Let’s face it, budgeting is no easy feat, especially when it comes to decking out your home with new furniture. However, the age-old notion is clear, if you wish to understand how you spend your money, achieve your saving ambitions while also elevating your finances, budgeting is the viable solution. In just a few minutes of reading, learn about the art of budgeting and how you apply it when you make use of furniture specials.
What does budgeting have to do with furniture specials?
Before we get into the basics of how budget is influenced by specials when decorating or furnishing your home, it is necessary to understand the fundamentals of budgeting. The practice of budgeting involves three primary activities: setting a household limit of monthly expenditure, adjusting it periodically if necessary, and then following it to the best of your ability. Research has shown that by sitting down and taking stock of your household finances at regular intervals, your understanding of costs and saving is greatly reinforced.
In doing so, you are becoming more financially savvy and as a result equipped to make better financial decisions. When you consider purchasing products featured in sales and specials, you are making important progress in paying mind to your budget as well as filling your home with the necessities. Many hold off on moving and redecorating out of fear of the high expenditure. Others may go ahead with the move and choose to survive with camping chairs and a blow up mattress until they have saved enough for more expensive and higher end brand-name products.
The ABCs of furniture specials
Furniture specials come in many shapes, forms and products, namely those that you would place in your home or workspace. It is rare to visit a furniture store, online or in person, that is not at that moment running some sort of a sale or special. When you become an adept budgeter, furniture specials will soon become your close allies.
Furniture stores, especially those with an online presence, are fiercely competitive in terms of pricing. Stores are constantly searching for ways to bring new customers into their circles, and build lasting relationships with existing ones. To do so, they need to do something that gives them an edge over their competition. This is where furniture specials come in, and where you, the wise budgeter, can benefit.
Online vs in-store furniture specials shopping
We find ourselves living in an ever-changing and unfamiliar world, where the limits of technology broaden almost every day. At time it is difficult to keep up. The shopping world of e-commerce is no different. Today, we can shop for furniture specials in the comfort of our own homes, with only a stable internet connection and a cup of tea needed to keep us company as we do so.
Many choose to take advantage of this advantageous situation, preferring to buy furniture online as opposed to stepping foot in store. Others prefer a more traditional approach. But as the budgeter, which is more friendly to your situation? While there is no set answer, shopping online is arguably the good candidate.
One could argue that online furniture stores are capable of hosting more specials than those that are instore. One reason for this is the payment system used when customers purchase online with a click of a button as opposed to standing in line to pay with cash or a card at the till. Shop owners need not fuss about printing out SALE banners and adjusting their price tags.
As a result, specials tend to roll out at a faster, and more frequent rate online, often through the use of time-sensitive flash sales that can often see you receiving a beautiful piece at a ridiculously low price. That is, if you catch them in time. When you decide to shop in-store, the following situations may occur:
- You are caught up in a crowd of frustrated shoppers
- The piece of furniture you took a fancy to from the catalogue is sold out in the colour you desired
- An enthusiastic salesperson leads you into making a budget-compromising decision
- You fall victim to impulse buying, and as a result, buyer’s remorse
- These situations are not guaranteed, and more often than not you will enjoy an exciting in-store furniture shopping experience. Shopping online, however, does not typically run these risks.
Common furniture specials to look out for
Most specials arguably take place within the lounge and bedroom categories. If you are looking to furnish these areas in your home, you are in luck. As some of the most sought after pieces of furniture, couches, beds, bedside tables and wardrobes are frequently featured in worthwhile deals.
Furniture stores know that every person requires the above in their own capacity, and the demand is therefore high. Stores consequently do their best to make their own products stand out amidst the sea of their competition.
A time and a place for budget-friendly furniture specials
Humans are creatures of habit and occasion, and everyone loves a good holiday. Sales executives know this well – so well, in fact, that they know to roll out noteworthy specials during specific times of the year, when we are most likely to make larger purchases and look to the savings set aside in our yearly budgets for answers. As a budget-conscious buyer, you need to know when to look out for these specials, so you can optimise your spending to its highest potential while at the same time scoring yourself some gorgeous and much needed furniture.
