Getting into your own home is such an achievement. But for many people, it means using all (or most) of your hard-earned savings. So there’s not much left in the cookie jar when it comes to being able to furnish your new home, just as you want it. But don’t let that curb your enthusiasm! Here are some handy hints when it comes to furnishing your home, on a budget.

1. Prioritise
Perhaps the most important tip of all, and also the hardest to follow. Avoid being in a situation where you buy a Thermomix, but no cutlery to eat your meals with. Or a big television, and have to sit on the floor to watch it. Write a list of all the things you want and need, and then rank them based on what’s most important (think function over fabulous). And make sure you spend the big money where it counts – buying a good fridge that is energy efficient and won’t break down in a year is pretty important. But the extravagant piece of art that will make your friends jealous, less so.

2. Gumtree is Good
If you haven’t heard of Gumtree, please stop reading immediately and visit your friend Google. It’s a community based, online platform of classified ads. And it’s the best thing ever. You’ll find great pre-loved furniture on Gumtree, without the big price tag. Best of all? It comes pre-assembled.

3. Decorate
If you’re taking the above advice and utilising Gumtree to find second-hand goods, there is a risk your home will be an eclectic mix of styles and finishes. But some good decorating can bring all of your items together, and make it look like it was all part of the plan. Use design inspo blogs like Pinterest and Instagram to lead the way. Small touches like flowers, framed prints, cushions and books, can make your house feel more furnished than it actually is.

4. Treat yourself
If you do have some money put aside, and you’ve got (most) of the functional essentials, allow yourself to get that one thing you don’t particularly need, but don’t want to live without. If a green velvet couch is going to make you smile every day, it may be worth the extra money.

5. Be patient
Don’t think you need everything to be just how you want it, all at once. You’ve bought a house! It may not be your forever home, but it’s not going anywhere for a while. Take your time, and furnish as you go. The benefit of this approach is that you will understand the way your house functions, so you will have a better idea of what furniture you need and where.