Buying Clothes Budget?

Updated on November 08, 2011
J.L. asks from Hoffman Estates, IL
15 answers

Hi Mamas!

I know it's a matter of perspective...but I have been keeping a chart of what I spend for clothes, shoes, accessories. My total since January 1st, 2011 to today November 7th totals $740.22. Do you believe in the 10 months time that this is a lot to spend on clothing for just myself? My husband and I are looking at tightening up the budget and make some additional cuts and that's fine but I want to get your thoughts on this?

I know some people can drop this in just one shopping trip or over a few....I personall don't think it's excessive but I wonder what my husband will say once we "talk turkey" We have been able to pay our bills and I have paid in cash for these items. I do not have a CC balance for any of it.

Yes I work outside the home and several of the items purchased have replaced other items. I am working on losing weight. Since I've had three kids back to back yep weight issues getting a handle on that now. Also took 2 major vacations this summer which caused probably a $150 shopping.

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answers from Los Angeles on

That is not excessive over an 11 1/2 month time period.
Having said that, when I worked outside the home I had to wear suits
I bought them at Ross at great prices.
I bought basic colors I could mix & match.
Now that I work in the home I have to be much more frugal.
So I buy what is practical in practical colors in practical materials to mix &
I have a few of each: pants, jeans, sweaters & tees since I now live in those.
When I do go shopping, I shop sale racks only, cheaper stores & buy things in neutral colors that will go with EVERYTHING (white, navy, beige & black etc.).
You could go to Goodwill to shop for a big ticket item that can be dry cleaned and to look for designer label cheap.
For shoes, I would only buy boots there.

3 moms found this helpful

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answers from Kansas City on

It is a LOT to me. I haven't spent that much on both me and my son in over a year, and he is g-r-o-w-i-n-g. The way the world is with so much excess and waste, I like to cut back where possible. The items I always buy new is shoes and under things.

Then again, I guess it would depend on several factors. For instance:
1. Do you need to 'replace' a wardrobe because you have had a size change (weight gain/loss or pregnancy/birth)?
2. Do you need another wardrobe because you have a new job (need more professional look)?
3. You may have had a fire, flood, been through a tornado, etc. and have had your wardrobe essentially destroyed?

With the economy the way it is, I am sure retailers love your business. To each his own. If you can afford to pay cash for it (no credit cards - no debt), then I say go for it. Be sure to donate your used clothes to the thrift stores in your area - or at least have a garage sale. I am sure someone like me will come along and appreciate the bargain!

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Shreveport on

I rarely buy myself clothes. I lost my job a few months ago, right when my daughter started school. I decided to go check out a thrift store for her school clothes (Goodwill). I was hooked on it! I have bought more clothes there for myself than in the past 2 years! Name brand items. I do not buy shoes theer, I think that is gross, but it helped me feel like I could spend money on me.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from San Antonio on

My husband and I are on the Dave Ramsey program. We budget $50/month for clothes/shoes/accessories for our entire family of four. We add in an additional $50 in May for summer clothes, and an additonal $100 in August for school clothes, so our entire yearly budget for the full family is $750.00. We use his envelope system and if any money is left over it carries over to the following month, and then any leftover in December we use towards Christmas. This does not include Christmas (when we buy each child a special pair of jammies).

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answers from Chicago on

That sounds like a lot when you see the whole total, but it seems very reasonable for nearly a year's worth of clothes. I don't spend much at all but I am a SAHM so don't need to maintain a working wardrobe and I am not all that fashionable :) My husband definitely spends more per year on clothes than I do, but he has to wear a nice suit to work 5-6 days a week. To get the quality he needs to make it last he has to spend quite a bit. I did buy myself a few new items this summer before we went on our first honeymoon-type vacation (we've been married 12 years). I almost always shop at places like TJMaxx, Marshalls, or at least really good sales. Do you purge your closet every so often so it is not overflowing with unworn items?
As far as your personal situation and whether or not you could or should reduce that amount depends on a lot of things. Do you have a job that requires a professional wardrobe? What did you get for $750? 5-6 items? Then you could definitely shop smarter. Fifty items? Then you could probably reasonable reduce the number of items you buy. Also, your husbands response will depend a lot on his experience with buying clothes and his attitude toward money. But if you can afford it and you are both comfortable with it, then I say leave it be.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Tucson on

