Whether you’re saving up for the future or simply want to live a more frugal life, sticking to a budget is important but can feel difficult when it comes time to decorate your Ottawa apartment. Don’t fret – with the following tips, you can have a stylish and comfortable apartment that is well within budget:

Ask Family & Friends
Many family and friends will want to help you as you begin to outfit your new apartment. In some cases, they may offer furniture and appliances for free so that they can upgrade those items, or they may simply offer you items which are stored in garages, basements, and attics and are no longer in use. Accept these generous offers and you may be surprised to find a retro lamp or chic end tables buried deep in your great aunt’s garage. If you’re keeping an eye on the budget, there’s nothing better than free – but beware of items like an outdated washing machine, which might actually cost more to repair than simply buying a new one on your own.

Thrift Stores & Garage Sales
If you have to spend money, thrift stores and garage sales can be great places to find unique retro items. Ideally, you want to find items which are undervalued so that you can really get your money’s worth or even resell items at a higher value if you desire. While it’s unlikely that you will find all of your furniture in one go, you can stock up on repeated trips over a few months. Just make sure to visit early and often or else other budget-conscious shoppers will snap up the one-of-a-kind furniture first.

Check Online Classifieds
Online classified websites are an easy way to search for cheap or even free furniture and can be done from the comfort of your computer or smartphone. Keep your eyes peeled around the end of each month as people begin to move out and have to decide what items to bring with them and which ones to leave behind. Some people are willing to give items away for free or almost free if you offer to come pick them up. You can find some great deals if you’re patient.

DIY Art & Decorations
Art and decorations can be expensive and often don’t fit into the budget, but they really make your Ottawa apartment feel like home. You can save a lot of money by forgoing art bought in stores and making your own instead. There are many great tutorials online that can teach even the least trained individual to make attractive art and decor for the home. Who knows – if you have a knack for it, you can help your budget even further by selling your creations.

Your new place doesn’t have to look like it was designed on a budget. Follow these recommendations and learn to stylishly outfit your Ottawa apartment on the cheap.