Save or Splurge: Bedrooms

Your first apartment is the perfect chance to show your personality and pick up some fun pieces that really speak to you. However, your first apartment also likely means you’re on a tight budget (or should be) as you pay the rental deposit and build up an “in-case-of-emergency” savings fund. Here are our top tips for making the most of your bedroom space without breaking the bank!

Bedframe/Headboard/Footboard: SAVE

striped pillow on modern bed setting and the blue wall

This is an easy one to save on, as it’s currently pretty trendy to sleep with your box springs and mattress flat on the ground! If you want a little more than that, check your local thrift stores or your parents’ attics for old furniture. The frame and bed itself is generally fine to buy second-hand, as you can easily disinfect it by wiping down the surfaces. Then, it’s just like new! If you have a certain “look” in mind for your first place, check out big-box stores first (think Bed Bath & Beyond, Walmart, and IKEA) and watch for annual furniture sales at other stores. We have found recently some great options from $90 to $300. If you’re planning on moving, make sure to consider how easy the pieces will be to move as well!

Mattress: SPLURGE

Women buying new furniture

This is one you don’t want to buy second-hand. Instead, do your research,  watch for sales at local mattress stores, and don’t be afraid to walk in the door and negotiate pricing for a mattress you love. Keep your budget in mind and try not to get lured in by fancy brand-names. Instead, try out only mattresses within your budget and focus on getting one that has the firmness you prefer. With annual and holiday sales, mattresses cost less than you think. Also check out sites like Groupon and for sales with free shipping!

Bedding: SAVE


Personally, I love new bedding. So for me, that means trying to stay under $50 for new comforters & pillow shams so I can replace them in the next year or two. Watch for sales at big box stores like Bed Bath & Beyond, Walmart, Target, and IKEA and snap up bedding you love when you see it for a reasonable price. Sheets and pillowcases deserve a little more attention (and money) to make sure they’re comfortable. If you’re a picky sleeper, splurge on your sheets while saving extra on bedding.

Decor: SAVE

White flowers and books on a bedside table

Decor can go a long way to make your apartment fee like home. However, they don’t need to break the bank! Find vases at Goodwill and fill them up with water and greenery, collect picture frames and add photos that make you happy, and limit clutter. Find throw pillows and blankets on sale to spice up your space and add extra color, but make sure that you don’t spend much on items you’ll never actually use (i.e. straight-up decor).

Dressers & Nightstands: SAVE

Retro wooden chest of drawers that is partially open

Some of the best places to find deals on furniture are online garage sale pages on Facebook or Craigslist and thrift stores. Instead of paying full price, find a few coordinating pieces online and pickup or arrange drop-off to your new place. The best thing about getting furniture at a steep discount (like you always will second-hand) is that you can paint or refinish it without much risk. Since you didn’t spend much, you can have confidence that however you re-make it will be an improvement (and if it doesn’t turn out well, you can always paint it over once more). Again, think about moving these items to your next place before committing to huge pieces and find ones that coordinate well together!

See? Your bedroom does not need to break the bank! Shop smart on these items and you can put together a space you love at a reasonable price.

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Author My First Apartment

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Sarah is a dog lover and advocate for conversation & laughing at your own jokes. Since finishing her college career in communications, she began working (and living) in Atlanta. After living in a few different apartments over the last few years, she's ready to share experiences. Stay tuned for adventures, tips and advice!

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