Do you remember when you bought your first house and had absolutely no furniture to put in it? Somehow you had to scrounge up some cash (or credit for some of you) to buy enough furniture to make the house look like it wasn’t empty. So how much did you spend on that furniture, artwork, the rug, and the other decorative pieces? I’m just guessing it was more than $1,400. Truly, I could have done it for much less, but I really wanted a baby grand piano. Here is what my living room looks like right now. Not too shabby for $1,400, huh?
The Story Behind Each Piece
As I look around my living room, I realize that there is a story behind each piece of furniture, mainly because I didn’t just go to the retail store and say, “I want that one, when can you deliver it?” No. I knew exactly what I wanted and where I wanted it, but I knew that I didn’t want to pay retail price for any of it. Sure, it took me a little longer to acquire each piece this way, but at only $1,400, it was well worth the wait.
Let’s start with the largest expense. I could have went to the piano store and purchased a used baby grand piano for $5,000, but I knew I could find a better deal by watching the Craigslist ads. Sure enough, after about 4 months of searching, I was able to find this beautiful baby grand for just $650. After getting it professionally moved and installed, the total cost of this piano was $900. This was by far the most expensive piece in my living room, but it really makes the room.
So, if you are wondering, I really don’t know how to play the piano, but memorize various songs for fun. Here is me playing one of them:
The couch is worth approximately $900 brand new, but I was able to find this one in great shape for only $200. The frame was somewhat busted, but with a simple 2×4, I was able to fix it up to be good as new!
I had no idea how expensive area rugs could be, but they can easily run $300 or more! Fortunately for me, I didn’t go out and buy the very first rug I found. Instead, I was able to find some remnants that were formed into area rugs for about a quarter of the price. The rug that you see in this picture only cost me $60 brand new.
The Coffee Table
I honestly have no idea what coffee tables cost, but this one looked pretty cool on Craigslist and was only $40. It sounded quite reasonable at the time, and it still does today. Ha, you may tell me if you think I got ripped off though.
I found an excellent furniture outlet and was able to purchase a 64 yard bolt of fabric for only $20. I used up about 20 yards of it for the drapes (my wonderful mom sewed them for me since I lack these skills), and then sold the remaining fabric for $20. The overall cost of these drapes? $0.00.
The chair wasn’t an awesome deal, but I haggled my way to a decent price. After I put up the curtains, I realized that the color was impossible to match. Then, one day in Big Lots, I found this chair that matched perfectly. It was listed for $129.99. The legs had a few chips in them (which I honestly could have cared less), so I was able to get them to discount the chair by 20%, which allowed me to only spend about $105. It still felt a little expensive, but this chair is a great piece.
The one photo you see on the wall was also from Big Lots. The colors were perfect and the photo only cost $15. Not too shabby of a deal. I was able to buy 4 other photos from Menards that were only $6 a piece. I have one up by the piano and the others in a nearby hallway.
In total, the cost of my living room should have been over $6,000, but by waiting for the right deal, the room only cost me $1,400!
Have you found any deals in your furniture purchases?
My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.