How To Get Your Dream Apartment on a Ramen Noodle Budget

Is it possible to decorate a dream apartment when you have a minimal budget? Follow these five tips and see how far YOU can stretch your money.

1. Beg, Borrow & Steal

Okay, so maybe not steal. Not every piece of furniture in your home has to be brand new. Ask family and friends if they have any things they are trying to get rid of. Thorough cleaning or a fresh coat of paint can do wonders to a dresser or chair that has spent years in someone’s basement or attic. You can also get great deals on furniture at garage sales, resale shops and online. Buy used only easily sanitized items like tables, stands and chairs, not linens, sofas and mattresses. Always imagine that you are buying from someone who has a dozen cats with bladder problems.

2. Skip Expensive Wall Art

You can find amazing pieces of wall art online, but you aren’t looking for a new Picasso. Instead, find your favorite sayings and images and have them printed at a copy center. Get some frames at the dollar store and maybe a can of spray paint. You can instantly achieve that collage wall style for cheap.

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 3. Get Crafty!

DIY is all the rage and adds a personal touch to your apartment. You can make five throw pillows for the price of one without a sewing machine. Turn those wine bottles into cute vases. There is paint for EVERY surface, and it can change its entire look.

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4. Go For Multipurpose

There are many ways to cheat the system and get yourself more space than you have. If you want a second bedroom, but can’t afford it, splurge on a pull-out couch or futon instead. Ottomans double as great storage for your movies, games or extra linens. Cube Storage organizers can create a pseudo-wall in your studio apartment. There are many ways to achieve all your goals by combining your items.

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5. Know When To Splurge

At the end of the day, think about what matters most to your lifestyle. Buying a cheap mattress will only make your life a nightmare. If you eat take-out 4 days a week, maybe a nice kitchen is something you can compromise on. Figure out where to cut corners by ranking your wants, then treat yourself with the top 1 or 2 items that fit your budget. The rest can wait until your budget is on firmer footing.

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Author My First Apartment

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Marisa Rinchiuso is a Design+Production major at Carnegie Mellon with a passion for DIY, budgeting and event management. She's always on the search for a great deal and new projects. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, crafts and travel.

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Comments (2)

  1. Avatar Michelle

    Wow, I never thought of reusing wine bottles to decorate! I’m excited to try this out! Especially printing out my favourite quotes/sayings and framing them throughout my house! Very insightful read!