May 30, 2012

How to Set a Clothing Budget


I'm a huge believer in having a clothing budget. I've had one for going on five years, and I can indubitably say that it has made me a better dresser, given me peace of mind, and saved me tons of money. I post a recap of everything I buy each month, with an explanation of why I bought those items. (You can see those budget posts archived here.) I do this to encourage you guys to spend wisely, to set a budget and to stick to it. Today, let's talk about how to set one, but first let's talk about why!


Why Have a Clothing Budget?
  • Clothing is a necessity. The first and best reason to have a clothing budget? Clothes are a necessity, because you simply can't leave the house without them. *wink* Every personal budget includes clothing, so it's important to not overlook this category if you are organizing your finances.
  • It relieves guilt. The first thing I noticed when I created a budget is that it relieved buyer's guilt. I am my father's child, and I absolutely hate spending any money on clothing, even though I love fashion. This dichotomy and guilt used to eat me alive. Having a budget though, can actually be great medicine for this, because if it is in the budget, it is fair game. I don't let my conscience guilt me any longer!
  • It creates family peace. Along the same lines, if you are married or sharing your finances with someone, having a set budget can be a great way to bring peace to your home. You don't need to discuss purchases with your spouse, and you don't need to hide your shopping bags. If it's in the budget that you mutually agreed upon, then it is fair game. 
  • It helps with purchasing decisions. Another one of my favorite reasons for having a clothing budget is that it helps with purchasing decisions. If you have $200 to spend on a shopping trip, then you can view potential purchases as a piece of that pie. An $80 blazer that is marked down from $300 might seem like a steal, but if it's almost half your budget, then it may not be the best use of your money at that time. A huge part of being a well-dressed person is being a smart shopper in my opinion, so having a budget can certainly help your style! 
How to Set a Clothing Budget
  • Your income. Most financial planners recommend to set aside between 2-8% of your take-home income for clothing (because, again, clothing is a necessity). This is a great starting point for computing your personal clothing budget. This can actually be a pretty large range though, so how do you decide which number to go with? Keep reading for more factors to consider.
  • Your family. The first thing to consider is that the budget includes everyone in your family - so if you have children, then their clothing also needs to come out of this budget. If you are single, then the budget is just for you.
  • Your job. Your job is going to be another huge factor in deciding how much money to set aside for clothes. Some jobs, such as working in a law office or a fashion magazine, are going to require clothing that is higher quality and of more variety, and therefore you should create a larger budget. A job with a uniform, however, should save you a considerable amount on clothing since you only need clothes for weekends and fun occasions.
  • Your financial goals. This is another huge factor to consider. Are you saving money for a house? Are you paying off credit card debt? If you have significant financial goals or stressors, then you will want to reduce your clothing budget as much as possible to make room for these other (more important) categories. I don't recommend completely doing away with your clothing budget if at all possible though - because if you completely close off the category that can actually lead to irresponsible and/or sporadic spending. 
  • Your values. You may value other things in your life more than clothing - such as traveling, or donating to charity. These can be reasons to reduce your clothing budget and move those funds into other categories that mean the most to you.  
  • Your shopping habits. Another factor to consider - do you tend to shop often, or only a couple times a year? For someone who shops often, I like to suggest a monthly clothing budget. If you tend to shop in one or two big chunks every year or when you have a big life event such as a new job, a clothing budget just for your shopping trip might be a better route.
How to Stick to a Clothing Budget
  • Keep track. I'm not great with math, but even if you are, it can be difficult to keep track of your spending. If you don't write it down, it can seem like you are spending way more than you actually are, or vice versa. The best way to keep yourself honest is by simply writing it down.
  • Carry over. If you have a monthly clothing budget, don't ever pressure yourself to spend it that same month;  I definitely don't recommend a "use it or loose it" mentality. If you want to save up for something big, then carry over the budget you didn't use from the previous months. Or do what I do and save some of your budget for the best times of year to score great deals - right after Christmas, and in late June/early July (when the clothing seasons change). 
  • Return overages. Let's face it, sometimes our eyes are bigger than our wallets. No biggie. Whenever this happens to me, I go through my purchases that month and pick a few things to return. If I really, really love them, then I take them out of next month's budget, or I simply go back and buy them next month. 

