7 Days to Christmas

31 Day Budget (Day 16): Setting a Clothing Budget

31 Days to a Better Budget

Setting a Clothing Budget

Each day of the series offers new tips, ideas and a challenge to start the year with a solid financial plan.


clothes closetI am lucky not to be fashion obsessed. Or, maybe it’s fashion aware. Probably both. I’m also blessed to have generous family at Christmas and a birthday just before spring—perfect timing for most all of my wardrobe needs. Of course, I do have 3 growing kids who seem to need new clothes more often than most people need food.

And, so we are tasked with trying to create a budget for yet another fluctuating expense. Later this month, we’ll share several smart shopping strategies that will help reduce clothing expenses. For now, take a good inventory of what you have in your closet—count the shirts, jeans, belts, shoes—oh, the shoes.

This is where I get into trouble. The hubby has a rule about my shoes. One in, one out. It’s not a hard & fast rule, but the concept can help control an obsession. Once you see how many of each item you truly have, it’s a little harder to say, “I have nothing to wear!” Shop from the back of your closet, create new combinations to update your look, then give yourself a limit to work with each month.

If you have kids who need clothing replaced on a regular basis (do they ever stop growing?!), look back at your receipts to see how much you spend each season, take it down a notch and set your monthly target. I have a system for sorting clothes and deciding what actually needs to be replaced each season. We repurpose clothes when possible, swap clothes with or enjoy hand-me-downs from friends and skip purchases of frivolous items.

Saving on clothes is a pretty easy task, if you’re willing to change your habits just a little bit.


I’m not a financial planner or a budget expert. I’ll just be walking you through the steps I take each time my budget needs an adjustment. In fact, I’ll be participating myself!

One Response to “31 Day Budget (Day 16): Setting a Clothing Budget”

  • Moneycone January 16, 2011 @6:30PM Reply

    When it comes to shoes, I absolutely agree with your husband! I hate too many of anything!

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