How Much Should I Spend on Clothes? (+ 9 Tips to Stay on Budget)

How to stick to your clothing budget and how to save if you like to shop.

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When it comes to spending money on clothes I’m all over the map: a former shopping addict who now favors more thoughtful (read: more expensive) items that will last a lifetime. Since I used to have pretty bad spending habits, but am now earning more I'm always hyper aware of how much I should spend on clothing. Because of my history, I always worry I'm spending too much.

So, what's the baseline? What's the appropriate amount to spend on shopping if you make okay money but want to be budget conscious? What's the hard and fast rule for spending limits when it comes to clothing – for both work and play? How do families handle clothing costs?

I did a little research and digging to try and answer this question.

 

 

How Much Should You Spend on Clothing?

 

Most financial experts say around 5% of your budget.

 

So, take whatever your monthly pay is and multiply it by .05. 

 

For example, Suzie takes home $3500 per month after taxes. She should (in theory) spend no more than $175 each month on clothes, or $2100 a year (For those who like to shop just 2-3 times each year, like Black Friday or offseason for the best deals, break your amount down by quarter or every other month.)

 

What does the research say is the average clothing cost per month for most people?

 

 

 

There's a difference between what people should be budgeting for clothes and shopping, and what actually gets spent.  Depending on where you look, the answer to how much people spend on clothing (on average) varies.

 

From Credit Donkey:

 

  • The average person spends around $161 per month on clothes – women spend nearly 76% more than men do on clothing in a year.
  • The average family of four spends around $1800 per year on clothes, with $388 of this on shoes

 

From Prisoners of Class:

 

  • Women spend (on average) between $150-$400 per month on clothing.
  • It is estimated a woman will spend around $125k on clothes in her entire lifetime.

 

Why I Like the 5% Clothing Budget Rule

 

Who What Wear has a great article on how to stretch 5% of your monthly income broken down by income. What I really like about the 5%  number is that it scales depending on your income. Of course, 5% for a single woman on a 90k salary means different purchases than 5% of 80k for a family of four, but I like having a baseline and then adjusting from there.

 

  • If you have a job where you are on the road a lot and giving professional presentations, perhaps you spend more.
  • Maybe you’re a fashion blogger, maybe you spend more (or less depending on if you receive items as gifts or for you to review).
  • Say you’re a minimalist, you may max out your budget, but only come home with a handful of items each year that will last a lifetime.

 

The point is – don’t let the number define you. However, if you are on a tight budget, low salary, or are contributing to other financial goals ….like debt payoff, for example…don’t spend more than 5%.

 

Unless you're doing a specific no spend challenge or trying to shop less, it's okay to spend some money. Fashion may be a luxury, but clothing itself is a necessity. Stick to the tips below to assess how to make your monthly clothing spend stretch further.

 

How to Only Spend 5% of Your Income on Clothes Each Year

 

 

#1 – Check Your Budget 

 

If you don’t have a budget already – what are you waiting for? A budget should always be your first step in finding out how much “play money” you have to shop, dine out, or do any other fun stuff. The 50-30-20 method is my favorite way to start.

 

The important part about creating a budget is that it will give you a hard limit for your spending. You shouldn’t be sacrificing meals to buy a new dress, and if you’re sticking to your budget you won’t have to.

 

  • The per month number is just a guideline. Maybe you only shop 1-2x per year. Just make sure your numbers are lining up on an annual basis.
  • Many times I get to the holiday season, need a new outfit for a party or something, and realize I’m out of money for the year – so I don’t shop.
  • It’s good practice for your overall, larger budget, but it also helps keep fast fashion crap out of your wardrobe.

 

If make $100k per year, 5% is 5k.

That’s $1500 per quarter, or $500 in a month.

 

This is A LOT of money, but if you're in a family, may not go far at all. Also, it feels like clothing only seems to get more expensive. 

 

#2 – Invest in Quality, Not Quantity

 

 

I LOVE this piece that talks about making fashion sustainable. And let's face it: fast fashion is bad for the environment. 