Overall, I think there is a wide spectrum when it comes to clothing budgets - some of us may be entering overspending territory, and a clothing budget can help you scale it down. Some of us may be too frugal (yes, there is such a thing, I was this person!), and a clothing budget can help you gain the confidence to invest in quality clothing that is more appropriate for your job and lifestyle. A clothing budget helps us find balance, and as I experienced - helps you become a better dresser, brings peace of mind and saves you time and money.

What are your philosophies or tips for personal clothing budgets? Do you have a clothing budget?

122 comments:

  1. j,
    what really helped me to stick to my budget was to buy a cute note book, that I use as a mood board, where I write down or stick in sniplets from magazines or ideas I printed out from the internet. In this notebook there also is my wishlist section and also my budget. In the back the notebook has a little envelope where I keep all my receipts.

    In doing so, I keep my source of inspiration and my finances together, a very useful way for me to not go over my limits - at least not all the time! ;o)

    Sandra

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  2. I used to have a budget and it was awesome for all the reasons you've outlined here.  Lately though I've been bad about keeping track...and as a result my guilt is through the roof again, even on staple pieces that I get on sale.  I should go back to the budget method.

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  3. daintyanddecadentMay 30, 2012 at 8:59 AM

    Great advice.  I think the biggest thing I've discovered in setting my own budget is to care more about quality over quantity because those pieces tend to last longer.  Thanks for a great post :-)

    Maria

    www.daintyanddecadent.com

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  4. Great post, J!  Really good stuff to consider, even if you are someone who already keeps a budget.  I am pretty religious about putting all of my clothing/accessory purchases in a spreadsheet and then continually reviewing it.  I also save pics of what I buy (like you do in your recap posts) and keep it in a folder on my desktop.  I review this often too, and it helps me to see everything together and sometimes I realize I don't need something that way.  Thanks for your always-great advice!

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  5. Thank you for posting this - it's something I've been thinking more about doing lately and this is a great starting point for me! :)

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  6. Thanks so much for posting this....as a college student this is really helpful for shopping now and in the future!

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  7. I stayed up last night doing a budget...I didn't know what to set aside for shopping.  Thanks for the help.  How did you know!  :)

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  8. Thank you for the post.  I know my wallet and husband will both be thanking you. 

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  9. Great post and amazing advice. Have you read Lessons from Madame Chic? It's similar in advice on wardrobes!
    -kw, http://ladiesinnavy.blogspot.com

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  10. I really need to start doing a clothing budget -- I'm just afraid I won't stick to it when I find something I really love and it's out of my budget! : )

    http://allthingsprettyandlittle.blogspot.com/

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  11. This is a GREAT post!!! What awesome wisdom!

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  12. These are awesome tips!  I definitely veer on the side of too frugal and suffer from a LOT of buyer's guilt.  I'm slowly realizing that allowing a little room in our budget to spend on myself is okay and helps my self-esteem immensely.  I am a SAHM so the budget is small, but even that occasional $5 scarf helps! 

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  13. elvira masinovicMay 30, 2012 at 10:03 AM

    I sooo need to do this! Thanks for the post! 

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  14. great post and great tips - I've recently put myself on a budget and I'm REALLY hoping to stick with it.  It's like dieting; you can't do it halvsies you have to do it fully or not at all!

    sarahsavvystyle.blogspot.com

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  15. Very interesting. I don't keep track but I think I'm right around 4% of my take home for clothes and shoes. I splurge on jewelry at craft shows though and if included that would make it higher. I think I need a new budget category for that :)

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  16. Great advice! I try sticking to a budget, but it never works. Just one of the perks of being single & young!

    Tiffany
    http://shoeschampagne.blogspot.com

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  17. How do you account for basics in your budget, like bras, underwear, etc?  I feel like some months my whole budget could be sucked up on buying things that never see the light of day.  Plus, I live in central IL, so I get to buy snow boots, and cuddlduds when I would rather buy cute clothes.  Any suggestions on buying the basics and still having some money left over for the good stuff?

