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Furnishing a new place can be a creative and fun way to express yourself and make it feel like home.

But it can be stressful trying to do everything you want while sticking to your budget.

You don’t need to buy everything on credit though.

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Here are some simple tips to make your house a home without incurring any new debt:

Turn to your family garage

Before even hitting the shops, you should check the garages of family and friends for any unused pieces of furniture. You might be surprised at what you find – many people have a natural inclination to hoard – and you may even get it for free. Also ask friends and family if they have any unused items like couches or toasters gathering dust in a corner, or even try to find a neighbourhood yard sale.

Consider going pre-owned

Second-hand goods are the easiest way to get what you need without forking out a lot of cash for new items. You can use online websites, the classified section in Independent Media newspapers or even visit a flea market – there are endless options.

And remember: cash is king at second hand markets, as most sellers are looking for a quick return. So ask for a discount when paying in cash.

Could that chair be a table?

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Repurposing furniture might seem quirky, but there is always that item that never actually found it’s space.

For instance, dining room table chairs could make great side tables and vice versa.

Think outside the box… then take that box and turn it into a stand-alone shelf on a wall. Not only is this cheap but it is also a fun project.

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Rent-to-own it

Credit agreements should be a last-case scenario, especially in the current economic climate.  With the recent credit downgrades, it is definitely time to seek an alternative – like renting. Rent-To-Own (RTO) is a month-to-month rental agreement, so it’s easy to manage your budget and you have the option to take ownership after the pre-determined period.

Proudly South African company, Teljoy offers RTO on majority of home necessities (and even some luxuries), with added benefits such as delivery, installation, risk cover and maintenance at no additional cost.

These kind of extras are not included in a credit agreement, and to top off their offer, you are also given full financial flexibility as you are  able to cancel at any time should your financial situation change.

– Adapted from press release