Moving into your first flat is a mixture of being excited and feeling a little daunted. The
excitement comes as you go through the process of looking for a place that suits you and doing
all the preparation for moving in. The daunting bit is when you know that you’re going to have to
furnish your flat and you may well be worried about how much that is going to cost.
It’s quite reasonable to wonder about the expense you could incur, especially given that you
have to take into account all the other bills you need to pay. There is your rent or mortgage,
utilities, council tax (though if you are a student you don’t have to pay that), TV licence et al.
You’ll have factored in those expenses to your budget, so now it’s time to take the plunge and
look for ways to furnish your new flat as cheaply as possible.
Researching your options
Buying furniture cheaply doesn’t mean it’s poor quality. There are many places you can go to
find very reasonably priced items and you should always look for quality because you’ll want
things to last for as long as possible.
To save time (and money if you have to travel around) it’s worth doing your research online. For
example, if you type in “buy sofa uk” you’ll see plenty of likely sites. Many of these have special
offers at various times of the year or a sale when they are discontinuing a particular line.
Another good way of saving money is to look at second-hand furniture shops – many of these
are operated by charities so as well as getting some perfectly serviceable furniture you are
making a contribution to a good cause.
You can also cut your costs by starting with essentials and then building on those in the months
to come, so here are some suggestions.
Bed and mattress
If you don’t get a good night’s sleep then you’re unlikely to function at optimum level for work,
especially if it builds up over a few nights. Therefore, it’s worth getting a decent bed and, in
particular, a good mattress. You’ll cut your mattress cost if you have a single bed but if you
prefer a double it won’t be a lot more expensive. Look for quality in your mattress and it will last
for a good number of years. Reduce your costs by getting a bed frame from a second-hand
Very few people actively enjoy sitting on the floor so this is where a sofa comes in. Look for
comfort when you are trying them out in a shop and again keep an eye out for special deals –
shops often want to get rid of older stock to make way for new models. If your budget is tight
look for a used one on a private sale site or through small ads in local newspapers.
You probably don’t want the world to be peeking through your windows so you should organise
coverings as a priority. It’s easy to find cheap, readymade curtains, but another effective way of
smart and modern and give you very good control over the amount of light you let in or block
out. They also provide additional insulation and this could help keep your fuel bills down in the
A few pots and pans are essential if you want to eat healthily and not live on takeaways. You
could work on persuading your parents to buy some good quality kitchenware, but if that fails
there are plenty or cheap options available, though they may not last as long. You can buy
simple dishes inexpensively, and here again you could find perfectly serviceable second-hand
options. Add in knives, forks, spoons and a few cooking implements and you’re ready to go.
One will do to start with. It means you don’t always have to eat off a tray on your knees and you
can use it as a desk as well if you work from home. A couple of cheap dining chairs and a
comfortable chair for doing computer work are all you need to add at this stage.
Furnish for your comfort
You don’t have to spend a fortune on furnishing your flat and with careful research you will have
a place that is comfortable and welcoming at low cost. You can then plan what else you want in