When to splurge and when to save

Furniture! We all love it, and we all need it (unless we plan to hang out on the floor, which I don't), but those numbers on the cash register can add up fast. Sometimes you DO need to shell out for the sake of quality, but I have good news--not every piece you buy needs to be fancy pants. There are times when it's just as smart to save, so let's take a look at the differences, shall we?

SPEND THE MONEY:

These are pieces that you're going to use every single day. Pieces that can effect your quality of life--which may sound dramatic, but read on to see what I mean.

1. A good mattress. You'll spend about 1/3 of your life sleeping, so you want your mattress to be supportive and comfortable. (Quality of life, y'all.) Who wants to wake up with a sore back because a rogue spring was poking you all night? Not me.

2. An ergonomic desk chair. This is especially important for people who sit for most of the workday. Not having one can lead to neck pain, headaches, poor posture--definitely get the best you can afford. If possible, avoid the temptation of online shopping and test drive a few at a store before you purchase.

3. A quality sofa. When people are home, they spend a lot of time in the family room. Everyone will appreciate having a comfy place to sit, and you'll like a piece that holds up over time. It's annoying and expensive to replace a sofa every few years, so spend a little more the first time and go for quality.

SAVE YOUR PENNIES:

I don't want to say that these are less important purchases, because every part of a design matters, but these aren't the workhorses we discussed above. Let's save some money!

1. Accent chairs. Its function is in the name: accent. This isn't a chair you use everyday, or that anybody will necessarily sit on for a long time, so it's not imperative that you get the top of the line. Shell out for the sofa instead.

2. Side tables and ottomans. These are tertiary surfaces that typically don't hold anything important, maybe a bowl of chips and some magazines. As long as you avoid anything that wobbles, focus on finding a great deal.

3. A bed frame. I just mentioned the importance of getting a good mattress, but the bed frame itself doesn't need to be fancy. You can easily find some that are sturdy and practical for a few hundred bucks. At our house, we have our pricey Sleep Number mattress (worth it!) on an IKEA bed frame and it's the best of both worlds.

What's a great deal you've gotten on a piece of furniture? Have you paid a little extra for quality and loved it?