 

Even though clothes can see exorbitantly expensive, investing in lifelong pieces (especially once you hit your mid-20's) can actually be the smarter money move.  There's an old British saying, “Too poor to wear cheap clothes.” 

Instead of looking at the ticket price, think in terms of “price per wear.” If a T-Shirt costs $100, but you wear it twice each week, then the item will “pay” for itself by the end of the year. 

 

A study in the UK found items of clothing are worn an average of seven times. If you're someone who likes to update fashions frequently, it may be better for you to spend on cheaper items and only really splurge on items you'll know you can wear year after year: bags, shoes, and coats. 

 

#3 – Buy Secondhand

This is a biggie for me. To save money and be more eco-conscious, I often buy second hand when I can — most of it BRAND NEW with the tags on. You wouldn't believe how much clothing gets donated or consigned with the tags still attached (and I'm willing to bet you've given away an item or two with the tags attached.)

I primarily search for second-hand luxury goods on Ebay, Poshmark, and The Real Real

 

 

Honestly, I’ve gotten so many good deals from The RealReal and now it's the main place where I shop. I recently bought a pair of Diane Von Furstenberg pants that everyone compliments for $75. They came unworn, with the tags and normally retail over $300. FBL Readers can get 20% with my link.  

 

Here are the other places I look when I’m trying to score clothes at a good price

  • TJ Maxx  & Nordstrom Rack- Now that TJ and  Nordstrom Rack have online shopping platforms it's easier than ever to shop for the higher-end designer brands, like shoes that I love that rarely go on sale. 
  • J. Crew & J.Crew Factory – While the quality of J. Crew has diminished somewhat in recent years, I can pick up a lot of “trendy” stuff for not a lot of money by shopping their sale section.
  • LOFT – I buy all my basics there – the tees and tanks that serve to ground my wardrobe that I usually only get one season of wear out of. But hey, they’re cheap, and the price per wear (given how much I wear them) is actually pretty low. They’ve also got great basics.
  • Lord & Taylor – Another department store where I love getting designer bags, shoes and boots at deep discounts during their off-season sales. They have some cheap, crappy brands in there, but when they discount the higher end brands they do deep percentages (like 50-75% off.)

 

 

#4 – Consign and then use the cash

 

 

Each season, I'll take what I no longer want to wear and put it into a cleanup bag with Thredup. Then, I can either use that money for store credit to get something new, or I take the Paypal cashout and add it to my clothing budget.

 

I'm all the time doing this – trying to make my spend a “Net Zero”, especially when it comes to those lovely little extras like clothing and Sephora purchases. 

 

Another tip I like to give is entrusting my handy automatic savings apps to save up money FOR me in a separate account. Then when I want to do some shopping, it’s already “paid” for in a sense, and I can keep the money off my credit card. 

I saved $1000 in 45 days in this challenge using savings apps, although it was for an emergency fund and not clothing. Still, whatever the goal, it’s fun to save up first and then shop without any guilt. (P.S. here are ten other automatic savings apps I like and use besides Qapital.)

 

#5 – Keep a running list

 

I also always try and keep a running list of clothing items (I keep this in Trello, like I do with all my business stuff) and it's those items that I truly need.

 

For example, when a pair of my favorite yoga pants ripped, or when I wear out a pair of boots, I add in replacements on the list. After doing a closet inventory, I'll add things to list as well, some practical (like a pair of snow boots) and others more trend driven, like a great pair of white jeans for Spring. 

 

I always keep a clothing list for three big reasons:

 

  • Keeping a list serves to keep me from overspending and also keeps the items I need top-of-mind. This way when I do spot a good sale I can act (guilt-free.)
  • This helps me ensure I'm not buying multiples of items I already own, which I am SUPER prone to do.
  • After I've taken inventory of what I “need” to get for the season, I take the number of items and divide by my total clothing budget for the month or quarter by that number.

