Buying outdoor furniture can be a significant purchase for you regardless of your budget: outdoor furniture can cost hundreds or thousands of dollars. As a result, you should have a plan for how to purchase your outdoor furniture, much like you should have a plan for what furniture you want to buy.
But this ‘need to have a plan’ may create some questions for you: How should I plan? How can I save money? How do I budget? Can I finance my purchase?
We tackle all of these questions in this post to provide you with the best information on how to afford the outdoor furniture purchase you want to make.
Sound good? Let’s get started!
#1 Planning: How can I afford outdoor furniture?
Firstly, and most importantly, you should not make a large purchase like outdoor furniture if you do not have a plan to pay for what you want to buy. This is especially true if you plan to purchase outdoor furniture with a credit card. The interest charges on a credit card for a large purchase like an outdoor sectional can quickly compound if you fail to make timely payments, resulting in a much higher total cost than the price tag for the furniture.
That does not mean that you should avoid using credit cards or other financing options to purchase outdoor furniture. Credit cards and other financing options can be a great option if used correctly. If you have an appropriate plan to use a credit card or other financing option (like Affirm or Klarna offered through many retailers), these options can help build credit, earn points (based on credit card offer), and provide flexibility making payments.
Therefore, we highly suggest you assess what your budget can afford based on how much money you have saved and how much money you save each month after you pay your bills and set aside for other goals. Set a plan for when you will have enough money saved up to make a purchase or how you will be able to make the necessary payments to finance your furniture purchase. While you save up the right amount of money, double-check your backyard plan using our backyard planning guide to make sure you have planned everything out.
#2 Saving: What is the best way to save money to buy outdoor furniture?
If you plan on saving up until you have enough money to make a purchase, we highly recommend using a high-yield savings account.
A high-yield savings account is an excellent option because these accounts have higher rates (up to 1%) than regular checking or savings accounts (which is often less than .1%), which enables your money to grow faster while you save. Additionally, these accounts protect your principal – you aren’t exposed to potential savings losses like if you invested in stocks or bonds. Also, you will find that these accounts carry FDIC Insurance like regular checking and savings accounts.
Therefore, if you are setting aside money to make an outdoor furniture purchase soon, we recommend putting your money in a high-yield savings account because the higher interest rate will help your money grow faster than if you held it in a regular checking or savings account. Thus, the higher earnings can help you purchase that piece of furniture sooner.
#3 Budgeting: How can I budget for an outdoor furniture purchase?
A great way to help you save up for your outdoor furniture purchase or plan for your purchase payments is to make a monthly (or weekly) budget. Simply, making a budget entails determining how much money you bring in and how much money is needed to pay bills and other expenses to reach your financial goals. One of these goals can be to set aside money each month to help pay for an outdoor furniture purchase in the future. However, people struggle with making or sticking to a budget and goals for various reasons such as:
- Don’t know where to start
- Need help figuring out what expenses can be cut out
- Unable to keep up with purchases
- Don’t know how to start setting money aside
- Don’t know how to set budget goals
Luckily, there are plenty of websites, apps, and other tools to help get you on track to setting up and keeping a budget to hit your goals – especially making the furniture purchase you want.
#4 Financing: How can I finance my outdoor furniture purchase?
Financing can be an attractive option for a big purchase like outdoor furniture because financing allows you to make a series of smaller payments instead of one big payment. Sounds great, right? Well, let’s check a few things first to see if its great for you.
Usually, the ability to make a series of payments requires you to pay interest on the amount you are financing. For example, if you finance a $3,000 outdoor sectional for 12 months of payments at 10%, the monthly payment will be $264 – that sounds better than $3,000 for sure! But when you add up the 12 monthly payments of $264, you get a total of $3,168. That is $168 more than the sectional cost. Is the extra $168 worth it to make smaller monthly payments? That is a personal choice, but you need to be aware of the financing terms before you make your decision.
You may find some retailers that offer 0% financing on a purchase for a set amount of time (e.g., 12 months). If you pay it off what you owe during the 12 months, you won’t pay anything in interest. But if you don’t make the full payment in 12 months or skip payments, you may be penalized to pay a significant amount in interest.
Similarly, you may find credit cards with introductory 0% interest on new cards for a certain number of months. These may be a good option for making a large purchase and paying off that large purchase entirely during the 0% interest window. However, you will need to read the details about the 0% interest terms to make sure you don’t end up with a big interest payment by not making the proper payments.
With any financing or credit card offer, make sure you read the details on how much you will pay in interest and understand the conditions for special offers like 0% interest. But as we stated before, we only recommend financing an outdoor furniture purchase if you have a plan to make the necessary payments.
Point-of-Sale Financing: What are Affirm and Klarna?
Over the past few years, you may have started to notice the names Affirm and Klarna when shopping for items at many retailers. You will usually see these names near the price of an item or when you are going through the options to buy what is in your online cart. Affirm and Klarna are two of the most popular options for financing a purchase at the time of sale at a retailer like Target, Outer, Yardbird, and many other popular outdoor brands and retailers. For example, you may find a perfect outdoor loveseat at Target for $400, and you notice that there is an offer through Affirm to pay as little as $38 a month. This can be a great option for you if you understand the amount of interest you will have to pay.
You will typically find that financing offers through Affirm and Klarna will entail interest. However, it is not unusual to find some options with short payment terms (e.g., 3 months) to carry 0% interest. Additionally, these companies typically offer between 3 – 12 months financing timeframes, which can help you fit the payment amount with your budget. Investopedia has an excellent write-up on these two options that we recommend you read to learn more.