- Black Friday: perhaps the biggest sale event of the year, Black Friday rolls around yearly to be greeted by frantic buyers who stay up to all hours of the night, credit cards in hand and computers at the ready to ensure they get the best pieces while stocks last. There is no need to panic, however, as most furniture stores will have ensured their stock is up to scratch in anticipation for the event. Black Friday is arguably the budgeter’s best friend, so long as they have budgeted for it. Many can be caught off guard with the promise of saving big bucks, only to find that they have joined the countless of other shoppers who were roped into buying things that they did not need in the first place. It is advisable to keep your wits about you, and shop online rather than joining the throngs in a long queue in-store during the occasion.
- The festive season: December and January mark the religious holidays of Hanukkah and Christmas, to name only a few. Customers are encouraged by feelings of excitement as well as end of year bonuses, and the promise of some time off work, to treat themselves and kit out their home. After all, they will be spending more time in it than any other time during the year. Furniture stores know this, which is why they do not shy away from implementing specials during this period. You can use this to your advantage, especially if your budget has been enhanced by a recent bonus from work, or some generosity from your loved ones. Furniture specials often take the form of beds, couches and kitchen necessities during this time, much to the gratitude of those expecting visits from family and friends over the festive season.
Why do people battle to budget?
Psychologists have identified the negative connotations of with word ‘budget’ as one of the main reasons people struggle to sit down and actively begin the practice. The concept has been likened to feelings of deprivation, suffering and longing. People, in general, do not enjoy limitation, and setting a monetary limit for oneself is no different.
However, there is another way of looking at it. Instead of limiting yourself and making your allowance seem scarce, you are planning your spending in a way that best optimises your funds and sets you up for financial success in the long run. Try to think of it as a spending schedule or plan, rather than a break pad on your enjoyment.
A spending plan assists you to place a focusing lens on your goals, and can serve as a powerful motivator as you go about your day-to-day life. You will be able to identify purchases that do, or do not matter as you become more accustomed to budgeting. It’s also helpful to remember that budgeting is actually about spending money on the things that are most important to you.
With power comes responsibility
One of the most important tactics to keep at the forefront of your mind when you budget is to always assume that you will overspend. Most people can admit to underestimate their spending. More often than not, life is happy to throw curveballs our way. Whether they be forgotten birthdays, popped car tires, a higher-than-usual water bill or a pet falling ill, there is no fixed guarantee of how much money we will need to spend each month.
For this reason, budget savvy spenders should always err on the side of caution when planning their expenditures, meaning that there should always be a specific amount allocated (not to be mistaken for savings) in the case of exhausting the planned budged. If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to avoid spending that extra cash, and add it to your savings for the big things to come.
The question of quality
The perpetuated belief that buying more expensive furniture is worth breaking a budget in the long run is soon becoming a thing of the past. Furniture shoppers are coming to terms with the fact that more affordable furniture is reliable and of a satisfactory quality, and it does not break the bank like its brand-named counterparts. Furthermore, it is usually the more affordable furniture that is included in specials.
Sometimes, all your home needs is an affordable, sturdy yet stylish piece of furniture, featured in furniture specials and at no risk of ruining your spending plan. If, however, you are concerned about the quality of the piece of furniture you have in mind, there are a few ways to ease your worries:
- Make use of the customer care line
- Look out for customer reviews concerning similar furniture specials
- Read the product descriptions in great detail
- Do additional research about materials, woods and style
- Check out store return policies and warrantees in the case of dissatisfaction
- Ensure that you are familiar with delivery options and policies
While budgeting may seem simple from afar, this is certainly not the case. Oftentimes, we need a piece of furniture at a moment’s notice, and this unexpected requirement may not fit in with our budget. Furniture specials do not always fit into the budget plan.
However, you may find a helping hand in the form of payment plans. One need not always buy a piece of furniture outright, as many furniture stores cater to customers who wish to pay smaller, monthly instalments.