How Much Do You Spend on Kids Clothing??

Updated on October 08, 2014
L.O. asks from Sterling Heights, MI
21 answers

My hub is doing a detailed budget .. so we are looking at all of our spending for all areas.

I got a year end credit card statement.. and it looks like I spend about $600 on clothing for 2 kids per year. Not sure if that is a lot or a little.

I do buy a lot of kids clothing at kid resale stores... some on ebay.. and some on super clearance at the end of the season..

What can I do next?

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answers from Houston on

When my kids were little, my mom would buy them clothes. She would call me in the evening after they went to bed and ask if I received my JC Penney catalog. We would go through it and she would ask what the kids needed. Her comment was "I'm nannie and I buy clothes. You are mom and you buy underwear and shoes". =) We had such a blast looking at all the stuff. She was a terrific grandmommy!!

Anyway, 600 for 2 kiddos? That's pretty darn good.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

More than you, by quite a bit. My kids destroy clothing. They can easily go through new jeans in a month, leggings/knit pants in a week.

I don't get it. They start off each day as clean and new as any other kid, but end each day in shambles.

3 moms found this helpful

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answers from Philadelphia on

My daughter's prom dress, shoes, purse and jewelry came to just under that! You are a great shopper but I am guessing your kids are young.
Kids get more expensive the older they get.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

I don't have an actual total, but based solely on the fact that a pair of sneakers and a pair of boots ran us $75 at striderite this weekend, we might match your $600, if not more.

F. B.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Cleveland on

I probably spend at least $1000 on two kids but I have two girls so lots of items get reused by younger sister. That cuts down on spending a lot. We do mostly Target, Old Navy, Lands End. Nothing high end. So tell your husband not to cut that line item. Seems like you're doing very well.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Des Moines on

Years ago, I would have never stepped foot into a thrift shop, but now I'm hooked. I can spend $20 and practically get a whole wardobe of stuff that looks pretty good. Our local chain of thrift stores has half off all their tags on, you wouldn't believe the nice stuff we got for practically nothing...clothes, shoes, accessories, coats, ski clothes...anything.
Check it out if you're on a budget

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Asheville on

My kids are smaller- 4 and 8, so their clothes are a little cheaper than big kids right now. I probably spend less than that, but I'm sure it will go up as time goes on.
My mom loves to buy their "fancy" clothes (she calls it), but I buy the day to day. When I find a good deal, I buy multiples as pants don't make it a whole season for my son, and neither do shirts for my daughter.
I am a resale snob- I always buy new. My kids are rough on clothes, and that newness is a must. Half worn out clothes from consignment usually just don't last long. And mainly because I can find it cheaper new in most cases. I buy their most of their wardrobes for next year at the end of the previous year's season. I watch ads for Target- they usually have a great sale on clothes a couple of times a season. If you watch online, you can get deals that the stores don't have, for example. I just bought my daughter 10 pairs of pants for $35. Can't beat that.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Diego on

I haven't got a clue but I'm betting it's more than that. I have 3 kids too. I can buy new pants and they outgrow them in 4-6 months. A pair of shoes can only last a couple months with one of my kids because he's so hard on them. He also goes through double the pairs of pants my other 2 do because of how many holes he gets in them. I've hit the point where he wears them until you can see underpants or the holes elsewhere get so big he can't stand them anymore.
We are able to do some handing down between the 3. Not everything lasts and my third is a girl that, while she likes a bunch of the same things as her brothers, she likes her frilly, sparkly things too. Our favorite resale shop closed and nothing has replaced it locally sadly.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

the dollar amount would be moot since my kids are now in their 20s. but what i did was buy what new clothes we could afford (approx $100 each mostly) at back to school time (even when we homeschooled- back to school shopping is such fun!), a few new items during the year if the need or desire came up (usually christmas or birthdays) and filled it in with yard sales and thrift stores. fortunately none of us are squicked out by used clothing, and our local goodwill is fabulous!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Beaumont on

We budget $90 a month for all 4 of us. The kids use the majority of the money. We also use resale clothing for most of our needs. Seems in line with your spending. With growing kids, not sure how you could spend much less.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

I don't know how much exactly but pretty sure it's very little. I generally buy everything on clearance. Neither of my kids get "school clothes". I mean, like we don't go on a huge shopping spree for all new clothes just because a new year of school is starting. I just buy them clothes and shoes as they need them. My kids just don't care frankly, it's not a priority for them. All tho I think that's ending now, at least for my son. He will be 12 next week and he said he wants Nike shirts and Air Jordan's. So I think we'll have to bump up our budget. lol

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Your profile says your kids are 2 and 3 so that means lots of growing. I think that is pretty good. Shoes, pants, shirts, warm clothes since you are in MI. Plus there is probably a fluctuation, especially considering how cold last winter was. This past year I barely spent anything because I was unemployed. I bought used clothes for my youngest, got a LOT of hand me downs, most were new, for my 6 yr old and my others pretty much did without. This was the first spring and summer they got nothing new except shoes. At least they do not wear a new size every 3 months. :) I would probably spend about $500 to $600 on clothes for the younger 2 since they do grow.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I like to think I spend $150 each twice a year, but when I add in shoes, dress clothes, winter clothes, swimsuits, it's probably twice that.

