Whether it’s back to school shopping for the kids, that unexpected growth spurt, or the job that requires a little more professional wear, it may seem like your clothing costs are constantly growing. And because clothing in general is a necessity, it can be hard to say no to clothes when you can identify at least one reason you’ll wear them. Justification, however, may be the worst trap in your family’s clothing budget – causing you to spend far more than you can afford. It’s time to take a step back and reevaluate.
Instead, it’s time to set budget limits for your family’s clothes shopping expeditions. Here are some ways you can trim your costs to a more reasonable figure while still making sure everyone is dressed appropriately.
Plan And Prioritize
There are certain clothing costs that are unavoidable, but that doesn’t mean they’re unpredictable. Before you set a number for your clothing budget, consider what’s coming up this year. Are you kids likely to grow or start a new activity that will have clothing expenses, like dance or soccer? Will you have to attend a formal event that you don’t have appropriate clothing for? Write these down and choose an amount for these specific concerns. These are expenses you can plan for in the budget.
Don’t Be Afraid Of Returns
One way to make sure you stick to your clothing budget is by writing down what you spend and returning clothes when you go over the budget. This means you have to stay on top of return policies and reassess your clothing choices to determine if you really need an item. For some, resistance to returning clothes can also help curtail your spending. No one wants to stand in the returns line.
You might also restrict your spending using a subscription system like Stitch Fix for your personal clothing choices. Stitch Fix send you clothes based on a style profile and you send back whatever you don’t want, paying only for what you keep. This is a great way to control one section of your spending and their selections are also based on your budget settings.
Makes Friends With Sales
If you haven’t already, you’ll want to learn how to shop sales effectively. This works best in conjunctions with your priority plan. If you know at the beginning of the year you’ll have to attend an event in early winter, months from now, you can take advantage of end of winter sales. Since sales typically correspond with what’s going out of style and season, shopping ahead can actually help you cut costs.
It also helps to regularly check the sales at stores you like. If Lysse’s style is your thing, check their sales section regularly and based on your priorities and budget, shop when the prices are low. You should also check popular coupon sites like Retail Me Not to find discount codes when you’re looking for some new clothes.
What an appropriate clothing budget is for your family will depend on your income, other priorities, where you live, and a range of other features. But by having a budget, you ensure that there’s some structure to your spending and that can make a big difference in the long term.