When you rent an apartment, rather than buying a place, it can save you a lot of money. However, if that apartment isn't furnished — as few apartments are — you'll soon find yourself with a list of extra things that you have to buy in order to turn your new place into a proper home.
Buying everything at once can be overwhelming (not to mention a strain on your bank account), but you can get away with skimping on certain things. However, you should spend the money on other items so you don't have pay to replace them a few months later.
So which things can you save on, and for which apartment items should you spend a little extra? Let’s break it down.
You might not think you need curtains, but as soon as the sun shines through your blinds bright and early on a Sunday morning, you'll wish you had made the effort to hang some window treatments. However, that doesn't necessarily mean you have to spend a fortune on them. A cheaper option is to buy some fabric and sew the curtains yourself. You might not consider yourself a whiz with the sewing machine, but curtains aren't a difficult task to undertake. Or, check out places like Ikea for good curtains at discount prices.
For kitchen appliances, there are a lot of different things to consider. If you live with roommates, you might want to think twice about getting any expensive appliances or cookware that might get destroyed. However, if you live alone, you only have yourself to worry about. Generally, you should spend a little more on appliances, but save on dishes and utensils. You'll go through a lot of forks and spoons in your lifetime, and dishes often become casualties of the moving process.
Verdict: Spend (on appliances) and Save (on dishes)
How important is TV to you? You'll have to decide on your own if you want to pay for it. But with the affordable availability of Netflix, Hulu Plus and Amazon Prime, you can watch just about any show that you like on demand. If you are a sports fan, you can also sign up for a lot of online streaming services for your favorite sport.
Unless you live in a furnished place, most apartments don’t come with furniture, so you're going to need a bed. You might be tempted to make do with just a mattress or an air bed, but your body will thank you in the long run if you shell out for an actual bed with a frame, box springs and supportive mattress. After all, you spend a third of your time there!
It's important to keep your apartment clean. But when it comes to cleaning products, should you spend more for the name brands, or will the discount products work just as well? The answer is easy: The discount brands will work just as well, and if it gets the job done, why spend the extra cash? You could also make your own cleaners to save money and make your lifestyle a little greener.
Your turn: Where should you splurge and where should you save?