How to set a fashion budget

Does it ever feel like you never have any money for anything other than bills? The list of expenses seems endless — mortgage repayments, insurances, petrol, groceries — and things you really need like supportive bras, matching socks and undies without holes get put on the backburner. If this sounds familiar, then it’s time you set a fashion budget.

woman creating budget

Set your budget…

Step 1: Calculate your earnings

This is the amount you earn monthly after tax has been deducted.

Step 2: Calculate your expenses

This should include your monthly mortgage payments or rent, any hire purchases, food, phone, internet, insurances, electricity or any other expenses.

Step 3: Subtract your expenses from your earnings

With any luck you should have a small amount left over. This is your clothing budget. Put this amount aside into a savings account. If you don’t have enough left over you may need to cut back on your expenses. If you were to give up having your morning cup of coffee on the way to work, you could save as much as $3.50 a day. It doesn’t sound like much but over a month that’s $108.50 you could have spent updating your wardrobe.

Step 4: Plastic is fantastic, but try to avoid using it

Credit cards seem like a wonderful solution when you don’t have instant cash on hand, but unless you are paying the balance in full every month, the interest rates can be extortionate. Some companies can charge as much as 25%.

… And stick to it!

So now you have your budget,  here’s how to stick to it.

Step 1: Avoid spontaneous purchases

Make purchases during clearance, end of season or end of financial year sales.

Step 2: Buy items you can mix and match to create a variety of outfits

Step 3: Accessorise!

Adding simple accessories like a belt or jewellery can put a new spin on any outfit.

Step 4: Take advantage of lay-by

If you feel like this is your one and only chance to snatch up your must-have clothing item, put it on lay-by rather than purchasing it on your credit card.

Step 5: Shop second-hand

Shop at second-hand clothing stores — you’ll be surprised at the designer wear you can pick up for next to nothing.

Step 6: Look for discount celebrity fashion lines

You can dress like a celebrity without having to pay the designer price tags. Selena Gomez, Pretty Little Liars’ Ashley Benson, Sofia Vergara from Modern Family and ex Charlie’s Angel Jaclyn Smith have all collaborated with fashion experts to design clothing lines which won’t blow your budget. They’re available exclusively at Kmart across Australia.

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