I know clothes are something that most of us all need, some people need more than others. But spending thousands of your hard earned dollars on clothing is something I just don’t see as justified.
By creating a clothing budget you can kick your old habits to the curb and adopt new ways of looking at your need for clothing. Clothes are very expensive, the average American family spends $1800 per year on clothing. It’s time to take a good look to determine areas you can begin to save money on clothes.
Obviously, if you are a fashionista you probably spend much more than $1800 a year. In fact, you can most likely spend that amount or more in one quick spree. But please remember if you start to find yourself in a bind due to your spending habits it’s time to take a look at what is going on. Financially savvy people aren’t only smart with their money they are smart with the ways they spend their money.
I understand that for those of you who are trendy and have money pouring out of your purse this information may not apply. I totally get it. I used to care a lot more about how I dressed too.
However, when you are living on a tight budget and looking for ways to cut back taking a look at your clothing budget may be just the place to start. Often times people begin discovering things that are more important to them than clothes and they begin looking for ways to stop spending their hard earn dollars on the latest fashions.
1. Buy versatile
Some of the best outfits are achieved through layering versatile pieces. Think about a cute basic tank that can be worn under many different plain flowy v-neck tops. You can top it off with a nice jacket that you can either dress up or down depending on the event. Stick with colors that don’t stand out so you have the option to wear it multiple times with different looks.
2. Buy in the off seasons
Go ahead and peruse those sale racks. Yah, it may be summer now but this is the perfect time to look for that winter coat you need for the following season. I bet you can get it for less than half of what you would normally pay in the prime winter months. Take this time to stock up on commonly needed items such as long sleeve basic t’s.
Retailers mark their offseason items off by as much as 75% making it a great way to buy clothes on a budget.
3. Buy neutrals
Yes, its fun to make a statement every once in a while but did you know you can do so without your outfit screaming “look at me”.
Purchase clothing in neutral colors so you can wear them throughout the year as opposed to just the summer months. Keep your eyes out for classic styles that are timeless and can be worn for many years to come.
By purchasing colors that work together you can dress them up or down with some simple accessories, such as a scarf, necklace, or great earrings. This will allow you to wear the same great pieces yet spice it up with different looks.
4. Shop consignment
I can’t tell you how far second-hand and consignment stores have come in the last 10 years. No, it’s not like going to the salvation army. Consignment stores are great places because they will not accept clothing that is not in good condition or no longer trending with the latest fashions.
You can find some truly amazing gems by frequenting your local second-hand stores. I have got some amazing name brand items for only a couple of dollars. It’s definitely worth looking into.
Pro tip: Thrift Shops in nicer neighborhoods have the best used clothing.
5. If you don’t love it leave
I know we have all been in a clothing store and debated with ourselves about a certain piece of clothing. Does it fit? Will I grow into it? Will I lose weight to be able to fit into it?
If any of these thoughts are going through your head. DO NOT purchase. The likelihood of this piece of clothing working for you at a later time is very slim. I know, I know you may have found it on the sale rack and its discounted significantly. Don’t do it! It will end up being a dust collector you will regret it.
6. Sell your clothes you no longer use
I suggest going through your clothes at the end of every season and getting rid of items that you no longer use. Don’t save clothes thinking you “may” wear it. This will probably not happen and if you sell it now while it’s still fashionable you can make a couple of extra dollars.
7. Clothing exchange
Host a clothing exchange. Exchange parties are a great way to get your good friends together and clear out your closet while calling dibs on new items. When having an exchange invite the more the merrier. It’s always fun to see what people have stashed away in their closets. Heck, your give away is your girlfriends best treasure.
8. Use Ebates
Have I told you how much I truly love the discounts I get from eBates. Nothing is better than getting money back on what you spend and that’s what happens when you shop through eBates. Getting cash back is a great way to increase the amount of money that you save on clothing! You can shop hundreds of online stores and get up to 20% of everything you have spent back to you.
New members get a free $10 gift card of their choice once they make their first $25.00 purchase (or more) so the savings just keep stacking up.
9. Skip expensive workout clothing
I know it’s all the style to have the trendiest workout clothing. But come on $100 for workout pants? That is ridiculous! Activewear is comfy and versatile (sometimes) but you get some super cute quality brand items at your local department store for a fraction of the cost.
I have a great money saving tip from Marj at Stashing dollars
When it comes to saving money, there are just some things I am not willing to give up. I try to find monthly expenses that I can reduce or eliminate to pay for things like having my hair done (not ready for grey hair yet) or having a night out. I am not much of a person to buy “things”, but I do enjoy eating out and going places.
I have a strict entertainment budget and I regularly monitor my expenses. It is easy for me to get carried away with small monthly expenses ($5-$20 a month) that I don’t use. I pay myself first and if I need extra money, I spend less on entertainment by doing things that have little or no cost.
10. Shop discount stores
I absolutely love saving money by shopping at T.J.Maxx, Ross and Marshalls.
Discount stores sell overstock and slightly imperfect pieces from other retailers for a fraction of their cost. The one thing I love about these stores is that they have a little bit of everything. You can get yourself namebrand bra and panties along with some designer jeans and a cheap pair of shoes all in one quick swoop.
Make sure to check the clothes carefully before you buy them. I’ve purchased a shirt that I didn’t realize had a couple of loose buttons that were about to pop off. This is rare, but its worth a quick mention.
11. It’s okay to borrow
I know its fun (for some people) to go and look for the perfect dress for that once every 5 years Christmas party you’re invited to. But why not consider borrowing something from a good friend? If you are only going to wear something once every couple years its best to see what your friends have in their closet. You make think you are purchasing an investment piece but if you aren’t going to fit into in a couple of years what kind of investment was it?
There you have it! I’ve given you all my tops secrets of how I save money on my clothing budget each year. I have to be honest I rarely spend money on clothes at all anymore. By purchasing high high-quality timeless pieces you are able to wear them for years to come.
I hate to sound like the boring average joe but at this point I’d much rather put my money towards more important things such as savings and early retirement than on fashionable clothing.