Monday, December 18, 2006

Weekend Spending

Here's what I spent this weekend:
Food: $29.42
Drugstore: $39.54 (a run on OTC medications to max out my FSA)
Gifts: $100.90 (2 baby showers, a holiday party, and some toys for niece and nephew)
Household: $2878.46 (furniture!)

Yes, I actually managed to bite the bullet and order some furniture for my living room. This is probably my largest-ever purchase of just "stuff," beating out the $2000 or so I spent on my laptop several years ago.
I had been agonizing over the couch decision-- the one I really loved just didn't seem like it would fit in my living room if I also bought the matching chair and ottoman. There was another couch that I liked, but I didn't love it, and I would have had to wait months for it to be ready. I was almost going to buy the couch and just look for a non-matching chair later, but I knew I'd end up agonizing over the chair even more than I had over the couch. But then I had a breakthrough-- I had long been committed to a certain layout of the furniture that I thought worked well, but I realized that if I reversed that layout, voila, suddenly everything fit with room to spare and it all made more sense anyway. So I spent about 5 more minutes trying to commit myself and then I picked up the phone and ordered! And I'll have my goodies on December 29th.
This feels like a weirdly adult thing to have done. I've never had my own couch! Part of me is a little embarrassed about how much I ended up spending. I know I could have gotten something perfectly serviceable for half the price. But I got something I really liked and wouldn't have to wait for... since I've waited a long time for it already!
Here was the other tricky decision about ordering this stuff-- I bought it from Room & Board. Room & Board offers delivery for unlimited furniture items for a flat fee, which is only $69 if you live near a store, as I do. Given that I have half the pages in the R&B catalog dog-eared, I started to think I should save myself a lot of delivery charges by also ordering a bed, dining table and chairs, some shelves, a nighttable, a new dresser, a new desk, some rugs, etc. etc! I could have easily blown another $3000 right then and there. But I didn't, for a number of reasons. One was that it seemed silly to spend all that money just to "save" $69. Another was that I haven't painted my bedrooms yet so I really don't want to fill them with furniture. And then it just seemed a little boring to have every single thing in my home come from the same store!
So I'm glad I'll soon have a living room that will comfortably seat guests, but I'll be letting the rest of the place evolve at a slower-- and hopefully cheaper-- pace.

P.S.-- furniture buying tip for those who live in small apartments: make life-size paper cutouts in the measurements of furniture you're considering. (I recycled the protective paper my movers had used when my stuff was in storage.) Lay the paper cutouts on your floor, and put something on top of them, like a box or a chair, pushed out to the corners to make sure you aren't tempted to just walk over them. Actually having to walk around your hypothetical furniture is a lot easier than trying to guess whether it will work based on playing with tiny cutouts on a floor plan!


Tiredbuthappy said...

Great idea. My partner has always made scale paper cutouts of our furniture when we've moved, but a one-inch couch is harder to picture than a full-sized version.

fin_indie said...

Nice! I desperately wish we had a room and board out here in Seattle... Although, that would have pushed the budget quite a bit... We moved in exactly a year ago, so I completely understand what you are going through...

Here is how we funded our new furniture:

Single Ma said...

Pictures pleeze. :-)

Congrats on your first major purchase!