- A recent survey by Freedom Debt Relief found that most consumers plan to make a significant purchase in the next 12 months.
- The third-most popular planned purchase is furniture – despite supply chain constraints, spikes in furniture prices, and rising interest rates.
- Save on furniture by shopping holiday-related sales, trying direct-to-consumer brands, and looking for open-box or floor samples.
Table of Contents
A recent Freedom Debt Relief survey revealed that 85% of consumers expect to make an expensive purchase in the next 12 months. What do they plan to buy? The most likely items, in order of popularity, include:
Furniture is challenging because of sky-high prices, long wait times, and Federal Reserve interest rate hikes. This article covers ways to save when you buy and finance furniture in 2022.
Step 1: Plan Ahead to Avoid Overspending
It’s easy to go overboard on furniture when you enter a brilliantly-staged store. So don’t walk in without a clear plan for what you need, and establish how much you can devote to each room and each piece of furniture. If you go over budget on one item, you’ll need to spend less on something else.
How much can you afford? If you’ll be paying cash, don’t wipe out your savings or upend your retirement plan. If you expect to borrow, budget an affordable monthly payment.
Once you have a budget, stick to it. If temptation is a problem for you, bring a frugal friend to help you shop.
You can afford more costly furnishings on your budget if you choose a longer loan term. But avoid debt that will take more than three-to-five years to repay.
Remember that stylish furniture and decor items are available at many price points. Don’t get in over your head trying to show off.
Decide where you will splurge and where you can save. Pieces that get a lot of use – mattresses, and couches, for instance – should probably get more budgetary love than area rugs, side tables, and decor items.
Step 2: Get the Most Bang for Your Buck
Furniture shopping in 2022 can be frustrating. You enter a showroom and find the perfect bedroom suite at an affordable price. And then you get the bad news – that your dream bedroom will take at least 16 weeks to arrive. Ugh.
The other challenge is rising prices – nearly 10% higher than a year ago. But by being smart, creative, and flexible, it’s still possible to save on furniture and get it faster. Here’s how.
Offset some of the cost by selling your old furniture. Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, eBay, and apps like Decluttr can help you unload your old stuff quickly and painlessly. Just watch out for scammers – anyone who wants to buy your things sight unseen, for instance, or pay in unorthodox ways is probably a con artist.
Consider high-quality used furniture. Experts at Apartment Therapy claim that interior designers prefer to buy certain furnishings second-hand because they find unique items of better quality at a lower price. These pieces include upholstered chairs, mirrors, coffee tables, and dressers.
Get your furniture sooner – and pay less for it – by shopping with direct-to-consumer (DTC) furniture brands and online warehouses like Overstock and Wayfair.
When you find something you like, search the brand and model online to make sure it’s not available elsewhere for less. Walmart.com, for instance, offers many high-quality brands that you don’t see in their stores, and they often beat other outlets on price.
Look for open-box furnishings and floor samples. “Open-box” items were previously purchased and then returned by consumers, while floor samples have been on display for a season and then marked down to make way for new pieces.
Step 3: Finance for Less
Financing fees and interest charges can add a lot to the cost of furnishing your home. Unfortunately, rising interest rates are upping this factor even more. Try these tactics to pay less.
Check your credit report and FICO score before shopping. You won’t know what interest rate is fair unless you understand your credit profile. Most furniture loans require a credit score of at least 640. And many zero-interest plans set minimum scores at 700 or higher.
Be skeptical of “limited time” zero-interest offers for furniture. They are a fixture of furniture marketing and often not a good deal. Furniture stores frequently use these offers to market overpriced furniture without discounting it and to get people to buy more.
If you can qualify for zero-interest financing, you’d probably be better off applying for a credit card with a low- to no-interest introductory period and using that to purchase discounted furniture at a better price. Pay off the balance before the introductory period expires for maximum savings.
Line up financing in advance. Furniture loans are just personal loans. It’s easy to compare personal loan interest rates without a “hard pull” on your credit report. Choose the loan with the best terms and don’t spend more than you can afford to pay off in a reasonable time.
If you have a home equity line of credit (HELOC) with a competitive interest rate, that can be a smart choice. Just calculate a payment that clears the balance within three years. Financing furniture over the typical HELOC term of 15 years becomes very expensive even if the interest rate is low.
There are several moving parts when you finance furniture – the price, interest rate, and any loan charges. When comparing offers, add up the total cost over the entire life of the loan – your down payment (if any) plus other upfront charges like loan setup fees, plus the total of all monthly payments over the loan term. The lowest amount wins.
Step 4: Be Patient
There are good and bad times to buy furniture. Timing your purchase and being flexible can save you a great deal.
What’s the best time to buy furniture? At the end of the winter holiday season (January and February) and the end of summer (August and September), when furniture retailers discount their inventories to make room for the next season. Look for deep discounts at President’s Day sales and Labor Day sales.
Summer is also a good time to buy used furniture because many people move then and sell their old furniture rather than taking it with them.
Is Black Friday a good time to buy furniture? Not usually. That’s because many sellers mark furniture up just before Black Friday and then (maybe) discount it.
Can you negotiate prices at furniture stores? It’s possible if you’re making a large purchase (a room or house full, for instance) or if you’re purchasing a floor sample. Used furniture also offers opportunities to negotiate.
What is a good discount on furniture? A good discount is anything over 15%, and of course, more is better. However, you won’t really be saving money if you end up with cheap furniture that doesn't do the job or falls apart in a few months. In that case, the cheapest furniture could turn out to be very expensive.