Splurge or Save: Home Essentials

There’s nothing more special than making your house a home. But the joy of getting everything just right can severely be undercut if it all costs a needless fortune. Some home essentials are long-term investments, but others will undoubtedly be replaced sooner or later.

A lot of that depends on you.

No matter what you need or want, know when you’re better off saving and when you should splurge is key. By striking a budget-friendly balance, you’ll be able to put back some money for those truly splurge-worthy items and rainy days.

So with your happiest home in mind, we’re here to help!

Bed Linens

Splurge or Save: Splurge

Considering we spend about a third of our life in bed, bedding is not something to skimp on. As we all know, not just sleep, but good sleep is critical to our overall well-being. Quality bedding will not only enhance the aesthetic of your bedroom but the quality of your sleep.

And what’s more worth the splurge than that?

close up of comfortable bed with soft pillows

The trick to getting your money’s worth is deciding on your ideal sleeping situation first. For instance, if you want a relaxed, lived-in feel, opt for linen bedding. If you prefer a crisp hotel vibe, go with percale bedding, which usually has a thread count of 200. For something elegant, smooth, and striking, luxury cotton sateen might be what you’re looking for. For an endless array of top-notch pillows for every type of sleeper, get on Amazon.

Also, check out Good House Keeping’s thoroughly reviewed round-up of the best bedding to buy in all the land.


Splurge or Save: Splurge

With solid sleep in mind, the same splurging rule applies to your mattress just as much, if not more, than your bedding.

young woman comfortably laying across her mattress

Your bed should be your sanctuary and solid sleep is an investment in itself. People don’t replace their mattresses all that often, and considering how long you might have it, the quality of it is going to be crucial. Here are the best mattresses in existence, according to The Sleep Foundation.

If you’re not quite ready to splurge on a mattress, there are affordable alternatives online. In addition to payment plans, you should look into mattress toppers. A mid-grade mattress with a quality topper can sometimes make all the difference. Check out this award-winning topper for Tempur-Pedic. I wouldn’t call it cheap, but it’s way cheaper than a brand-new quality mattress.


Splurge or Save: Save

Rugs are another home essential that are historically pricey, but they don’t have to be. Frankly, they shouldn’t be when you think about it.

Don’t get me wrong, I love beautiful rugs, but I wouldn’t break the bank for something endlessly stepped on and stomped on. It’s just not worth it, especially when you can find stunning and quality rugs for a bargain.

woman laying on a floor covered in oriental rugs

The selection for affordable and quality rugs on Rugs.com is endless. Whatever vibe you’re looking for, you’ll likely find it there. Also, vintage rugs were built to last, so look into second-hand rugs before you invest in something new, and often times not as well made.

Also, the budget-friendly and tasteful selection on Temple & Webster should not be overlooked.


Splurge or Save: Save

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but if you’re spending a fortune on plants, you’re getting swindled!

potted house plants on a wooden table

When it comes to decor, indoor plants seem to be more popular than ever, especially on social media feeds. In turn, the prices to create a pro-plant aesthetic can be remarkably ridiculous.

To save on your plants, it might be time for a day trip. Within just about any city, the costs of house plants are soaring. If you make your way to some rural nurseries, you’ll likely find that plant prices are significantly cheaper. If you’re shopping online, do yourself a favor and browse Gumtree for affordable plant babies and shrubbery sales.


Splurge or Save: Toss Up

With lighting, what’s worth saving or splurging on depends on your lifestyle and what you consider a lighting necessity. For me, soft and easy on the eyes lighting matters most, and creating a well-lit atmosphere doesn’t cost much. But again, this is a matter of preference.

A man turning a lighted lightbulb beside two hanging lights in his new house

While splurging isn’t necessary, there are many people who believe we all should be switching over to smart bulbs, and they make a strong case for it being worth the splurge.

Smart lighting is said to help with sleep hygiene as well as mood-setting, and you’re also paying for convenience. You can operate your smart lights entirely from an app on your phone and with voice commands. Many say the LIFX’s Z LED Strip has been life-changing homes, mostly because they don’t have to get up nearly as much.

When it comes to lighting, great buys on both ends of the spectrum exist, but only you can decide what’s essential in this case. If you want smart bulbs that won’t set you back, you’re in luck. Since they’re becoming the norm more and more, the prices are starting to majorly drop. Here’s a list of the best smart bulbs for under $20.