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  18. This is one of the best posts I have ever seen, so helpful, so useful and it made me realize that I really can budget for clothes each month, rather than feeling guilty any time I buy something but just dealing with that guilt.  I will feel better if I know I have a budget each month! Thank you so so much for sharing this!!!!! I will be sharing this on my Facebook later, I know a lot of my friends and family would love this advice!!!!!!

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  19. Great tips I love this post I will take the time to review these points to stick with mine although I dotn spend too much by other peoples standards lol

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  20. I sooo need to do this!  For a long time, with new responsiblities for a house marriage and kids, my clothing budget was absolutely nothing unless absolutely necessary and even then find the cheapest I could.  Now with a little better job I can spend a little on clothes but tend to pick up items w/o a plan and there for still end up w/o real outfits and over spend.  A budget and a plan would help!

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  21. J, thanks for the budgeting advice! I started following your blog last year and after a couple months knew I needed a budget for the all the same reasons you listed here! My favorite thing about it is definitely the guilt relief. It has also been nice for my husband, since he now gives himself the same "allowance" I get, but he spends it on gadgets while mine goes to clothes!

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  22. This is great advice, and something I've been thinking about a lot recently. I allow myself a "big" trip every 6 weeks or so during which I might spend more than $50, but otherwise I made myself a weekly budget that has really helped me:
    Every week I take out $50 cash ($10/lunch/day) and I spend it either on discretionary things like clothes and jewelry or on going out to lunch during work. It's cash, so when it's gone, it's gone. Let's just say I've started bringing my lunch to work a lot since we came up with this idea! It's great though because it keeps my spending in check but still allows me to buy some new things often and satisfy my shopping itch.

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  23. jseverydayfashionMay 30, 2012 at 11:24 AM

    Tiffany, this is definitely something to consider when you set your budget - what items does it include? I personally don't include some boring items like sports bras in my budget because as I mentioned I way frugal and hate buying things, so my clothing budget is specifically for those pretty things that tempt me like jewelry. :-)  (sports bras just don't tempt me, lol) It's really up to you though - if you decide not to include the snow boots in your budget, just make sure you aren't at the top of the range (8%) so you have some wiggle room for the "basics" above and beyond that. 

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  24. I’m a budget person and we have a monthly budget and goals so this is how I do it.  You just have to include those basics within your budget and it helps to know when *those* stores have their sales.  If you get your stuff at VS, know when their sales are and plan to spend it on basics that month. For instance, my husband is in corporate and has a wardrobe, but we slowly replace the aging big piece by buying in one very nice suit and an AE shoes a year.  I know the suit store’s best sale for the particular suit is in Feb and the outlet mall here for AE shoes best sale (so far) is Memorial Day. Those months suck for me as I get less, but I plan so I know those 2 big basic purchases need to be made those months.

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  25. Great post and I am big believer in people having a clothing budget. 

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  26. My father taught me this and it has stuck pretty well. Look at how much you make the whole month and first deduct all your bills. Whatever you have leftover - spend that on what you like but also save some. It has worked pretty well- as bills are the most important. :) 

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  27. Thanks for a wonderful post! Tracking my monthly spending on my blog has made a huge difference in the way I shop, but I still keep making excuses for sales. I think I need to start making a shopping list for the month with specific items or types of items I want to add.

    http://hipsandhangers.blogspot.com/

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  28. I have been thinking that I need to set a clothing budget so your post couldn't have come at a better time. I'm like you, too frugal and feel guilty when I buy clothes. I think a clothing budget will ease my guilt. Thanks!

    www.daisyraeboutique.com
    www.kacieskloset.blogspot.com

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  29. This is so incredibly helpful. I'm working on refining my closet right now, and one of my biggest problems is that I tend to binge-shop, then regret it and return things, because of a lack of budget. I'm going to take your advice and set up a monthly transfer of 4% of my income into a special savings account just for clothing. This will eliminate my guilt, and the auto transfer will keep me from spending unused money from my clothing budget on other things.

    Thank you!!

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  30. jseverydayfashionMay 30, 2012 at 12:47 PM

    Awesome Courtney!

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  31. Really good advice! I keep track of my shopping (and other) budgets with Mint. It has a mobile app, so I can always see where I am during the month with my spending.

