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If you've purchased a new home, chances are most of your savings went toward the down payment and any surprises that crept up after closing day. So how are you supposed to be able to afford household appliances and furniture? Don't worry. With the ideas below, you won't have to look at empty rooms or suffer through bad takeout for very long.

Take Advantage of Starter Household Appliances and Furniture

First off, take advantage of any starter household appliances and furniture offers in front of you. It may not sound glamorous to take your mother up on her offer of your childhood bed for your guest room, or that rundown dining room table your cousins have dented over the years. But accepting this free, starter furniture can help you buy time to save money to spend on your own household appliances and furniture. Ask yourself, is it better to have an old refrigerator or have no refrigerator at all?

Consider the Pros and Cons of New vs. Used Items

Now that you've taken advantage of all the free starter pieces you can, move onto pieces that you need to purchase. You could purchase new, or you could purchase used items. Here are the pros and cons of both options:

  • The pro of purchasing new items is that you're getting appliances and furniture never before used, so they likely will have a longer shelf life. However, by purchasing new items now, you might have to make compromises you'll have to live with for years because you haven't had time to save up a decent chunk of money to get the pieces you really want.
  • The pro to purchasing used appliances and furniture is the same as when you purchase a used car — someone else paid the high, off-the-display price, yet you still get to enjoy the piece while it still has life left in it. The cons are that your options are often fewer, and someone else has already probably left a few scratches or dents.

Purchasing used appliances essentially buys you time to get the actual household items you'd like down the road after your savings have recovered from purchasing your home.

Use an Interest-Free Loan Strategy, With Caution

While taking out another loan might sound unappealing after the massive mortgage you just secured, there's a way to do so that will not cost you extra than if you had paid cash. It's by taking out an interest-free loan advertised by many furniture stores. The only trick is, you need to pay the loan off entirely by the date when interest starts to kick in. This is because not only does interest kick in on that date, but it retroactively gets tacked onto your loan (so you'll be paying the interest from the entire length of the loan). So make sure you can pay the entire amount by the interest-free end date. Otherwise, skip this option.

Buying used appliances and pieces of furniture, and accepting free starter pieces makes sense when you just purchased your first home. You're in an era of information, so take the time to breathe new life into these pieces with a little DIY effort. Search Pinterest or Google for how to reupholster a chair, add support back into a sagging couch, call a household appliance repairman or refinish that dining room table. There are a multitude of ways you can take free starter pieces and style them to make them your own.

This information and recommendations contained herein is compiled from sources deemed reliable, but is not represented to be accurate or complete. In providing this information, neither KeyBank nor its affiliates are acting as your agent or is offering any tax, accounting, or legal advice.

By selecting any external link on, you will leave the KeyBank website and jump to an unaffiliated third party website that may offer a different privacy policy and level of security. The third party is responsible for website content and system availability. KeyBank does not offer, endorse, recommend, or guarantee any product or service available on that entity's website.

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