Furnishing on a (very) low budget

Last week I said I would write a post about furnishing a flat on a budget and I though I would put that out for you now!

When Greg and I got this flat in July, most of our savings was used on the deposit and we had little left over for furnishing.
We got the place unfurnished and therefore needed basic furniture such as a sofa and a bed in order to move in.DSCF1074

We still have a lot of furniture to buy to make it a cozy home, but by now we have the basics in place that we need to live here.

Here is my tips for you if you are furnishing your flat on a low budget.

Some of the stuff we got we bought new, and some stuff we got used.

The bed:

With our bed we decided that we would prefer a new bed over a used one. This was mostly because we did not want to risk getting bedbugs, especially where we sleep. Also I felt that I would be more comfortable with a bed I know no one has used before, after all it is where we sleep every night and I wanted to know that I would feel comfortable.
Most beds that you can buy at department stores end up getting quite expensive, especially with delivery. We searched for online stores and found our bed at Sofaworld for £120. For that we got a new double bed delivered to our house the same day we ordered it. It is a comfortable bed with two drawers in it, and although it is not a luxury bed at all it is a bed we can sleep well in.
DSCF1059Our bed was only furniture we got (except for the TV) that we spent more that £100 on, but for a bed £100 is really not very much especially considering it is new.

Buying Second Hand:

If you are looking for second hand furniture, there is a lot to find online. We found Gumtree to be a very good page to get second hand stuff and we got both our sofa and our closet from there. In addition to Gumtree, there are plenty of facebook pages where people sell their furniture. There might even be a group for the area you live in, so I would recommend searching for not only your city, but also your area.

We got our sofa from Gumtree for £35 with free delivery, and we bought a canvas wardrobe for £5 also on Gumtree.DSCF1225DSCF1226DSCF1062

Both the sofa and the wardrobe we will probably look to replace when we can, but it was a great solution to get the basics so we could live here and it works perfectly for now.

Two things to keep in mind:

1. Staying safe whilst paying for your purchase
One important thing though to keep in mind when buying through Gumtree or any online page where people can post privately is to make sure you pay when you receive the purchase, as you cannot be sure who you are buying from over the internet. Some of the ads can be a scam, even if they look legit.

2. Can you pick it up?
Another thing to consider when using these pages is if you have a vehicle to pick the furniture up. We saw so many amazing deals that we could not get, simply because we dont have a car. Neither Greg or I have a car and as we live in London were everyone uses public transport we have no one that can help us pick the furniture up. Some things are small enough that it can be brought on the tube or fit in an uber, but for larger furniture this can create a problem.
Our solution to this was to look for ads that said free delivery, or that delivers for a small extra price.

Buying from Department Stores:

I have got two places that I have gone to for cheap new furniture and that is IKEA and Poundstretcher.

Ikea is such a great store with heaps of affordable and good furniture. Not to mention it is a very fun store to go shopping in with its showroom displays and their restaurant that serves delicious foods!

From IKEA I got our little coffee table for £5, which was way cheaper than anything I could find online.DSCF1216
The table is tiny, and after a while we will probably want a better one, but for £5 it is a great deal!

We also got our dining table and chairs from IKEA. We was originally not supposed to get a dining table for a while, because we felt it was not a necessity as we could eat on the sofa and dining tables are quite expensive. However I really dislike having all our meals on the sofa and I got a bit creative so we could have a table to eat at.
At IKEA I found a white desk for £15 and folding chairs for £5 each so I bought that to use as a dining table. And when putting a tablecloth over it, it does not look half bad!DSCF1154DSCF1048
And for the time being it operates as a desk when it is not being used for a dining table.

IKEA is also great for buying what you need for the kitchen, they have super cheap quality dining wear and kitchen utensils!

Poundstretcher is another great store that have great furniture for very little.

As we do not have to much space to put our stuff yet I went out and got some cheap plastic drawers and containers from there!

I got some plastic drawers, a clothes rack and some extra boxes. I got the plastic drawers for £12, the rack for £7 and I got a hanging mirror for £6! Bargain! DSCF1068DSCF1060DSCF1005

Of course over time we want some proper furniture and not having to resort to plastic drawers and canvas wardrobes, but this really is a great way to buy furniture if you find yourself in a need to get a place furnished to live in, but dont have the money to get it all done in one go!

We still have heaps to do here, it still has a bit of an empty feel to it, as you can see in the pictures, but it will come with time. For now we can relax with what we have, and slowly fill in what is missing, knowing we have the essentials in place.

I hope this post gave some inspiration of how to get furniture way under budget, and even if you do not have a whole place to fill from scratch with minimum of spending money, there are little tricks you can do to get your basics without paying too much.