 

If I need 10 items…1500/10=150.00 per item. So that’s what I’m looking to spend per item (give or take.)

 

#6 – Get Creative

 

 

There’s more than one way to get stylish clothes on the cheap. I’ve done many of the following in order to get cute, new clothes for not a lot of money:

  • I've participated in clothing swaps
  •  I’ve shopped on Ebay
  • …And even tried a capsule wardrobe or two. (It was fun, but also not for me…)
  • I’ll also mention ….again…. how easy it is to get second-hand items of good quality from places like Poshmark, (where people can sell directly via the mobile app), Thredup, and The RealReal.

 

#7 – Try a No Spend/No Shopping Challenge

 

 

 

I'm a big fan of experimenting with new routines to whip our finances into shape and learn more about ourselves and our spending habits.

Having a no-spend challenge for a month or even a year-long shopping ban, (read Michelle's post on that here, or follow Cait's TWO YEAR LONG shopping ban here) can be a great way to take the focus off of your closet, and onto your finances and furthering your financial goals.

 

#8 – Optimize Cashback

 

 

When I was doing my $1000 in 45-day challenge, I got hooked on using Ebates for myself. Essentially, by using the extension, I saved money every time I shopped online (even when reordering contacts, or sending someone a bouquet of flowers!).

You get paid with Ebates four times a year. Every time I get paid, I deposit the money into my f*ck off fund, but you could use the cash for whatever you want: clothes, shoes, travel. 

Same goes if you get cash back on your credit card purchases. Many people just use this as a statement credit, but if you save it up all year long, you could have a nice portion of your 5% clothing budget taken care of by the end of the year. The main thing is to try and optimize your spend at certain retailers, on double point days, or using only one platform/service.

In addition to Ebates, Here are some other sites we like for cashback rewards.

 

#8 – Shop Your Closet 

 

 

It might sound goofy, but sometimes you don’t really know what you already have. It's been proven that people only wear about 20% of their closets (unless you're a sworn minimalist!). Information from a Credit Donkey survey states over half of women don’t use 25% of their closet (FYI – this is the equivalent of wasting, like, $600 on average per year.)

Doing a deep closet shop can be great for a number of reasons like saving money or living a more minimalist lifestyle. I love to do it for three main reasons:

 

  •  It cuts down on the clutter in my closet, so I can actually see and make use of my outfits.
  •  It gives my clothes a nice, even wear.
  • Everything feels new again because I haven't seen it or worn it in six months!

 

I “closet shop” a little bit different than most people and what you’ll see below varies from traditional “how to shop your closet” advice.

 

With that said, I'm super fond of my method because it works well for me.  

 

My closet shop method takes place on a bi-annual basis – just twice a year. Most of it is around packing and unpacking the items. This sounds crazy. But it really works and rotating your clothes means you’ll never tire of them.

 

#1- Start By Taking an Inventory of Your Closet

 

 

You’re familiar with the #Kondo method for clothes? You know, everyone takes everything out of the closet and puts it in a big pile and then decides what should go back in based on whether it sparks joy or not?

 

This is fine, but when I say take inventory, I mean look at it from an outfits perspective. What are you missing that would help you wear items you already own (and love – that's important) in a new and exciting way?

 

 

#2 – Pack Away Seasonal Items

 

Without. Fail. I pack away my winter wardrobe and then the next year when I swap my closet over again, I see things I completely forgot I had.

 

“Out of sight, out of mind” really, really rings true when it comes to items in your closet. 

 

I do a bi-seasonal rotation. I have a Spring/Summer wardrobe and a Fall/Winter one, and also shoes for both. It goes a little something like this:

 

 

  • At the end of every season, I ceremoniously pack away the out-of-season clothes and really don't remember them until I unpack them again the next season. It feels like I got a brand new wardrobe when really I didn't. 
  • I put them in boxes and stash them out of sight either in my closet or in another part of the house entirely.
  • Sometimes if I have the box it came in or some pretty tissue paper, I wrap it up as if it’s new (or nearly new) and it feels like a nice treat in a year when I unwrap the items again.
  • Storing them properly is also an excellent way to ensure your clothes stay in good condition during the offseason.

