The Clemence budget has been blown asunder recently, due to two separate incidents where we lost our minds and made impulse furniture purchases.

Twice. This was not one isolated incident.

And now, if you’re in the mood to listen, I shall give a long and rambling explanation of why it’s okay to blow the budget sometimes, especially if the purchase in question is very perfect. My ramblings will help you decide whether your purchase is worth it for you own situation. (Or you will decide I’m nuts, which is okay too.)

Here’s why impulse furniture purchases might be okay in specific circumstances:

We’d been looking for these items for a long time. I mean YEARS.

In our eighteen year marriage, we’ve never owned a solid set of dining chairs. Everything we’ve had has been picked up at garage sales, antique stores, and even off the curb. Our chairs have recently become so sketchy that a complete failure was becoming a real possibility. As in, a guest might get dumped to the floor as he took a bite of lasagna.

impulse furniture purchases
A peek into your blogger’s phone– this is one of the photos I took in Kalamazoo Kitty as I deliberated for 45 minutes about whether to buy the table or not.

When Eric handed me a spindle to a chair a few weeks ago, what had been a casual search became serious business.

The second purchase, a leather chair for Eric’s library, has been an ongoing search for several years. We love the Manhattan chair at Pottery Barn, but we just can’t justify that kind of money for one chair.

Impulse furniture purchases
Now Eric’s library has TWO leather chairs, both purchased for way less than the $1700 Pottery Barn option ($150 and $195). Technically both were impulse purchases, but Mama ain’t no fool. Buy them when you see them!

So while these purchases might seem like impulses, in reality they were just sudden appearances of something we’d been hunting for a long time.

We found high-quality pieces at resale shops, which means we spent $500 instead of $4,000.

While I don’t turn up my nose at old or cheap furniture, I really do prefer the stuff that’s well-made. I find new furniture to be hideously expensive for something that will be out of style in five years, plus so badly built we’ll be using it for kindling in those same five years. I turned to my two favorite shops in Kalamazoo, which both sell used furniture.

Boomerang for the Home has really nice stuff. If I want a sofa or dining room set to last two decades, I go here. But that high quality often means higher prices even for resale furniture. Also, the folks who can afford to get rid of these nice things to replace them with nicer things often have a… how do I say this politely… impressive sense of style. Think dark wood, four poster king-sized beds, and enormous buffets.

Nevertheless, sometimes a seller has the same casual, funky style we prefer, and Eric’s leather chair was waiting for us in a corner.

When we bought it, a matching sofa was sitting to the left. But I bet that’s been gone for weeks now.

Kalamazoo Kitty has a much wider range of furniture, accessories, and chalk paint. They have old and new, funky and fancy. Coming into this store is my son’s worst nightmare, as it’s guaranteed to take me at least forty-five minutes to see everything. On the day I found our new table and chairs he wasn’t with me. Hallelujah and amen.

Because they were at resale shops, it’s not like we’re going to find these exact things at every furniture store in Michigan.

When you find what you want at a resale shop, there’s a high probability it’s going to be sold very quickly. Our purchases were excellent and we knew it; other shoppers would have recognized the same thing. We bought them before the competition scooped them up.

second hand furniture store
I didn’t buy the china set they displayed on the table, but I thought about it. It had more pieces than I’d ever seen in china, including several pieces none of us knew how to use.

The purchases didn’t do permanent damage to our finances.

While we hadn’t saved the money specifically for the impulse furniture purchases, we did have the money in savings. Our budget had recently loosened up because of a vacation reschedule, so we were able to buy them without endangering the overall finances. No debt, no panic over the credit card bill next month.

So that’s how it worked out for us. Do you have the information you need to make your own decision? I hope so! If not, let me know below or at my Facebook page. I’ll see what I can do for you!


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