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How much have you spent on clothing this year?

by J. Money on Friday, September 4, 2009

$600 - Is that good?I like random questions like this because it gets you to stop and think about your spending habits. It’s also fun to see how you compare to your peers :)

I know some who spend $300+ a month, while others have gone an entire YEAR (or three) without wearing anything new. I seriously don’t know how they do it. Blogger Mapgirl just just calculated her amounts and she’s only spent $373.98 this year! Incredible. I know we all have different shopping goals and all, but she’s a GIRL! How could she beat me? haha…

I don’t consider myself a hardcore shopper or anything, but I’ve def. spent more than $370 for the year. I don’t have the patience to sort through all my c/c statements and add them all up, but if I had to guess I’d say I’ve handed over at least $600 this year. And compared to previous years of $1,000-$2,000, I’ve surely come a long way.

I have a shopping budget of $100 every month, and about $75 of it is set aside for clothes and accessories (man jewelry and all). And to be honest, I really haven’t had the desire to go out and really look for stuff since I gave shopping up last year. The only times I end up looking around is if I have time to kill at the mall or I’m perusing some hot sales at Express or TJ Maxx or somewhere. And even then I usually only buy t-shirts since I wear them to work everyday with a pair of jeans. Luckily, spending $10 or $15 here and there will hardly get me into trouble. It’s when I start looking for jeans or shoes that I end up dropping more than I’d like.

Since I budget everything though (in categories – “shopping”, “food”, “mortgages”) I always know roughly what I’m spending. And all the money saved UNDER budget makes for some great motivation :) Plus, since any extra is sent directly to my savings account, I can look forward to spending it on something really important down the line.

Are you happy with the amounts you’ve been spending on clothes?


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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 JMK April 26, 2010 at 10:44 am

In 2009 the total expense for all 4 of us was around $750. This included $450 for my DH to do the major shirt/tie/pants replacement he does every ~3yrs. I got a $3 sweater at the thrift store. DD got a new first day of school shirt for $10, and the rest was for my incredible growing teenaged son (jeans & hoodies). The kids also got a fun/trendy clothing item at Christmas but I include that in the gift budget.

For 2010 so far: $180
$25 Tshirt and belt for teen son
$5 3prs tennis socks for me
$25 summer clothes at thrift store for 8yr old daughter
$125 dress shoes for DH (buys good quality and replaces about every 5-7yrs and this was the year)
There will be about $150 to spend between now and December, but that’s likely it for this year.

We buy mostly at thrift stores and only buy when something wears out or the kids outgrow it. We don’t shop recreationally. We don’t actually have a clothing budget because we do it so seldom we’d just be carrying forward an amount for months until we actually used it. Due to good incomes and a frugal lifestyle, about 40% of our take home is unallocated each week, and normally the excess gets transfered into retirement savings or extra mortgage payments. If we do have unscheduled spending like clothing one week, I just move a few dollars less. For something we do so rarely, it’s just too much trouble to budget for it. My son grew 8 inches in the past 2yrs and the clothing expenses reflected it. This year he won’t need anything except perhaps new sneakers. I’m not sure if we’re in the eye of the growth storm or if the storm as passed, but at 6feet and size 12 shoes he can stop now as far as I’m concerned.

I can understand a special one time clothing spree when starting a new job, or you have to buy for a first child (additional kids will get the hand me downs), but frankly I don’t understand people having a monthly clothing budget the rest of the time. Unless you do hard labour that is tough on your clothes or are in a massive weight change mode (losing, or pregnant) then how can you possibly be wearing out your clothes that fast? Sounds to me like it really should be classified as the entertainment budget! Women generally have a reputation for spending wildly on clothing and I suspect now most use that excuse as justification for what they see as just normal behaviour. I realize I’m not “normal”. I buy classic styles in basic colors. Everything matches many other things. At Christmas if pressed for a gift suggestion I usually ask for an accessory like a wrap, scarf or earings to make what I have look different. I’m not one to give in to the latest style, my body and colouring don’t change every season so regardless of the trends I buy what suits me and then wear it out.

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2 J. Money April 30, 2010 at 1:54 pm

WOW!!! On both your overall spending on clothes AND that 40% leftover amounts! Geeesh, that is in credible. Great job over there :) It’s a good thing the Blogger comments that didn’t xfer over here during our Wordpress conversion aren’t showing up — you’d have seen some VERY interesting numbers here! haha….many many multiples of your number ;)

Happy Friday!

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