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By Hannah Waters

When you purchase your first home (or rent your first apartment), one of the hardest things to do is filling up all that empty space. Making your new place feel like your home can be difficult at first. Luckily, when you look at the daunting task ahead of you, you don’t always have to be worried about how much it is going to cost!

1. Go to Ikea
Ikea is one of the best locations to find great looking furniture and other accessories for your household at affordable prices. They have a variety of styles and colors to suit your taste. The catch? Most of the furniture needs to be assembled. The benefit is, hopefully, the boxes will fit in your car. The drawback is it can sometimes be time consuming to put everything together.

2. Fix Up Old Pieces

You may have furniture that no longer seems appealing to you, but if you add a new coat of paint to that end table, it can take on a completely different feel. Don’t throw away the old just because you don’t think it looks great anymore. Changing it a little bit, rather than buying a new piece, can save you a great deal.

3. Ask Friends and Family
Sometimes people have old furniture in their basement or garage they've completely forgotten about. They probably didn’t get rid of it because they figured someone else might need it later on. Used furniture from people you know is one of the greatest things; you can often get it for free or really, really cheap! And make sure to ask others who might be refurnishing their house. If they're getting rid of the old, you might have the perfect place for it in your own home.

4. Visit Your Local Salvation Army
Salvation Army locations have some really great furniture for affordable prices. The furniture has to be in good condition to get there, so it's worth taking a look. Obviously, every location has different items, but I have a friend who furnished her whole bedroom by shopping at Salvation Army and saved herself a ton of money.

5. Buy Slightly Damaged Furniture
This is a call you have to make all on your own, but often furniture stores sell items that are slightly damaged at a highly discounted price. It is your decision whether you want to purchase furniture that is already damaged, but if there is a way to fix it or hide it then it may still be a great buy.

These five suggestions are all simple ways to save money while furnishing your home. By expanding your search, you'll find pieces with character and personality and, if you're lucky, will fit perfectly in your new digs.

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