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  32. Great post. We budget by sticking cash in labelled envelopes each month, so there's no need to do math, or to remember to write it down! What's there is what you get, and it rolls over each month. Has definitely saved me the guilt trips!

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  33. jseverydayfashionMay 30, 2012 at 1:31 PM

    The cash method is great! I use credit cards because I like earning points (and I pay them off every month), but this cash method is an awesome idea for keeping track, especially with clothes!

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  34. jseverydayfashionMay 30, 2012 at 1:31 PM

    Great tip! I will check Mint out.

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  35. jseverydayfashionMay 30, 2012 at 1:33 PM

    While you are single and young is the best time to save some serious money! You will be really thankful you had it later - to buy a house, pay for a wedding, etc. I would set a clothing budget and stick to it now, so you'll save plenty now while you can! :-)

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  36. Great advice J.  I definitely need to start a clothing budget.  I'm thinking 5% of my income since I'm in sales, so "looking good" is a necessity  wink wink.  :-)  I'll keep you posted on my progress.  Keep posting things like this please, they are so helpful :-)

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  37. No joke, the very subject of how much I spend on clothes came up last night with my husband.  My excuse of but it was on sale didn't work at all and the whole but Nordstrom only has this sale twice a year didn't work either.  This guide will be so helpful and such a good comprise.  Thanks for posting.

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  38. jseverydayfashionMay 30, 2012 at 2:17 PM

    So happy I could help Regina! A budget definitely sounds like it could be a good thing for you guys! Good luck! :-)

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  39. such great tips here!  i've never given myself a clothing budget.  i have a fun budget to do with as i please which normally means clothes.  but i think it is a great idea to have a clothing budget!  so going to do that now.  thanks!

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  40. I started keeping a monthly clothing budget a year and a half ago, and the credit goes solely to you :) I've found it incredibly beneficial and it keeps me honest! You've been such an inspiration J. Keep up the good work!

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  41. Great post today! Good advice. My shopping has been a bit (okay a lot) out of control lately and I decided to rein it in. Might I also suggest the iphone app "Closet" which I use daily. I let the app generate different combinations of what I have in my closet. Sometimes it surprises me and gives me a great unexpected outfit combo. :-)
    Niki
    www.fashionatforty.blogspot.com

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  42. i love this post! The biggest help for me was setting a budget and then only spending cash! You see the money leave your wallet and when you're done that's it!

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  43. J, this is such a great guide! Thanks for sharing!

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  44. Great post! Everyone should read this!

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  45. Excellent post!  You are a wonderful role model for the young shopper and the older more experienced shopper.  Thank you for these tips, that keeep everything in perspective.

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  46. Awesome! Thanks for your suggestion for the iPhone app. I've been out of control shopping too. I hope this helps!

    Nina

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  47. You're welcome, Nina!
    I talked about it in December on my blog: http://fashionatforty.blogspot.com/2011/12/what-shall-i-wear-today.html
    Niki

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  48. I have a lot of pieces I have yet to wear so I am going to wear all of those before I go shopping again and I always try to wait for special discount days to buy clothing.

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  49. you've made my life a million times better! thanks J! 

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  50. LiziheartvegetablesMay 30, 2012 at 6:58 PM

    J these are SUCH good tips!!! I really needed this post. Lately my shopping has been crazy and I get good deals (so I'm not really spending that much money) but I end up with a bunch of stuff I don't LOVE. 

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  51. I really should do this but as much as I'd love to stick to a budget I just know I never would - equally some months I underspend - I tend to look at items in a cost per wear equation - for example it's ok to spend a lot of a black well cut blazer if I'm going to wear it 100 times but maybe not ok on some crazy printed pants I might only wear 2 or 3 times.

    ♥ ThankFifi

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  52. Just found your blog, it's fab! Great post x

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  53. This is a great post thanks so much for sharing! I don't have a clothing budget but before every purchase I stop and think if my closet needs the item. If I can't justify the purchase or see what niche the item will fill then I don't buy the item.

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  54. EXCELLENT!!!!!! THank you J

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  55. Great advice! I'm old enough to know that I should have a budget but don't : ( After reading your post I've already downloaded a personal budget spreadsheet, pay day is tomorrow and I'm on my way to better spending! Thanks J!

