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Lauren: Hey guys, it's Lauren from The Financial Diet and today I'm going to be talking about some of the things that I regret spending money on when I moved into my first apartment about a year ago. I ended up wasting a lot of money on things I didn't need and if I was more judicious about the things that I bought I wouldn't have wasted money. Now the reason why I made so many bad mistakes when I first moved out is really two fold. So 1) is that I didn't have a spending plan for myself and the things that I needed and 2) was that I had unrealistic expectations about my decorating skills and what the space would actually look like. So I follow a ton of interior design blogs on Instagram and Chelsea and I will frequently torture ourselves and tag each other in these really spectacular photos. So now the obvious problem with following that many highly curated Instagram accounts is that you start to feel like you need to spend a lot of money in order to create a space that looks like that. And that obviously not the case. That mentality will start to influence the way that you spend money and what you buy.

Now I'm very far away from being someone who would call themselves like an interior design expert maybe a novice I suppose? But I think I am getting better with learning where it is where your money should go and where it's worth it for it to go, but that was not an easy process. When I first moved out last September with my partner, it was the first time we had a completely owned space. And that meant we made some pretty poor decisions about things we probably didn't need. So this shared wisdom is intended to be helpful and maybe it'll help you assess the things you're buying when you move out or into your next place. So the first thing was the vintage wine crate... we bought ours for about $50 at an upscale vintage market and the thing just kind of sits in the corner now and where there's a printer on it, a lamp, a stack of papers and god knows what. Totally not worth buying.

Number 2 is a laundry basket that we keep in the tub. Now granted this thing was only like $10-15 but the intention was for it to streamline our laundry process, which it just has not done. It's actually allowed us to just shirk our laundry responsibilities until the thing is too heavy for either of us to carry on our own. It's like roughly the size of a baby elephant by the time we get it to the laundromat. It was intended to be really efficient, but it's allowed us to be more negligent. Number 3 were circular wooden cheese boards, so these things look so beautiful in every food bloggers Instagram and I desperately wanted them when we moved out. In reality they actually don't fit into the cabinets and they're just kind of hanging out on top of the fridge collecting dust. So that was another $20 or so wasted. 

Number 4 was a decorative globe, so I originally bought it because I wanted it to look very chic sitting on my desk, but in reality it just takes up precious space. And that thing just has to go, it was like $15 totally not needed. Number 5 was big plastic storage bins for under the bed, so be sure that before you buy these things that you actually have a practical way to use them. We had also bought vacuum sealed bags, which when you use them create these kind of lumpy shapes so they don't fit into the bins, so now they're sitting under the bed half filled and just collecting dust. If you're going to utilize space saving hacks make sure that they're really suited to your needs before you go out and make a purchase. Number 6 was a wooden basket that we put next to the couch. Again this is something that looks so beautiful in like a country cottage on Instagram from a home redecorating blog, but in reality it just kind of serves as an additional place to store a bunch of shit. It was $25 and I think that it's currently half filled with magazines that are just waiting to be recycled and some like lumpy blankets. So yes this is partially my fault for having a bad habit to break, but there is a difference between something that just looks pretty versus something that actually has a function. 

Number 7 is a food processor, so as someone who reads a lot of cooking a baking blogs, having a fully stocked, fully loaded kitchen to me is like next to godliness.  So the processor itself was about $100 and I had dreams of making my own hummus every day, but in reality I've used it twice.  Again be honest with yourself and decipher whether or not you actually need the item or if you just want the item.

Number 8... organizational bins for under the sink. So the cost of organizational paraphernalia will add up really quickly. And make sure that you're always measuring your space before you go out and buy anything. So I bought these things on the clearance rack and I brought them home when they actually didn't even fit under the sink. Always be diligent about measuring your space.

So those are just a few of the items I personally wasted money on when I first moved out.  Reflecting on all of these purchases really drives home the need to hve a firm plan for the things that you're buying and spending money on.  My advice would be live in your space for a while before you go out and make any big purchases. So for me, I find that it's really helpful to find inspiration for home decorating on websites that offer tips that fit my budget.

Its really important that you do research on creative ways to stretch your own dollar before you go out and spend a ton of money on something you might not actually need or that doesn't actually fit your budget. And of course we're all going to make mistakes when we're decorating and furnishing our very first place, but that doesn't mean we have to keep making those mistakes moving forward. And I hope that sharing my own was helpful.

So as always, thank you for watching and don't forget to hit the subscribe button and go to TheFinancialDiet.com for more.