Perhaps your inner fashionista cries for an unlimited budget for clothes, but when you look at your bank account, you probably had to think twice. It is always a challenge to align your wardrobe preferences with your budgetary constraints, especially if your career needs professional or casual sports clothes.
A workable budget for the wardrobe means that the next time you hit the city, you won’t be stuck wearing clothes from high school. You will get more for your money by purchasing the clearance rack, waiting for sales, and taking advantage of store discounts, extending your apparel budget even further.
To decide how much money is available for other expenditures, look at the general budget. Using this number as a guide to set a reasonable account for the wardrobe, bearing in mind that additional spending, such as presents, car maintenance, and date nights, are likely to compete for the money with your partner.
Estimate your spendings on clothes during the previous year. To get a sense of your average, chart your wardrobe spending for a few months if you don’t have records of your transactions or can’t remember too far back.
To assess your current wardrobe, visit your closet, removing things that you don’t wear. Consider if you can draw on the items you already own, which in your wardrobe budget can help you save money. Note places that are missing in your closet that will need to be replaced shortly, such as dress-up wear, work attire, or lounge clothing.
Evaluate the dress for work and how much of the budget for clothes it needs. Assign a higher percentage of the budget to professional apparel if your occupation requires formal business attire. Your budget for work clothes would be much lower if you wear casual clothing or have uniforms issued. Consider future work interviews that you may have in the coming months that might involve a new outfit for the interview.
Create a list of your daily out-of-work activities that may include exercise, home entertainment, volunteering, traveling, or going out to clubs. Think about your time at home or out in the city, where fashion is more of a concern. To decide what kind of leisure-time clothing you need and how much of the budget is required to support it, use this list.
To decide what sort of seasonal apparel you will need, such as a trendy winter coat and boots that will go with your work attire, assess the environment where you live. Based on your particular environment and needs, allocate money in the budget to go towards seasonal clothing items.
Take notes on your established shopping preferences for clothing. Include the places you regularly shop, how much you purchase, whether they’re well thought out or whimsical, the kinds of clothes you buy, and the average amount you pay.
For the coming months, check your calendar to find activities that may require formal attire. Determine whether you have suitable clothes already or if you need a new outfit. Estimate the cost of the outfit and apply it to the wardrobe budget if you need new clothing.
Calculate a rough estimate of how much you need for your wardrobe per month, based on all the information collected. Compare the amount of extra money you have in the budget with that figure. Cut back on the budget number for the wardrobe if the dollar sum comes out too high.
Based on your behaviors and desires that you have already assessed, assign unique amounts of the clothing budget to various types of clothing. It’s a smarter investment to spend more on classic clothing pieces to get greater quality so you can wear them for years.
Each month, monitor your spending on wardrobe expenses, comparing it to the budget for clothing for that month. If you go over your cap, deduct from the next month’s budget the amount you went over. If you have come in below the allocated number, add the difference to the budget for the next month. Throughout the year, this makes you balance out the wardrobe budget.
If your overall budget can accommodate the change, adjust your wardrobe budget if you find yourself regularly coming under or way over budget.