 

If you don’t have a spare closet, that okay. Make it work. When I lived in NYC I got one of those under bed storage boxes and put my clothes in there – just so you're keeping everything separated out from the items you wear daily.  

 

 

#3 – Tag “Borderline” items and pack those away, too.

 

I tag a few “borderline” items that I know didn't get much wear before I pack them away. Usually, I just put a post-it on it.

 

If something that I've tagged from last winter doesn't get worn again during the following one, or I decide I’m really “over it” the next time I switch out the clothes in my closet, I donate it or try to resell it. 

 

As a bonus, packing and unpacking for each season also allows me to inspect my clothes more carefully than I would if I just left them in the closet all year long. When was the last time you really looked at your clothes, like, really inspected them for holes and ripped seams?

 

Sometimes if I have a “borderline” piece, i.e. something I haven't worn in six months that I still love or feel an attachment to, I'll take it out for a spin with something I've never worn it with before, just to see if I feel the same way about it. Or see if I can make it “work” with my current closet items.

 

Often, it feels like I'm wearing something new, even when it isn't. If the outfit rocks, I'll keep the piece and wear it again. If it doesn't, I'll donate it.

 

#4 – Purge Without Question or Regret

 

Rips, tears, and stains? Throw away those items (no matter how much you love them) or donate them to goodwill.

And I’m serious – be RUTHLESS. Things like this really bother me when I spot them on my clothes. If you find something like this, either make plans to repair it or get rid of it.

 

I love how Marie Kondo positions this. Instead of “What do you want to keep?” she asks, “What do you want for your future?”

 

Do you really want a sweater with holes in it for your future?” No. You don’t.

 

By having clothes that are in great condition – no matter if it’s old, second hand, or whatever – you’ll always look neat and tidy, which is half the battle of looking pulled together anyway.

 

#5 – Get a process for your clothing rotation

 

 

Are you bad about wearing the same things over and over again? Me too. So, I intentionally hang things I've worn in the back of my closet and keep the unworn items at the front.

When planning my outfits, I try to make them out of items so everything gets worn. It doesn't really matter how you set up the rotation, (here’s another great tutorial) just that you find something that works for you.

 

#6 – Know where you can get high-quality basics for a big discount

 

Sometimes designer clothes are expensive for absolutely no reason. Other times, the increase in price means the clothes are made of better quality materials and thus will last longer (if taken care of properly.)

Over time, you'll find designers you can count on for quality and ones that vibe with your style and body type. The trick is to find these items at a discount and never pay full price. These are my favorite places to shop new clothes at a discount.

 

 

Wrapping Up

 

Really, I wrote this article about how much to spend on clothing because I’m fascinated by the way people spend their money. I held this fascination long before I started blogging about personal finance. Of most interest to me is how real women spend their money on things that are almost mandated for us to consume: clothes and beauty products.

I'm tired of feeling guilty over what I spend on clothes in a month. But, I figure as long as I stay inside of my budget…I'm doing alright. After all, as my friend Stefanie O'Connell would say, “It's not frivolous if it serves you.”  

 

It's easy to stay on budget AND get the clothes you want if you're willing to get a little creative. Try my favorite retailer, TheRealReal for designer brands (with the tags) at up to 90% off. Use code REAL at checkout for 20% off.
How Much Should I Spend on Clothes? (+ 9 Tips to Stay on Budget)
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    • Liz
    • April 8, 2019
    Reply

    Just found this article and loved it! My disposable income was quite high, but I had to downsize my whole spending habits in the last three year. It’s been really tough at times!! But you definitely learn how to manage money more wisely. I shop my closet (and I’m really glad I did invest in quality pieces when I could afford it..)and try to stick to my monthly budgets. (Still damn hard sometimes, but I am more motivated than ever!!)

