This is a new series I am trying. Every Friday I plan to give you a little insight on Jay and my financial life, how
we I budget, how we are doing with student loan repayment and wherever else life may take us financially.
Let’s talk about Money $$$. If you haven’t realized by now, I love to budget. It’s more than a hobby, it’s an obsession. As Jay and I become a little family unit and tackle our monthly budget, financial goals and lifetime goals, I have found myself prioritizing my past spending habits.
One budget line that can quickly turn into a huge money sucker for me is my clothing budget. While I used to budget $50 a month, I found myself going on a few shopping binges a year (usually around the change of seasons).
This month I cut my clothing budget back to $25 a month (which equals $300 a year). I talked extensively about buying clothes as a new grad back in 2010. My system really worked back then because my work wardrobe was in constant need of expansion.
Three years later, I have most of the staples I need for work. Yes, I am constantly replacing items like my workout shoes, but other clothing purchases have become more unnecessary. I don’t really need 3 pairs of grey dress pants, do I?
Yes, I do plan on buying myself a new top here or there. Yes, I plan to take part in StitchFix once every few months. But, this year you won’t find me going on an all out shopping spree. At this point I am more interested in finding new accessories that compliment what I already own and replacing worn out clothing.
I bought the cardigan about through my last StitchFix box.
Currently, the most frequent purchase I have needed to make is clothes to wear to evening events. Thankfully, a good friend (who is conveniently my size) offered to lend me dresses for upcoming weddings. This is a huge life and money saver, plus it’s always fun to shop in some one else’s closet!
Regardless of where you are in your purchasing cycle, I thought I would share my basic clothing rule: spend your clothing money based on where you spend your time!
I am super lucky that I work in a business casual workplace (both outfits above were worn to work). It’s rare when I have to wear a suit, but you will find me in dress pants/skirts, shirt and cardigan most days of the week. I myself also like to look semi-professional outside of work so almost everything I buy can also be worn at work.
If you sleep approximately 8 hours a day then you have 112 waking hours where we will assume you will be clothed. Let’s use my nice little life as an example:
- Work + Commute + Lunch = 50ish hours. 45% of my week in work clothes.
- I workout daily for about 1.5 hours, which equals about 10% of my time.
- That leaves 45% that I spend out and about DC, cooking, cleaning, showering etc.
Realistically, I only dress up for myself 25% of the time. Let’s assume that I spend 20% of my life in yoga/sweat pants.
Since I spend the majority of my time at work, I spend the majority of my clothes budget on clothes I could wear to work. And, when I spend money clothes I try to buy versatile work clothes that could also be the perfect Saturday outfit. Rarely do I buy a shirt that is strictly to go out on the town in. And even those “going out” clothes can now be repurposed under a blazer for work. I love that trend!
I think that’s it for now! Please share your clothing budget tips and tricks. How often do you buy clothes? Are you currently building a wardrobe or enhancing one?
PS: Not that I m fashionable at all… because I’m not. I would really like to start documenting my outfits on Tumblr. What do y’all think about that?