4 Rules for a Clothing Budget

Now that I am a mom, a wife, and a new homeowner, I have come to realize that I have to set a clothing budget. That is a whole lot of change in such a short-time period (a little over a year). I am telling you about my budget in the hopes that you will be keep me accountable.

Credit Image: NeoGaboX on Flickr

Important Factors to Consider When Setting a Clothing Budget
  1. Income: According to most financial planners, you should spend 4 to 6% of your take-home pay on clothing. Just multiply your monthly paychecks by .06 or .04 to get your monthly budget. This should include any alterations needed on the clothing you purchase. Keep the alteration cost in mind when making a purchase and factor that into the price. For quick reference, take a picture of the pricing guide from your tailor.
  2. Career Choice: Some jobs require that you spend more money on clothing. Careers where the quality of your clothing matters will require you to spend more. Jobs with uniforms can save you serious money! Also, the more casual the job, the less you have to spend. Some careers, like hair dressing, require constant replacement due to spillage and splatter incidents.
  3. Financial Goals: Saving money to buy a home or to renovate your home sometimes takes priority over clothing shopping. If you have credit card or medical debt, then you should be paying that off before making clothing purchases. We are trying to improve our home, so the clothing budget is much lower because of it.
  4. Habits: Do you shop every day, monthly, or go for a big haul every once in a while? For someone like me who shops all the time, I suggest a monthly clothing budget. You can even make the budget based on paychecks. Multiply .06 or .04 by your paycheck. This works well for bloggers and contract workers who don’t get paid the same every month. 
The Rules When Setting a Clothing Budget
  1. Write down what you spend!
  2. If you don’t spend it, let the budget carry over. You can save up to buy a big-ticket item.
  3. Have a budget support group that will keep you on track. My readers and my husband are my support group. Let the support group (or budget buddy) know that you are trying to keep to a budget and you need them to be your cheerleader and sponsor so that you keep on track.
  4. Return items when you go over budget. This means that most items need to be returnable. If they are not returnable, think about the purchase a little longer. Consult your budget support group to see if you should make the purchase.

I am determined to make budgeting work! I was spending almost 50% of my income on clothing for a long time during my single life! That is absurd and not a great idea as it caused me to go into debt! That had to end for the sake of my family and my home. I am now keeping track of all purchases and also asking my husband to keep me on track. He is my budget buddy. Some people might not feel comfortable enlisting their spouse in this budgeting endeavor, but in our relationship it works. We are partners and I NEED a budget support team.

As of now, we have agreed to $150 per month budget. I am going to make it work so that we can spend money on the new baby, Camilla, and the new house.

Do you have any tips for setting a clothing budget? Do you have a clothing budget?

 Check out other fashion advice and style inspiration: 

April Golightly

Palm to Park


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