  1. Reply

    Before buying new clothes you need to finalize the budget for new clothes. It will help you to get an idea about how much money you need to spend. I’m always buying clothes online and I would like to suggest you to buy online where you get amazing deals and discounts.

    • Jenny
    • March 1, 2019
    Reply

    My budget is $300 per month on myself for clothes, shoes, and accessories. My husband and I do pretty well and we don’t have children but I do sometimes feel guilty about my spending😬

    • Giulia Lombardo
    • October 3, 2016
    Reply

    Before budget I saw something and bought without thinking if I needed or not, since I have a budget in my life I rtend to write a list for every year, looking what there is already inside my closet, doing shopping from it and try sort of shopping ban, then I do decluttering and keep only pieces that I wear mixing together, but being a woman I love visit into H&M but try to shop only when I really really need…

    • Rachel
    • June 14, 2013
    Reply

    Loved this! Just stumbled upon your blog when I was googling, feeling guilty and trying to justify my spending! I spend about an average of £100 on clothing and beauty a month and I only work part-time so it’s a big chunk of my wages. Working less is a double downfall as it means more time to shop! I’m going to join you on this fast! I think even six months is a bit ambitious for me but if I go July and August without buying anything I’ll be really pleased with myself. I was going to go to the Kooples outlet store tomorrow and treat myself but I’m not going to now! Thanks for the motivation!

      • L Bee
      • June 14, 2013
      Reply

      You are super welcome! Two months is nothing, you can do it!! It does get hard from time to time, (there was a30% off sale at j.crew today and I almost caved!!) but I thought about the house I am buying and the credit cards. Planning out your outfits for the week helps too! Let me know how it goes!!

    • Janine
    • May 22, 2013
    Reply

    When I’m i school I don’t usually buy clothes because I can’t justify it. Maybe set a really ambitious saving goal and funnel your clothing spending towards it.

    • Francieidy
    • May 20, 2013
    Reply

    I try to buy items on sale or clearance or blah blah blah, but those are just excuses to buy more clothes that I don’t need. It must be a girl thing to get bored of the clothes we already have and want more. $3500 is alot – about what I spend as well – I’m going to take this challenge with you. Maybe not for six months but at least till August cause we’re moving and that’s super expensive and we need new living room furniture which is also expensive. Just gonna have to come up with new outfit ideas with what we already have =D

      • L Bee
      • May 20, 2013
      Reply

      Yes, I am also moving into a new house and we will need at least a few pieces of new furniture. I was honest with myself about the six months vs. the year. Hopefully I’ll be able to stick to it!

    • Dana
    • May 20, 2013
    Reply

    Yes! I call it Clothing Austerity. I initially shoot to spend $0 for a month. It’s amazing how creative you can get with those 4-year-old Ann-Taylor-clearance wore-them-twice items in your closet.
    Dana (NYC, strongly considering move elsewhere)

      • L Bee
      • May 20, 2013
      Reply

      I have a few of those hanging around, but usually they go to goodwill or get swapped with a friend who is the same size as me. (She recently lost an assload of weight and gave me all her size 6 Ann Taylor pants.)

      Gotta love NYC, I miss it sometimes, but overall I’m happy I moved. Where do you want to move to?

    • Canadianbudgetbinder
    • May 19, 2013
    Reply

    Wow, that’s lots of $$ on clothes $3500!! I tend to go in spurts when I buy clothes as I’m picky about quality. I would rather save up my clothing budget and buy jeans, t-shirts or sweaters or whatever a bit at a time. I also shop at the second-hand shops where I’ve scored some great deals on high-end, good quality clothes for dirt cheap! It’s always worth having a peak if you don’t mind second-hand.

      • L Bee
      • May 20, 2013
      Reply

      I have been known to frequent thrift stores. In fact, I think last time I did a clothing fast I said I could cheat at thrift stores, which did curb my spending some, but the point of this fast is more about being happy with what I have and “making do”. Gotta love the prices at the thrift store, though. I feel like they have better quality men’s stuff than women’s IMO.

