Several years ago, I worked in retail management. When I worked there, I spent way too much money on clothing and I definitely had a clothing problem.
I won’t say the dollar amount (yes, I am embarrassed), but it was a ridiculous amount. With our work computers, we could check how much money each of the employees spent just at that one store alone, and one of the girl’s I worked with had a dollar amount of over $12,000 since she started working there.
According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average person in the U.S. spends around $1,700 on clothing each year. Even this amount sounds like a lot to me. I don’t know what the average clothing budget is, but I’m assuming that most people set their average clothing budget much lower than this $1.7K number.
Since I left that job, I have learned how to properly shop and budget for clothing. I don’t spend anywhere near the amount that I used to spend, and I don’t think I even spend $1,700 a year either.
Here is what you can do to lower your clothing spending expenses and buy clothes on a budget:
Wash your clothes correctly in order to lower your clothing costs.
Washing and taking care of your clothes helps keep them in good condition for longer. Those tags on the inside of your clothes aren’t just for decoration, you should actually read and listen to them!
Wash dark clothing with darks, whites with whites, dry clean items when needed and so on. It doesn’t take too much extra effort, so stop being lazy.
Buy quality clothes on a budget.
When I say “buy quality,” I don’t mean that you have to spend $100 on a T-shirt.
It mainly just means that you should shop smart. Look at the tags before you buy clothing and see if they are using quality material. A good quality item should last you multiple washes, not just one or two.
If you want something trendy, buy it cheap in order to shop for clothes on a budget.
If I know for a fact that I will only wear a clothing item once or twice, then I usually don’t spend a lot of money on it.
It’s just not worth it to me to spend $75, $100 or $200 on something worn once. If I want something trendy, I usually head to stores like Forever21.
Use coupons to shop for clothes on a budget.
Websites like RetailMeNot have saved me a lot of money. All I have to do is type in the company name plus “coupon” in an online search and usually several coupons will pop up. Takes about one minute and usually I save anywhere from $10 to $50.
Sell your old clothes.
If you have clothes that you no longer wear, sell them! You can then put this money towards future clothes so that it’s sort of like a revolving cycle.
A few weeks ago, I sold a bag of clothes for $75. It didn’t make me rich, but I put it back towards my clothing budget.
Only buy what you can afford when shopping for clothes on a budget.
If you can’t control your spending, then you probably shouldn’t bring a credit card with you. You might want to think about only bringing cash or a prepaid card with you.
How much money do you spend on clothing each year? What’s your top clothing budget tip? What do you think the average clothing budget is?
I have to admit that I’m guilty of spending thousands of dollars on clothing, shoes, boots and sneakers and overspent. Now that I’m in a more frugal state of mind today and less concerned about spending money and more concerned about saving money, exchanging the history of my human thought. And if I do buy something today, I look at buying clothing or otherwise as an investment that I can later sell for more profit. Thank you for this thought-provoking blog Michelle. 🙂