I probably haven't even spent $100 on myself this year. And i had a baby. I don't have any money though so i only buy when i have to. Not when i want to.
When i worked i'd say i spent about $50 a month on myself. SO i think you are fine on your spending. If you have the money go for it.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Have you kept track of the clothing bought for the kids and the husband. Is your spending on yourself proportionate to your spending on them? If not, why? Do you have a professional job that requires you to spend money on new clothing? For instance if husband is an automechanic, no need to buy expensive clothes, but if you are a salesperson and it can affect your commissions, than it would make sense to invest in your professional wardrobe. If you are spending more on yourself than everyone else and there is no professional need, than yes, that's a lot of money.

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answers from Washington DC on

We don't have a budget for clothing. We buy what we need when we need it. We have no credit cards and are a cash only family.

And $740 is NOT excessive - that's less than $100 per month on know you can get some GREAT deals on high-end clothes at and ebay? you can save more money there. Watch the shipping though - goodwill shipping can be a tad high.

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answers from Eugene on

It's not excessive but there is room to cut if you need to tighten your budget. I've been shopping my closet lately and spending a couple hours each season really going through what I already have, trying everything on and seeing what new combinations I can make. I'll buy a new scarf or sweater and my plain slacks and blouse look like a new outfit.

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answers from Los Angeles on

It does not seem like much to me but it's all relative to your situation isn't it? My husband would be thrilled if that was my tear to date total!

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answers from Los Angeles on

I think that is great, personally. I usually shop twice a year and would probably fall somewhere close to what you spend.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Well, yes. Simply because, I don't like to shop. I've been the same size for over a decade, so my clothing doesn't need to be replaced. I've probably spent maybe $75 in two years. However, that's me. (I realize my hatred of shopping for clothing, is not going to be the norm.) I can't really wrap my head around spending so much on clothing, but perhaps I have different circumstances. I don't work outside of the home, so I don't need professional attire. Are you spending this money for practical purposes? Work clothing, to replace old clothing, weight changes, etc. Or, are you simply a shopper? I would say if you didn't NEED these clothes, that's a whole lot of money...just because. Either way, don't be surprised if your husband finds this excessive. Men are more practical. If you are trying to start saving money and tightening a budget, unnecessary things like clothing for no practical reasons, are generally the first to go.

I would consider working clothing and replacing clothing, or buying clothing that fits due to weight loss...very practical reasons for spending money on clothing.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

I don't really "budget" for clothes. I buy them when I need them. I do the same for my son. Not saying I don't see a great deal and get something now and then for myself, my son or my husband...but it's more of an at-need basis for us.'re saying about $100/month on yourself, right?
I can drop $200 at Kohls for O. of us a few times per year, so...I guess it doesn't sound "high" to me.
But I guess it depends on your other bills and your personal income, so I can't answer if that's "high" for you...

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answers from Portland on

That is just $67/month which sounds reasonable to me, especially if you're buying professional work clothes.

You can spend less by shopping thrift and retail stores. I've found really great clothes at Goodwill for just a few dollars. It does take more time to shop, however.

You could spend less and still be comfortable in the clothes you have, if you're needing to find ways to save money.

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answers from Dallas on

That sounds about what I have spent on myself this year. I've also been changing sizes due to childbirth. And you do NEED to buy clothes every once in a while for work. You cant keep showing up in the same nasty looking clothes every day.

I think that is completely reasonable.

1 mom found this helpful
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