    • mochimac @ save. spend. splurge.
    • May 19, 2013
    Reply

    I spend WAY too much on clothes. I’m trying to scale back this year but.. damn.

    I will say that I haven’t bought any clothes since April so I feel good… this streak will continue seeing as I don’t really find anything decent to buy these days (Not Made in China, Not Polyester, etc).

      • L Bee
      • May 20, 2013
      Reply

      Glad I’m not the only one. I’ll let you know how it goes, keep me updated on your progress as well.

    • Sara
    • May 18, 2013
    Reply

    I’ve spent less than $75 this year; and combined we’ve probably spent about $200 (he’s far harder on his clothing…and also ginormous). We have been trying to spend so little for so long that most of our clothing could use a complete overhaul.

    Having said that, I would put $3500 on our car loan. That debt bothers me more than anything else.

      • L Bee
      • May 20, 2013
      Reply

      I’m really bad about throwing things out the minute they have the slightest bit of “wear” in them. I’m also ridiculously hard on my shoes, so I don’t throw those out often enough I suppose.

    • Leah
    • May 17, 2013
    Reply

    I have a wonderful affliction that renders me incapacitated while clothes shopping. I get so overwhelmed and anxious that even if I truly need to buy something, I often can’t do it.

    For example, I literally only have 1 pair of shorts for spring/summer. I desperately want to have a new pair in my wardrobe (who likes to be seen in the same pair of shorts every weekend for 5 months?), but I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I’ll put off buying for at least another year. My mouth is actually drying up just writing about buying a new pair!

      • L Bee
      • May 20, 2013
      Reply

      I have to be in “the mood” for shopping, otherwise I go into a store trying to get something I need and also get distracted or don’t feel like going to try things on. Girl, you should probably have more than one pair of shorts though!

    • Katie
    • May 17, 2013
    Reply

    I have the same idea starting June 1st! Although I don’t buy clothes nearly as often as I used to, it is still a habit that makes me feel better. My very large closet is packed with clothes so there’s nothing I need to be spending money on regarding that department. So I’m challenging myself to stop. It will definitely make at least a small impact on my budget, which supports my goal of getting out of debt. Great minds think alike! I look forward to reading about your progress!

      • L Bee
      • May 20, 2013
      Reply

      Thanks Katie! I hope to do a monthly update, so we will see how it goes. I already had to restrain myself at target yesterday. Gah!

    • Chris G.
    • May 17, 2013
    Reply

    Hey L to the Bee. The blog is great. I’ve added you to my feedly (since Google Reader has spat on and tossed aside its RSS users). I look forward to reading lots of money-saving-fantastical blog posts here.

    As to spending too much on clothes, I don’t really spend that much on le clothes. According to my mint.com, I spent $310 on clothes last year. I guess I’m like the Mahatma Gandhi of clothing fasts. If I had an extra $3,500, I would definitely put it towards my down payment on my future house.

      • L Bee
      • May 20, 2013
      Reply

      haha. $310 in one year? That’s like $26 per month. Guess you are the Ghandi of clothing fasts. Now you’re just making me feel bad, ha!

      And thank you for adding me to your feed.

    • Kyle @ Debt Free Diaries
    • May 17, 2013
    Reply

    I’m in the middle of a clothing almost-fast right now. While Leslie and I pay down some debts (and free up our budget) we are on a spending freeze for clothes. The only thing I’ve bought for myself over the last year was a sweater, some socks, and one new pair of shoes since my old ones had holes in them. We did recently buy Leslie some new business clothes, but it was pre-budgeted and saved for over the course of a few months.

      • L Bee
      • May 17, 2013
      Reply

      Is it bad for me to say that pre-budgeting for clothes almost takes the fun out of it for me? The part of shopping I love most is going in for a deal and coming away with something unexpected that I adore.

      Eesh. Reading that I realize how it’s gotten.