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  56. Budgets are a major part of my life. My husband and I both have a small monthly amount of money for ourselves, and clothing cones out of that amount. We get that amount in cash, which helps when budgeting it for shopping trips because once the cash runs out, it's gone. It makes it hard to overspend when there is nothing left to spend. Left over cash can go to the next month's fun.

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  57. I have recently set myself a budget of $150 a month for clothing/makeup.  I was inspired by your posts every month, so now I keep a spreadsheet with the purchases, and write a post at the end of the month with the things I bought (latest one here: http://franishh.blogspot.com/2012/05/may-budget.html). I feel so much better about buying things now, especially when I see the fun things I can still create with my new items. Thank you for the inspiration - my bank account owes you!

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  58. Ok, this is so random, but my name is Regina Marie too!  I have never met another Regina, let alone a Regina Marie!!  :)

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  59. I love this post...very helpful ideas! A method that has worked really well for me is to never have a credit card or my bank card when shopping. I only take cash - a predetermined amount. That way I can't spend more than I really have. It makes me a much more careful shopper - really thinking about how an item will work in my wardrobe and if it is worth my hard earned cash :) I used to buy a lot of little things that were totally unrelated to each other and I'd realize I'd spent way more than I meant to and have very little to show for it.
    Thanks to your awesome blog J, I am so much more conscious of building a wardrobe.   Your great advice on budgeting will help me so much! Thanks!!

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  60. J! I love posts like this - the information you give is so useful and applicable. I feel like I can take what I learned and start computing! I did quite a bit of shopping the past few months (mostly with gift money but some of my own too) and haven't done any this month because like you, I do love keeping my money. I think setting up a budget will help me to be consistent with trends and to stay within my limits-- this way I don't end up spending loads later and regret it. Thank you thank you for this advice!!

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  61. Christy-- That is great advice to add on to what J said! I think I would be even more thoughtful if I was diligent like you and used cash. That way I don't get the "psychological high" of using my bank card. :)

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  62. I have been doing this since coming to your site, and it has caused me to make some really wise purchases!! Ive also thought out those purchases rather than say, buying something just because it's cute or on sale. Now I really think about it. I love your tips! 

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  63. Great information. I agree with everything said because I've made a ton of mistakes. 

    Donation-Can.com

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  64. Just so ladies can see the numbers- if you work 40 hours a week at $10/hr ($1600/month), your 2-8% range will be between $32-$128. I don't spend a lot on fashion, but I do spend a ton on athletic gear, clothes and races. Definitely will be looking at setting a budget.

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  65. Oh I've TOTALLY bookmarked this!!! GREAT post!

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  66. This is something I need to work on! When I'm shopping I think "Do I really need this?" but then I hush the little voice and then think "I deserve this. I NEED this." lol 
    -Amber
    http://beautyguide101.blogspot.com/

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  67. What a helpful blog post! Thanks so much for sharing all this valuable information, J!!! I feel like you addressed every detail.  XOXO!!

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  68. Finally I write a comment :)...Your blog is one of my favorite...I am from small country where budget is MUST especially if you love fashion and not have so much sales like in some other countries. Your blog help me in so many ways and I really enjoy to read your helpful & interesting posts. Best regards from Bosnia & Herzegovina :)

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  69. Thank you for the awesome tips! :)

    xoxoxo
    Ritcha
    http://ritchastyle.blogspot.com

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  70. This was a great post! I never know how to approach shopping so I avoid it until I absolutely HAVE to go. Now I can just set money aside and go when I feel like it. Maybe this will help me going forward and be more fashionable.

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  71. This is a great post! I am like you; I tend to be overly frugal and not spend on clothing. I am going to start a clothing budget today and start keeping track.

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  72.  Thanks to both of your for the reply.  I never thought about including my hubby's clothes into the family clothing budget (bummer).  I feel your pain Andi, my guy is an engineer, so he needs nicer clothes for meetings with government workers and lawyers and construction clothes for out on the site.  And great idea for not topping out my clothing budget so I room for the not so fun extras.  We're working on our monthly budget and saving plan a lot right now, so I have some great ideas.  Thanks again.

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  73. Note - the 2-8% should come out of your take home pay, so estimating a 25% tax bracket, this would put your range at approx $24-$96. Don't forget Uncle Sam! ;)

    Excellent post by the way!!

