Being in a new place is really great, being in a city is fantastic, and living on your own provides so much freedom. I moved to DC with the help of my boyfriend, with my clothes and necessities. What I did not have: kitchen stuff or furniture. I found the experience to be extremely stressful, mostly because of the costs. I’m sure everyone has had a moment at say, Target, when they cringe because their total creeps up to 100 dollars, a higher amount than they had hoped to spend. Shopping at Ikea is an expansion of this phenomenon: all the kitchen stuff, silverware, small accessories add up, and the furniture, well, can easily push your total past one thousand when you are buying many different pieces. The reason many people don’t like to think about money, or prefer to have someone else deal with their investments, is partially because it’s very stressful if you don’t completely understand where your money is, how much you are spending, and how these amounts match up.
Mint.com would give me alarming alerts stating, “you spent ‘huge amount of money’ in one day, you usually spend 10”. Why thanks, it’s nice to be reminded that I’m losing a huge amount of money while not bringing any in. I’m no stranger to significant purchases—I went to Russia this summer, the Bahamas for spring break, and Florida over winter break. Still, it always made sense to me to spend money on an experience-- sure, I would love to travel for free, but there’s also no total you can put on the value of seeing a new place, new people. Spending lots of money on things—well, that’s just not the same. I buy something, and that’s it, it sits there. I found it incredibly stressful to be spending lots of money, and not being able to stop this spending. I needed a bed, chairs, a table, and other things. And it was hard to limit spending when the scope of purchases was unclear—when I bought silverware, I would realize I need knives, a spatula. When I bought cookware, I needed seasoning. When I bought plates, I needed food.
Decorating websites always advise that it’s not necessary to completely fill your space right from the start—by living in your place, you will become better aware of what you need and don’t, and have time to think purchases through. Same thing applies to everything you buy when you move to a new apartment—kind of. I only had 5 days with a car and was painfully aware of that, wanting to buy every large piece of furniture in that time. And of course I wanted to go to Costco, buy all my cleaning supplies, pick up the TV … well, you get the point. All I want to say, is cheers to everyone who has helped a friend, stranger, boyfriend, cousin move in. We movees really appreciate the support!