04/02/2012 02:40 pm ET Updated Nov 17, 2012

Your First Home: Where to Spend the Little Money You Have Left

Moving into your first house is a big deal. Yes folks, there is life after the futon and it doesn't have to cost you a bundle to have a beautiful home! The key is where and how to spend your hard-earned money. Also, at some point you have to balance between buying items for the home instead of that fierce pair of stilettos.

For some reason, we know reality TV marriages are fake, but still believe we can prime, paint, install electricity and appliances, move in furniture and have all our friends over in one day like it's done on TV. Yeah, sorry! Keep in mind that home makeover-themed shows do not depict an actual home revamp scenario for the average person. I speak from experience. You cannot makeover your home in a day from "drab to fab" like we do. You just can't. We are planning for weeks, have a team of helpers and a warehouse of furniture standing by to move the stuff in. Hate to be a spoiler, but I'm trying to keep you from experiencing colossal frustration and disappointment.

Once you move in, always paint your new home. This will instantly make it feel brand new and clean while putting your own signature on it. The best part is that the cost of it is really low. Nowadays, there are really high quality paints at great prices and there always seems to be a paint sale somewhere every weekend! Try a few new colors; be adventurous but remember the idea is not to have your place looking like a rainbow threw up on the walls. Go for a neutral vibe in the main areas and another hue in the bedroom. You can always change this along the way. The one wall thing can get really weird unless you're a pro. Try and do all the walls the same at first.

Don't become obsessed with filling up the space with lots of cheap furniture just to get it "filled up." This is a big mistake new homeowners and renters make. Buy a few good pieces and put aside a budget every month to add a piece or two. Check online deal sites, garage sales, eBay and local ads. You'll be surprised how many great finds are out there so start looking! Vintage is almost always cooler than new and cheap.

When it comes to your bedroom, try to buy a good quality bed. You're spending a lot of time in there and you really want to be comfortable. If you're well-rested, the whole world just seems easier, doesn't it? Mattresses are another item that also seem to be on sale every weekend. So look for a deal!

Little changes can make a big difference! If you move into a home that has standard-issue hall lighting, don't fret over it. Change it out with a pretty, more decorative light. You can get these in abundance for under $100 and it makes a big difference! Also, even if you cannot afford a full-on kitchen redo, you can switch the hardware for better-looking counterparts and voila! Instant cool! The same can be done with doorknobs and drawer pulls. If you rent, just put it all in a box in a closet and forget about it. When you're ready to move, you replace them and bring your new stuff with you wherever you go.

Decorating a new home, whether it's your first or your fourth, can be really stressful or a lot of fun. It's totally up to you. The key is to enjoy the process, keep things in perspective and not to spend money you don't have.

Because you always want to have a little left over for the shoes, right?


Check your local TV listings for more of celebrity designer, Courtney Cachet's style ideas and tips! You can catch her frequent appearances nationwide on TV, where she dishes out all the latest in celebrity home and lifestyle! Keep up with her on or Facebook and join the conversation!