Only a very limited number of us can pay for a home in cash

Most new homeowners will have to resort to a bond, which – given the current economic landscape and repo rate hikes – is expensive.

Assuming you’ve acquired your four walls, windows and doors, how do you now furnish the home without burying yourself even further in debt? There’s no need to panic, we’ve asked an expert and compiled some tips to ensure you don’t land up on the floor.

Budget, budget, and budget some more

According to the Momentum/UNISA South African Household Wealth Index 2015 Q4, less than 10% of South Africans plan a budget.

READ MORE: SA homeowners struggling to pay extra into their bonds

“Being able to pinpoint your biggest expenses means you can identify where to cut back, which is only achievable by creating a budget for self-review,” says registered financial planner Marc Joubert.

“What most South Africans don’t realise is that starting this process is as simple as putting pen to paper and writing up what you spend on a daily basis, there are even mobile apps to help you monitor your spending.”

Once you’ve got a handle on where your funds are going, and cut back on your spending, you can start saving and accumulating a nice nest egg to help address large bills in the future.

Rent it now that you’ve bought it
If you are dragging your feet at the prospect of signing another credit agreement, there are alternative contracts to use.

“Teljoy has been around for 47 years and is a great alternative to credit as it’s a unique offering,” says rent-to-own expert and CEO of the Teljoy Group, Rob Katzen.

“It’s unique in that it allows people the ability to get the things they want, brand new, without having to outlay lump sums of money up front. The monthly payments are fixed and not effected by external economic factors.”

READ MORE: Strategies for paying off your bond faster

Teljoy is a hassle-free alternative which allows financial flexibility – you can cancel the agreement within a 30-day notice period, so if your financial situation does change, at least you’re not tied to a contact that will sink you. Risk cover and maintenance are also included for the duration of the rental period.

Simple solutions are best
If you are looking to furnish the home on a shoestring budget, look to the pages of the classifieds. There is also a source that most young adults forget to use: a friend network. Simply start a group chat with friends, see who has what, and exchange. You’d be surprised how quickly you’re able to fill your home with other people’s rejects.

“Cutting down on expenses can take many forms, from conventional to the creative. All that matters is that you find solutions that suit your lifestyle,” says Joubert.

If you’re a proud new homeowner and want to furnish your space without falling further into debt, remember to budget, be creative, and always on the lookout for a better alternative.

This article was first published in Destiny connect.com on 29 September 2016.