little to get around a corner, the box spring does not. If your apartment has room for a queen mattress, but stairwell is tight, ask if there is an option for a split box spring.
Mattress and Box Spring – budget $400-500
Bedframe – budget $200
Nightstand – budget $10
Dresser – budget $50 –
Money Saving Tip: Always check Craigslist and your local thrift stores for a dresser and nightstand. You can often find a cheaper and higher quality items second-hand than a bargain-priced, brand new one.
In the “living room” of your studio apartment, make your first purchases count. By that, we mean put your budget toward a futon or couch (many can be found for decent prices at chain stores, such as, Kmart, Walmart and Ikea.) We do not recommend buying upholstered furniture second-hand because of potential bedbug infestation. However, Craigslist, stoop sales and second-hand stores are perfect for scoring bargain wooden tables that you can check out and “de-bug” before bringing in your apartment. A storage-friendly ottoman/coffee table is always a great space saver. That’s all you really need to start out…like we said before, you can make non-essential additions over time and as money permits.
Sofa/Guest Bed Futon – budget $150
Storage Ottoman/Coffee Table – budget $50
Finally, to get your new studio apartment all ready for living spend a small portion of your $1,000 budget on a dining table and a few chairs. Our personal advice is to choose a table that isn’t too expensive, can double up as a desk when you need it, and that doesn’t take up too much room (or can be collapsed and stored away when you need extra floor space).
Table and Chairs -$70
GRAND TOTAL: $930-$1,030
Veteran apartment-dwellers, what’s your advice for furnishing your first new place on a budget? Share below!