SAVING MONEY: Be Practical

Welcome to week 3 of my saving money decorating series! Week 1 discussed the importance of having a plan for a room, week 2 was all about shopping, and this week I take shopping one step further and discuss the importance of being more detailed in shopping. This means no impulse buys. Instead, being be more practical in purchases. It seems pretty easy and straight forward, yet not everyone is truly practical in their purchases. The problem is that if we aren't practical in our purchases, we end up getting buyer's regret because the piece doesn't work in our home. And when that happens we end up having to replace the item which in the end costs us more money. So being practical saves you money.

I am going to show you 2 examples of items most people need to purchase for their home. These examples will show you the thought and research that should go into making a good, practical purchase. Here we go!

1st Example:
You need to buy stools for your kitchen. Think beyond the overall look of the stools and think about the small details:

*Do you need them to have backrests?
(backrests are often great for younger kids and adults who spend a lot of time at the counter)

*Would you prefer them to swivel?
(Swivel is often hard for younger kids to use, but perfect for older kids and adults)

*Do you want them upholstered?
(If they are going to be used for meals a lot then upholstered might not be the best solution for cleaning purposes)

*Do you need the height to be adjustable?
(Either make sure they are the exact height you need or get them adjustable so you can change them according to your needs)

*What kind of seat is most comfortable to you?
(Some people prefer the wider rectangular seats or upholstered seats compared to small circle seats if they are going to be used for longer periods of time)

The idea is to figure out what kind of stool will be the most practical for your home. Find the best stool once for your home and there will be no need to buy different ones down the road to replace them.

Take a look into this gorgeous kitchen:

This is a beautiful kitchen and the stools fit the room perfectly, however, let's pretend you are using this photo for inspiration for your own kitchen and realize these stools aren't practical for your kitchen. Don't be discouraged by thinking you have to find identical stools to achieve the overall look of the kitchen, instead look for stools in the same color, same shape and/or idea. Remember that you can get the look you want and still be practical. Maybe one of these stools below would work better and still achieve the same look and feel in the room:
[Sources: Wayfair, Wayfair]

2nd Example:
Let's look at the details when buying a new media console:

*How tall do you need it?
(If you have younger kids you probably would want it higher so kids can't touch anything on top)

*How long do you need it?
(Make sure it is considerably longer than your TV)

*How much storage do you need?
(Always plan for a little more storage room than you think)

*Do you want any media boxes exposed or do you want covered storage?
(Covered storage looks cleaner and isn't in sight of kids but some boxes need to be exposed and accessible)

*Do you want to conceal your cords behind?
(If you don't want them to show, don't buy a unit that has open shelving or a really high opening underneath around the socket)

Take a look into this gorgeous TV area:

This is a beautiful room but obviously it isn't practical for everyone. Let's pretend you are using this photo for design inspiration for your living room, but you dislike the height of the TV, dislike the open storage, and dislike the small amount of storage space under the TV. Even though you dislike many things about this photo, determine what you do love about the room and make it more practical for your home. Maybe these media consoles below ones would work better and still achieve the same look and feel of the room:

"Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be USEFUL, or believe to be beautiful." [author unknown] Of course when you shop for your home you will buy something you think is going to be beautiful, but it also needs to be useful and PRACTICAL.

I love the look and feel of upholstered chairs in the dining room but once I had them I realized they aren't the best fit for my home. With 3 kids, I am constantly cleaning the fabric from spills. I'm hoping down the road when my kids grow up they will work, but for now I needed something more practical, so I opted for a wood bench at my kitchen table to cram the kids on and avoid stained fabric on chairs. Lesson learned on practical furniture! I could have saved the money I spent on recovering fabric on chairs all the time if I knew they weren't going to originally work in my home.

So remember: make sure you are buying something you know will work in your home. Don't regret your purchases because you have to live with it and learn the hard way. Save money and do it right the first time.

Stay tuned for Week 4 of this saving money series all about learning how to save money when following trends!

Don't forget to read Week 1 HERE:

Don't forget to read Week 2 HERE: