Have you, like me, been staring longingly at aesthetic loft and bedroom pictures on Instagram and Tumblr? Have you wished for unlimited funds to afford an Ikea shopping spree when realistically, you are wondering if you can even afford a bed frame? The costs associated with having a nice home – or fully functioning appliances for that matter, can be astronomical. To survive as a university student, cutting costs wherever you can is of the utmost importance. Whether you have just moved into your new pad for the year, or are wanting to give your place a revamp but are thinking, ‘shit, i’m broke’, here are a few ways to cut costs and save your dollars for more important things like, well, food.
Host a housewarming party
Not only are housewarming parties a good excuse to have all of your friends round for a party, they are also a great way to get all the things you’ve been wanting (or needing) for your abode. Before the party, walk around your house and make a list of all things you have been needing. Whether that’s some cutlery, a new lamp shade, or even a washing machine. Collate the list and post it on the event page as suggested housewarming gifts. You never know what people might have lying around.
Have a #crafternoon
Home décor and nice art is expensive. So what better way to make your house a home than hosting a crafternoon. Crafternoons are the perfect excuse to spend time trying out those DIY’s you’ve saved to your Pinterest board or screenshotted from Instagram. Whether that’s winding string around metal hoops to make dreamcatchers. Or potting offshoots of succulents you stole from your neighbors yard on the way home from uni. Or if you’re like me, you are painting giant 1m x 2m canvas of a zebra you found on the side of the road that would look a whole lot better if it wasn’t, you know, of a zebra. Not only will your house look fabulous, it’s a great way to continue procrastinating all the uni work you’ve been putting off.
Versatility and recycling
You would be surprised how many uses mundane household items have when you are desperate. The versatility of milk crates, for instance, is astounding. Not only do they make good chairs, tables and storage units, but if you can collect enough you can connect them, Lego-style, to make a brand new bed frame or kitchen table! Recycling is also a great way to reuse household items and save the environment in the process. Reuse your pasta sauce jars as drinking glasses. Recycle paper bags to store receipts and paperwork. Use your tears over looming assignment deadlines to water your plants.
Exploit your friends for manual labor
Employing people to help you move house or renting a van for the day can be costly. Instead, why not bring up that one time you paid for your friend’s fries after a night out and guilt trip them into helping out. By getting your mates to help you move that couch you spotted for free on Gumtree in the suburb over, you cut costs and don’t have to venture to a stranger’s house alone. Don’t stop there, use your friend’s talents to your advantage as well. Have a friend studying architecture and design? Ask them to turn yours and your housemate’s beds into bunk beds as a space saving method and as a fun surprise to thank them for letting you move in. It worked in Step Brothers right?
Steal your supplies
Whether it’s food, cleaning supplies or that nice new soap dispenser you’ve been eyeing off at work, stealing household items can be a great way to cut costs and deck out your house. Just like the scene in F.R.I.E.N.D.S where Ross attempts to steal all of the items in his hotel, taking a few things here and there can be very useful in saving money, just try to be a little subtler than he was. The sky is the limit when it comes to taking supplies, literally, people never look up, so don’t be afraid to take things people would never notice, like light bulbs. Just unscrew it and pop it in your pocket, but wear gloves as they are hot and to avoid leaving fingerprints.
Whether you are looking for a couple of new pieces or wanting to completely set up or revamp your uni pad, you are now equipped with all of the cost cutting and DIY inspiration you could ever need. Just remember to have fun, stay safe and don’t get caught.