By Alyssa Clough

Published on January 15, 2016

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Photography by BRITTANY AMBRIDGE

We already taught you how to buy art in your 20s, and now it’s time to talk about items around the house you should invest in—and what to continue buying on the cheap. Read on to see where to save and splurge.

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Photography by theglitterguide.com

a workspace: YES

Having a zen workzone in your home is key to getting things accomplished when you’re out of the office. Think a cozy chair, a desk with storage for your important files, and decor that inspires. This is even more important if you are freelance or work from home.

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Photography by @ikeausa

a nice couch: NO

Wait until you’re at least 30 to buy that expensive couch—no matter how much you want it. If your friends still come over and drink out of red cups, there’s a high probability whatever type of alcoholic beverage is located in those cups will end up on your couch. There are so many inexpensive, just as on trend alternatives, there’s no need to spend. Just make sure it’s comfy enough to sit or sleep on for Netflix binges and guests. 

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Photography by @appleandcoffee

electronics: YES

Maybe not investing in the newest iPhone every single time an updated model is released… But definitely investing in a good computer that will last you. Hopefully, it will suffer less wear and tear than your college computer (RIP all-nighters and irresponsibly spilled beverages). This also means you have to take care of your investment! Take the time to clean it and do small maintenance chores like getting a key fixed if it gets stuck.

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Photography by @parabopress

expensive art: NO

So many things will change each year in your twenties, including (but definitely not limited to!) your taste and the size of your apartment. Investing in large or expensive pieces of art is a gamble because there is a high chance it might not work into the next phase of your life. Stick to smaller and more budget friendly prints to hang on your walls. 

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Photography by @casper

a comfy mattress: YES

Everything (we mean EVERYTHING) pales in importance when it comes to how comfortable your bed is. We’re nothing without a good night’s rest! Seriously. So by all means, please invest in your mattress. Your body and productivity level will thank you for it—and you’ll most likely have it until you (gulp) get married.

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Photography by ikea.com

nice dishes: NO

Think starter dishes, like three dollar plates from Ikea. There’s no need to spend your hard-earned cash on expensive dishes when chances are at least one will break over the course of too many moves. And chances are, if you have a small space, you won’t be hosting too many dinner parties where pretty plates are important.

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Photography by @williamssonoma

nice pans: YES

Investing in high quality pans is a must, because you’ll have them forever. Bonus: They’re not that expensive and if you cook, you’ll use them every. Single. Day. We recommend buying one of each type of skillet: nonstick, stainless steel, and cast iron. If you’re making single dishes, an 8” is advisable. Size up to a 10” or 12” if you enjoy sharing your culinary endeavors with friends.

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Photography by houseofhipsters.com

fancy storage: NO

There’s a difference between decorative, basic, and what I like to call hidden storage. Decorative storage adds an element of design to a room while also adding function. Think this hanging ladder. If you have the space, go for it! Basic storage is furniture like a dresser. Ikea and Dot & Bo are less expensive and stylish. Hidden storage is the bins you shove under your bed. Don’t waste your time, money, or energy on improving this area of your life. If it ain’t broke or expensive, don’t fix it. 

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Photography by @crateandbarrel

coffee accessories: YES

When you have to show up to the office each morning bright eyed and ready to work, coffee is a must. Invest in quality coffee and accessories (like a drip machine, french press, bean grinder) now, and save later. Buying your coffee each morning can get costly, and oftentimes doesn’t even taste that good! Find a brand or bean you love, drink delicious coffee, and brag to your friends about how sophisticated (and cost effective) you are.

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Photography by AT HOME IN LOVE

remodels: NO

Oftentimes when you’re a renter, you’re lucky enough to be able to paint your walls. Remodels? Out of the question… And for sure out of your budget. But if you really hate your floors, we have tips on how to hide them. Until you’re a homeowner, sit tight and lean on your decor and expert decorating skills to outshine your spaces imperfections.