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  74.  Amen! I agree with the "psychological high"! lol! Taking cash is a great idea.

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  75. Fantastic post, thank you!  Very timely too, since I was just thinking about how to set up a budget for this yesterday and wasn't sure how to come up with a figure... My only concern is that if I suggest I need a clothing budget it will seem as if I'm shooting for spending more!  Truthfully though, I agree that it will reduce the guilt I have for buying anything, and make me think harder about each individual purchase! 

    I'm new to your blog, and love it! Thank you so much!

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  76. This is a great read!  Such a great read, I am going to share it on my blog!

    I know that I would like to revamp my wardrobe and understands that it takes time. I'm going to try to this 2-8% range.Thanks!www.pearlsandpeacocks.com

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  77. Very useful post, thanks! I tend to buy "expensive" things (e.g. a 30$ necklace that i could buy for 5$ in F21) and almost never wear them so... your post (as your entire blog) could help me, thanks again :)

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  78. #1)  This post has some of the most *useful* fashion advice,  E.V.E.R.,  J.~~~*thank you* so much!!


    #2)  Since you yourself want to, (and really ARE!!), changing Fashion Journalism to genuinely help/assist young ----->> older women in making "THEIR Own Everyday Fashion" become............ more stylistically and $$-financially *Practical*............
    *Useful*............ and *Real*............ there's another way to help/assist women in SHAPING............ (i.e.,  *w.i.t.h.*  their hard-earned Clothing Budget $$dollars)............ not only their own "Personal World" for the better, but also the "Outside World" for the better, too!!    You've already ventured INTO that avenue by featuring, (along with LOFT's Breast Cancer Research Foundation designs in your 10/27/11 post)............

    "Elegantees" in your 10/6/10 post: 
    ( http://www.jseverydayfashion.com/2010/10/todays-everyday-fashion_06.html )
    ( http://www.jseverydayfashion.com/2010/10/todays-everyday-fashion_06.html ); 

    and "Elegantees" again in your 6/29/11 post: 
    ( http://www.jseverydayfashion.com/2011/06/win-item-of-your-choice-from-elegantees.html )
    ( http://www.jseverydayfashion.com/2011/06/win-item-of-your-choice-from-elegantees.html ). 

    So~~*only as an additional thought*, J.~~when you discuss............ (i.e., under "Your values" section, Above)............ valuing "other things in your life more than clothing - such as traveling, or donating to charity"............ sometimes, (e.g., as in, say, purchasing an Elegantee!!), you can, as you know, simply value............ (with your very hard-earned Clothing Budget $$dollars!!)............ both clothing *AND* donating to charity, simultaneously............ in *one* little clothing purchase!!   


    #3)  Anyway, empowering women so that *we* can make the world a BETTER place is very important to me, too, whether it's by, say, supporting (Third World) women in obtaining micro-loans for their own small businesses;  by buying a *cute* Elegantee;  or by - (and I have no ties and/or affiliation with this longtime company, at all) - looking at TheRainforestSite.GreaterGood.com, under "Clothing & Accessories": 

    ( https://therainforestsite.greatergood.com/store/trs/site?16-1.lLinkListener-leftNav-siteLogo-
    siteLogoLink )
    ( https://therainforestsite.greatergood.com/store/trs/site?16-1.ILinkListener-leftNav-siteLogo-siteLogoLink )

    and deciding whether or not I'd like to help preserve 1,145 sq. ft. of Rainforest Land............ OR 2,290 sq. ft. of Rainforest Land............ BY maybe purchasing one of the #5 gorgeous items I found (haha!!) after doing a Search for the word "chiffon," (particularly that airy/breezy/flowy Elephant Dawn Butterfly Top)!!

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  79. Love this post! I am defintiely a budget shopper! I don't like spending a ton of money on one item. I'd rather use that money and get alot of things for it! Thank you for this post! :)

    Mallory @ Faith. Fashion. Beauty.

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  80. Love this post!!  Thanks for such useful information!

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  81. This system is absolutely fantastic! I will definitely be using it going forward. 