I try to minimize my shopping to be pretty utilitarian. My 7 year old needs 3 khaki/navy shorts & 3 khaki pants and 5 polos for school. My 3 year old needs a bunch of the $5/ea tshirts & shorts & leggings from Target. They both have 1 dress outfit. They both go through tennis shoes or sandals quarterly, and then we also have 2 swimsuits each per summer, and new fleece pants & jackets every winter.

I try to buy 1 size up for everything so they get a lot of wear out of it.

Anything more, and it just sits in the dresser & doesn't get worn before it's outgrown.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I would say that I spend a little more than that each year. My kids are 7 and 9 and they are the oldest out of all their cousins and family so we do not get any hand me downs. With their sizes, I do not shop at thrift stores or 2nd hand stores. I have just found that the clothes are just too worn out at their ages. I do shop sales and look for coupons.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

That's less than I spend on my two, for sure. I think I spent that this past month just refreshing them for fall/school. Once you count shoes, coats, etc... Jeez. My DS's coat was $100.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Jacksonville on

This is such a subjective question that I don't know if our responses are going to be of much benefit to you. "Not sure if that is a lot or a little."... neither are we. We don't know your income/budget, or even how old your kids are.

I shopped a lot of thrift stores when our kids were little. But as teens? That doesn't work anymore. The only thing that helps (besides shopping big sales) is hand-me-downs from close friends who go to different schools.

One other tip? Try to shop for basics at Christmas and include them in wrapped gifts under the tree. My parents did that, and we do it for our own now. It's a yearly thing now that they normally expect socks, underwear, Tshirts, bathrobes, and sometimes winter things under the tree. Of course, where we live, we don't get much cool weather until around Christmas time anyway...
They don't get all of those things yearly, but it's nice to be able to throw a pair of goofy footy pajamas under the tree when your 11 yr old has been begging for them (but not needed) for a month. Or a bathrobe that is a little big so they can wear it for more than one year.
Even my husband waits with anticipation for new Tshirts and underwear at Christmas. :)

With teen kids, I find a TON of steals right before (and after) Christmas as some of the favorite clothing stores. A&E and Aeropostale both have fabulous sales and post-Christmas gift cards that you receive when you buy before Christmas. So they get some things, and a gift card, and then we go back after Christmas and pick up another couple things with the after-Christmas sales and gift cards.
The worst, for us, is shoes. Teen boys can blow through some shoes! Sheesh.
But since you asked, we probably spend that just on back-to-school shopping. With jeans/Ts/shoes/socks/backpacks for two teens. (yes, socks are fashion accessories for teens, so they aren't cheap and don't come in bulk packs of 6 anymore). This doesn't include the running shoes for gym/sports/weight training, wrestling shoes, daily wear, boots (shop class), boots for fashion (daughter), school spirit apparel, uniforms (karate, wrestling, band), or winter jackets. I couldn't begin to guess, really. I try not to think about it too much. I have a line item budgeted for school clothes of $600 every July. The rest of the year it is part of Christmas, or the monthly "disposable" monies. Or attributed to the line item for their extra-curriculars (sports, etc).
Last spring I had to go on a hunt for an appropriate dress for daughter's piano recital (and shoes to match that are piano-pedal-friendly). She doesn't normally wear dresses, so she didn't have a wardrobe to draw from. That alone would have been 1/3 of your per child annual budget.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

That's a LOT less than I spend on my kids. We don't do any consignment shopping though. It's mostly Justice/Brothers, Kohl's, and Target. It's probably double your budget per yet...but it's also 3 kids.



answers from Canton on

I'm with the others....I spend quite bit more than that. My kids are 10 & 6.
I probably spend $600 just on my son. His foot hasn't stopped growing in the last 2yrs so a pair of shoes only lasts him (maybe) 6mths. And when they run $80-$120 a pair that adds up quickly. And when you throw in clothing / shoes needed for sports...that really adds up.
I do a lot of consignment shopping for my daughter but I can't usually find much for my son at those stores.
What I've tried to do (and it seems to help a little) is buy stuff here and there instead of doing a big shopping trip, like for school clothes. I buy them new stuff throughout the Summer because it usually stays warm enough to wear shorts throughout September and sometimes into October. And about a month ago, I started buying them pants and a few sweatshirts. But I'll go and spend maybe $50 or $60 every other month so they're still getting new stuff, it's just not all at once. It seems easier on the budget that way.


answers from Williamsport on

Not bad at all. We do lots of thrift and mainly hand-me-downs and "super sales", and we try to keep quantity of clothing down to necessity anyway, and we still spend about what you do.



answers from New York on

600 for two kids in a year is nothing! Consider yourself lucky.



answers from Oklahoma City on

Sounds pretty reasonable to me. I probably don't spend that much but it's close.

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