Splurge or Save: Splurge

No matter what you’re looking for, couches are expensive. Even when you go with a bargain buy, it’s still somewhat of a splurge for the average person’s budget, especially if you’re moving into a new place. Still, you should think of your sofa more as a long-term investment rather than a splurge.

Many interior decorators argue that if you’re going to spend the big bucks on something, it should be your couch. After all, it’s the centerpiece of your home. Considering how expensive all sofas can be, quality matters most. Arguably, getting “a deal” on a poorly made couch is just as financially wasteful as paying tons of money for it.

So no matter what you pay, invest in something worth the money.

a dog sitting on a couch in a chic and modern living room

Go with something comfortable and timelessly stylish. If you’re shopping online, take the reviews to heart. People don’t sugarcoat their feelings on a couch that didn’t make good on its promises.

The good news is, if you’re not ready to pay in full for the couch of your dreams, you don’t have to. Because it’s one of the most expensive things you’ll buy, tons of trusted furniture companies offer payment plans, and they’re worth looking into.

At the end of the day, your sofa should last you and you should love it. Don’t settle for something uncomfortable that you’ll be stuck with (or you’ll have to replace sooner rather than later.) Here are the seven best couches to buy online, compliments of The Strategist.

Soft Furnishings

Splurge or Save: Save

If you want to spend $300 on a hand-beaded throw pillow draped in Italian silk, that’s your prerogative. I’m just saying you don’t have to.

comfortable sitting area with vibrantly colored throw pillows, a throw blanket, and a coffee table

Affordable throws and cushions are all over the place. And remember, you can always upgrade your soft furnishings if you want. But it’s better to save starting out than overspend on smaller things you may ultimately decide don’t work in your environment.

For soft furnishings that look like a million bucks but often cost next to nothing, look into IKEA.


Splurge or Save: Splurge

How much time you actually spend watching it should be factored in, but the general consensus is that a nice TV is worth the splurge.

two people watching television in cozy wool socks

Thanks to all the technological advances, I can’t tell the difference between a cheap or fancy TV while I’m watching it. Not at first, at least. From what I’ve learned the hard way, the difference lies in its lifespan. The only thing more expensive than a quality TV is having to replace a cheap one after it inevitably malfunctions. So consider this an investment.

For a truly cinematic experience, Samsung’s Smart TV comes highly recommended across the board.


Splurge or Save: Splurge

It’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to your appliances. Maybe you’re okay with replacing a cheaper TV when it busts, but replacing your refrigerator or washing machine is much more of a life-interrupting hassle.

And it can be way more costly.

set of White Home Appliances On A Wooden Floor

While these essentials might be on the more expensive side, deals for quality appliances do exist. So don’t jump to the biggest splurge right away. For instance, Home Clearance offers some incredible deals on top brand-name appliances. And there’s plenty more out there. All in all, to really make sure you’re spending money on the best appliances for the best price, shop around.

Antiques, Vintage Treasures, and Art

Splurge or Save: Toss-Up

You can’t put a price on one-of-a-kind pieces. With that said, one of the most exciting parts about antique hunting is stumbling upon something priceless for a reasonable price. This rule applies to wall art as well as other home decor.

With antiques and vintage shopping, what’s worth what is always in the eye of the beholder. But the good news is, finding unique and special pieces for your home never has to cost a fortune. It’s all about keeping your eyes peeled and knowing where to look.

An antique,Chair, Old Typewriter, Retro Radio, Gramophone, and retro clock all sitting against wall

I’m an avid hunter of special pieces. The antiques and vintage finds I receive the most compliments on also happen to be the cheapest ones, with a few pricey exceptions. As odd as it sounds, one of the best things about used decor is that it’s rarely in perfect condition. In turn, there’s often room for price negotiation, especially at yard sales.

Another antique/art hack is to look for estate sales. Often, everything is priced with getting rid of it in mind rather than what it’s technically worth. If you’re really lucky, you might get a steal of a deal on a barely used couch that someone else bought for a fortune.

happy couple hanging painting in their home

Also, you may be pleasantly surprised by the affordable treasures and trinkets for sale at places like Goodwill and Habitat for Humanity. If you’re not in the mood to get out and about, I highly recommend checking out Engold and Etsy for one-of-a-kind furnishings. The prices vary greatly, but with enough digging, you’ll discover the perfect painting or hidden gem for just the right price. I promise.