    • Miss Amanda
    • May 17, 2013
    Reply

    About a year ago, I had lost a bit of weight – enough that clothes weren’t fitting properly anymore, and therefore I allowed myself to buy some new clothes then. However, due to various factors, I’ve put most of the weight back on (not much, but enough to change how my clothes fit again). Because I’m not happy with this weight, I’ve avoided buying new clothes because I’m hoping I’ll be thinner/stronger again soon.

    Rather then giving myself a time frame where I’m not allowing myself to buy clothes, I’m giving myself a goal weight to reach. Which hopefully doesn’t take too long to reach!

      • L Bee
      • May 17, 2013
      Reply

      I think waiting until you hit your goal weight is a great idea! I keep telling myself if I pay off my student loan I’ll treat myself to something. That wouldn’t be so bad, right?

        • Miss Amanda
        • May 17, 2013
        Reply

        It’s really hard not to buy the cute/on sale clothes that I aspire to fit into one day! But I have more than enough “skinny clothes” in storage as it is… 🙂

    • Jordann @ My Alternate Life
    • May 17, 2013
    Reply

    You can totally do six months! After Christmas I went four months without spending anything on clothing. I just recently broke that trend when I ordered some summer items I’ve been needing. You can do it! You’ll feel better for it too.

      • L Bee
      • May 17, 2013
      Reply

      I always look to your minimalist wardrobe posts, and I feel like compared to most people my closet is relatively small, but I’m constantly replacing worn pieces with more expensive upgrades. Hopefully, this next year having those great staples in my closet will help ease the sting of not being able to shop.

    • Mrs PoP
    • May 17, 2013
    Reply

    My clothing spending is pretty minimal, but that’s largely becuse I find shopping boring and a chore. =). Can you train yourself not to enjoy shopping? It makes life so much cheaper!

    1. Reply

      We’re the same way – shopping is not fun. Even when we force ourselves to go sometimes we don’t come away with anything.

      • L Bee
      • May 17, 2013
      Reply

      I love to shop! I have to be in the mood for it, but I love searching for a specific item and hunting down the best deal. I’m always the big sucker for store coupons that encourage spending.

    • Michelle
    • May 17, 2013
    Reply

    I used to spend too too much on clothes. I’ve been much better with it and now I spend hardly anything. I do need to go shopping soon as I hate everything in my closet, or I would so join you in this spending fast!

      • L Bee
      • May 17, 2013
      Reply

      Why do you hate everything in your closet?

  2. Reply

    My husband and I together have spent a bit less than $500 in the last year on clothes and shoes aka less than 1% of our gross income. I think a clothing fast is a great idea – once you get out of the habit of looking for stuff to buy I think you’ll have an easier time even when the fast ends. Just don’t keep a list of everything you want to buy the second it ends.

    If we had an extra $3500 we’d max out our Roth IRAs and spend the rest on a vacation.

      • L Bee
      • May 17, 2013
      Reply

      Less than 1% is fantastic! Yay you! I have a hard time with shopping because I do keep lists. Every season I go through my closet and throw away things that are old (I’m a compulsive de-clutterer) and then I make a list of the items I want, generally the “trendy” items that go from season to season.

      Not keeping a list is a great tip.

    • JW_Umbrella Treasury
    • May 17, 2013
    Reply

    Hi L Bee! I found your post through Twitter and love this post. I used to spend a LOT on clothes…several hundred per month, in fact. It got especially bad as I was started reading fashion blogs and made a lot of impulse purchases that were completely unnecessary.

    I’ve drastically cut back since then. When my husband and I were saving for our wedding, I bought almost no clothes for 6 months. Now, I’m allowing myself a new piece every now and then…usually no more than $50-100/month.

    In terms of having an extra $3,500…I would put that towards a down payment on a house : O

      • L Bee
      • May 17, 2013
      Reply

      I have a budget of $60 per month for clothing, but then I usually blow through that on a season shopping spree I’ve been treating myself too, which makes my “average” monthly spending closer to $250. Yikes.

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