If you are just starting out, it can be expensive to furnish your first apartment. When I moved to graduate school and lived on my own for the first time, I spent about $500 furnishing my apartment, and that included having many pieces my mom was generous enough to give me from her home.
If you are a recent college grad just starting out, don’t waste your money on new furniture. Instead, consider furnishing your apartment with items you can buy on Craigslist.
Craigslist has gotten a bad name in recent years, but in between all of the bogus “make money” ads, the free car insurance quotes online ads, and the affiliate marketers who push their survey sites, there are real ads, by real people. And I’ve gotten some great deals over the years…
My husband and I had a portable dishwasher that we sold when we moved into an apartment with a built-in dishwasher. We bought the dishwasher for $400 three years ago, and we sold it to a middle-aged couple for $150. The couple we sold it to bought their last portable dishwasher in the late 1980s, and it had just stopped working after nearly 23 years of use. The husband told me that they make it a policy to try to buy all of their household furniture and appliances on Craigslist.
Benefits of Furnishing Your Place Using Craigslist
-Just like new car owners take a hit to depreciation when they drive the car off the lot, so too is it with appliances and other household furniture. We had our dishwasher for 3 years, and basically paid $250 for the privilege of using it; the couple who bought it paid just $150, and they will have it until it dies. Their out of pocket cost is much lower than ours because they let us take the depreciation hit.
-The Craigslist market is so large, you will be able to find what you need if you are patient. When we were looking for a few household items on Craigslist, I saw people selling their furniture in sets at rock bottom prices because they just wanted to be rid of it because they were moving. If you are patient and willing to perhaps wait a few weeks, you should be able to find the style and quality of furniture you would like to buy.
-Have a nicely furnished home for a fraction of the cost to buy new. Good couches can be expensive. Even if you find a deal, you are looking at $600, though they can run upwards of $1,200. If instead you buy a couch off Craigslist for $200, you have saved yourself $400 to $1,000. Let’s be honest—many people starting out buy their new furniture on credit. Not only have you saved yourself a great deal of money by buying on Craigslist, but you have saved yourself months, perhaps years, of interest on your credit card by not spending more than you can afford.
Craigslist is such a large marketplace now that it is possible to furnish your entire apartment with items you find on Craigslist. If you are just starting out, don’t go into debt to buy furniture. Instead take advantage of a great market that offers quality furniture at a steep discount.
Have you bought furniture off Craigslist? What was your experience?