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  82. So helpful! I use Mint.com to set budgets in a variety of categories and have one for clothing and one for shoes. This helps me manage it just as you suggested by spending less following a month when I spent too much or saving up for a special splurge. 

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  83. This post is great! I always read your blogs but never had the "aha moment" to copy it for myself. I almost always have shoppers remorse because I feel like I should be saving, etc.
    I'm going to make my own shopping budget! Bye-bye remorse!! Hello new clothes!
    Thanks!

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  84. Fantastic post! Great tips.

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  85. paula mcclellandJune 7, 2012 at 10:29 PM

    If I had have read this a year ago I may have thrown up all over my lap top, but now (since reassessing my wardrobe and going the way of the capsule) I whole heartedly agree with you!  Why spend hundreds of dollars, have massive guilt trips and STILL HAVE NOTHING TO WEAR!?  This is a great post :D


    http://shoe-fiend.blogspot.co.nz/ 

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  86. I ditto the comment for using Mint.com to track purchases. So helpful. 

    I also used to not set a clothing budget and I'd binge shop. I'm so much better having a monthly budget! 

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  87. I'm pretty new to your blog & LOVE IT!

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  88. This is really great because I try to save save save and deprive myself of shopping. So then when i do go I end up splurging far to deep and later regret it. If i set a budget and stay within it i know i will feel better about shopping. Thank you!!

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  89. I hope you don't mind I posted this on my blog in a link. Its new, please check it out, more post to come! http://bohemianpolish.blogspot.com

    -Erin :)

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  90. This is such a great idea! Super nice for me too, since I'm a recent grad and do most of my shopping at thrift stores and target. Thanks!

    http://bonnechancethrifting.blogspot.com/

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  91. Found your blog while scouring Pinterest...absolutely love your practical approach! I budget everything else down to the penny, why not my clothes?

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  92. Wow this is very smart! Someone turned me on to your blog and I am so excited to have a solid plan to help me rebuild my wardrobe!

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  93. I have a question that was not on your Q&A section...how do you clean out your closet and decide what clothing to get rid of? It seems like you have a lot of pieces that are several years old. What do you do if you do not have endless closet space?

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  94. Hi Amber, check out this post for some tips on deciding what to keep. http://www.jseverydayfashion.com/2011/02/todays-everyday-fashion-what-to-keep.html As for storage, it depends on your house but when I had a tiny closet in Boston I would use storage bins under the bed with items I wasn't wearing that season but thought I might want later (many which did turn out to be favorites years later). You can also do this with a closet in another room, keep your less-used items in there. Hope this helps!

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  95. wow loved this post! I always talk about being a wise shopper and this sums up my philosophy! Would you like to be a guest writer on my blog? No obligation or anything, I think it would be a great help to my readers. You can check out my blog (new changes happening soon) www.lulainla.blogspot.com Thanks! Lucia

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  96. I found you at printerest and havents stopped reading all your posts! I absolutelly LOVE your blog!I always thought that being well-dressed means u have to spend loads of money :-S and I always had that guilt every time I had to shop something foe myself.Every time I saw a well-dressed woman I used to think she spends huge amounts of money.Thanks to your tips,I made a budget and got a few basic pieces and I feel alot better now!
       I still have some baby weight to loose though,so I dont buy much now.Can you make a post for how to dress nicelly if you have lets say big thighs?I am very mediterrenean lol

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  97. Thank you so much Isabel and welcome to the blog! I would love to do more body type specific posts in 2013, thank you for the suggestion!

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  98. I read your post every evening to get inspiration! Since I you're on the topic of budgeting, I thought I'd share this... I love using the website mint.com (app is called mint) to do all my monthly budget. it connects to your bank account and tracks all your spending into categories. The app is fantastic and so easy to use, I highly recommend it!

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  99. Hi- I found your blog and have spent a few hours looking at old posts! I'm really inspired to do some fun things with my wardrobe- and I'm definitely going to create a clothing budget. My question is this: how do you make your wish list every month? How do you know what items you "need"/want to add to your wardrobe? Thanks!