Now I am of to work, before going to meet my mum at the station later!
Wishing you all a very good day!

– Camilla

 

 

 

 

July – hopes and goals

July is here!

I cant believe we are in the 7th month of the year already!

After having reflected on June last night, I am now thinking forward to July.
On my walk to work this morning I started planning the coming month. I think that thinking back to what went right and what went wrong last month, I got in a space where I want to keep improving month by month.

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This is a big month for myself and Greg too. I have to sort out everything for the next year of uni, I have a lot of training to pass for work and most importantly, Greg and I have to find our apartment this month, sooner rather than later as we must have moved in somewhere by the 5th of August. So pressure is ON!
That of course also means that we both have to save most of our income, as getting a place becomes very expensive with rent in advance, agency fees and deposits.

Here are my 5 goals and hopes for July:

Finding an apartment:
This is the number one priority. Most of what I do this month will be in order to work towards getting a place, we are in a bit of a time crunch, BUT we will do it! And of course keep you updated on our way there!

Saving money and reducing spending.. ..Like a lot!
As I said above, finding a place is expensive and this month we will need to pay rent where we live, pay rent where we will be going and put down a deposit. So a lot of budget dinners, less Costa coffees and I will be trying to use less public transport and walk where I can. On the positive side, you might have fun watching me trying to live of more or less nothing.. Good budget tips coming up this month!

Eating healthy and cutting down on sugar:
I terrible when it comes to watching what I eat and I defiantly eat far too much sugar. This last month when I watched it more and was living on better food I could absolutely tell how much better I felt. Last night after writing about how good I have been on watching the sugar and what food and drinks I have, I broke my diet and had so much chocolate and sweets (and right after I said I have been so good arg) and I started feeling really sick and tired. That in it self should be enough motivation to keep me on the good path this month. If not that, the fact that I am saving and probably cannot afford to buy too much sugar and fast food should do the trick. There is an upside to everything right?

Staying active:
I have a goal in my head that I will run everyday and walk and run both ways to work on days that I am working. I dont know yet if it is doable, especially since each way to work is a two hour walk and we do 12 hour shifts where we are basically on our feet constantly, but I will try and see. If that is not doable, I will want to t least run 4 days a week and walk at least one way to work. And again, it saves money too right?

Avoid complaining and do what I can for others:
Lately I become such a negative Nelly and I complain to Greg about all my worries and always tell him whatever negative has happened to me that day. And on so many days I focus on the negative. I dont want to be like that! I used to be very positive but lately I have not really been. So I will focus on what is good instead. And both at work and in any encounter I have with people in my personal life, I will do my best to be a positive contribution and not bother to go out of my way to help people. We should all do that, but sometimes I get so caught up in my own things that I forget all the stuff I could do for others, even without too much effort sometimes. We are nothing without each other so we really must treat each other as best as we can.

Now my break at work is nearly over and I better get back.

I would love to hear some of your goals for July, I do need the inspiration.

Have a great day!

– Camilla

 

The day is finally here!

Good evening! I have just come home with Greg after picking him up at Heathrow airport. I cannot believe that he is finally here!

The funny thing it that it is exactly one year ago, I stood in that same terminal, getting ready to board my flight to Uganda, and had no idea that I would meet him there as another volunteer and fall in love.

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We met when we were both volunteering in Uganda, where we worked at the same project, in a small village. I mostly worked in the orphanage and the health clinic connected to the project, and Greg did teaching and construction. Since then Greg has stayed with me in Norway and I have stayed with him in New Zealand.

Waiting for him in the arrivals gate at Heathrow today felt so special. So much has happened in a year and my life is very different now from what it was a year ago.

Life can be full of surprises, and now the new year can  begin.

Have a good night,

– Camilla

A New Year, a new beginning

Happy new year from London! And welcome to my blog! Although today is the second of January and not the first, I am saying happy new year today as my 2016 starts today! Firstly because after a great New Year’s Eve party with work, yesterday I was not exactly feeling ready to embrace the new year. But mostly because tonight I pick up my boyfriend Greg from Heathrow airport and we are starting our new life together. Greg is from New Zealand, and after being together for one year doing long distance and visiting each other, we are finally going to be living together and having a life together.

I will be blogging about our journey together from here, finding a home and getting settled.

As it is the start of a new year, I have of course made a list of New Year’s resolutions and this year I will work my best to follow them, and keep you in the loop as I do!new year resolution

Some might be more within reach than others, but it is a new year and a new fresh start and anything can happen!

I hope you will enjoy following my journey as I stive to become a better version of my self!

What are your resolutions?

– Camilla