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  100. Thank you! I come up with my wish list a couple different ways. One is to evaluate your closet - see what gaps need the most improvement such as needing more shoes for work, or more flats, etc. Or seeing what basics you are either missing or need an upgrade (are looking worn). I still have and wear pretty much all my clothes from the past 5 years, so I'm pretty set with basics, and a lot of my budget goes to trying new trends. So another big way I set my wish list is by noticing commonalities among the photos I'm saving for inspiration. If I am saving a lot of plaid, I add plaid to my wish list.

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  101.  Thanks for your reply! One more question: what do you consider "basics"? I try to mix and match pieces, but I find that I never have pieces to mix and match! What do you think are wardrobe essentials? I'm a high school teacher- so work staples would apply, too. Thanks again!!

    ps- I've been telling all of my friends about the idea of a clothing budget! Very revolutionary for shopaholics. :)

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  102.  nevermind- in going through the old posts, I found posts related to my question :)

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  103. Sounds like you found an answer, but I would consider basics things like classic dark blue denim, cardigans in every color, blazers in basic colors, and basic shoes like black pumps. Basics aren't the same for everyone but those would be some of mine!

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  104. I just found your blog and I am loving it. I too, am in Orlando.  I never know what to put together and I love your take on a budget as a currently without one!  Thanks so much for sharing your sense and knowledge with the rest of us.  

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  105. Thanks so much and welcome to the blog! :-)

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  106. I've onle read this post noe, but it was super helpful! Thank you so much, I'm a bit tired of making impulsive purchases and then feeling guilty.

    http://www.tri-skelos.blogspot.com/

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  107. Howdy! Someone in my Myspace group shared this website with us so I came
    to take a look. I'm definitely enjoying the information. I'm book-marking and
    will be tweeting this to my followers! Superb blog and terrific design and style.
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  108. Can I simply just say what a comfort to discover a person that actually understands what they are talking about over the internet. You definitely know how to bring an issue to light and make it important. More people need to check this out and understand this side of the story. It's surprising you are not more popular since you definitely have the gift.

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  109. Just found your blog because I googled Banana Republic clothes vs Banana Republic Factory Stores.  I just got back from a business trip in Las Vegas and went to a BR Factory Store and was shocked everything was so cheap.  I bought 4 blouses that were originally $39.99 each and walked out of there paying $24 for all 4 and that was including tax.  I did not try them all on but they were all the similar style and size just different color and 1 was too small.  Anyway, two of them feel like the same quality as a blouse that I bought from a regular BR store but the other is definitely cheaper material. I have gone many many YEARS without buying clothes for myself because of the type of job I had.  Now, I am jet setting in a new job for a large corporation and I am overwhelmed with guilt having to purchase a wardrobe.  I may make a lot more but My husband is unemployed for months now and I have children but I can't go to work in jeans!  I am not a fan of credit cards but decided to get the BR card because of the discounts and it's been great.  I pay it off every time I make a purchase.  I will be setting a budget but it should be NONE right now.  However, I STILL need to buy a few pair of basic heels cause my 10 year old heels look it and they are falling apart.  Thank you soooooo much for a helpful site from a girl who is a bean counter and feels overwhelming guilt spending money on herself. 

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  110.  What about dressing up tall girls, like 5"10 and up :)

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  111. This is a great post and one of the main things I've learnt is that I need a new job. If I go middle of the range at 4% my shopping budget is £32- that sucks! Maybe I'll just cut down on food to boost my shopping budget a bit.

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  112. I finally set a clothing budget for myself and my husband (no kids) but now I feel guilty for setting money aside for such a lavish expense. I think I get that from my mom who very rarely if ever spends money on herself. As much as I enjoy shopping, my struggle is going to be to keep that money in the clothing budget and not reallocate it for other uses. You are so right though about the pulse spending sprees when there is no budget for it.

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  113. We use www.youneedabudget.com to track our spending and we love it.

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  114. Quality food is the most important to you and your health. Don't skim on that.

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  115. You have inspired me!!! I spent the most part of my life in a uniform (school, then 10 years at work) Your blog has inspired me to start my own blog and document my journey. Thank you!!!

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  116. This is definitely a lifesaver for me. I'm not working right now so money is really, really tight. I'm going back to school in the spring and need to pump up my wardrobe for school and networking events, but I feel guilty anytime I spend money on something that isn't vital. This post shows that I don't have to and that I don't have to go overboard.

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