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How do you budget for fashion?

(24 Posts)
LavenderHills Tue 24-Oct-17 12:48:04

I swear this is not a stealthily nosy thread about how much disposable income you all have! I'm aware that some posters will have much more to spend than I do, and some will have less.

What I want to know is, how do you budget for clothes/shoes/accessories etc? DP and I are having a re-work of our joint income at the moment, having paid off a bunch of debt and being able to relax the reins a bit. I am going to have a set amount per week to spend on whatever I want (we will have the same amount each) and instead of my previously ad hoc approach to shopping, I'd like to save most of that weekly amount so that I can approach my "fashion needs" on a yearly basis. For example, if I have x amount per week to spend on myself, that means that over the course of the year I can allocate x amount to shoes, x amount to work clothes, x amount to a new winter coat etc. Then I can wait for the sales and think about what I actually want, knowing what my shoe budget or my handbag budget will be, iyswim.

My question is, how do you do it? Do you manage to stick to a fashion budget? Do you have a spreadsheet? Please share tips!

ExConstance Tue 24-Oct-17 13:51:00

For me it is about half the money I have left over at the end of the month when I have made provision for everything else ( including hair cuts, holidays, Christmas etc) I tend to buy a few things new at the start of each season and buy quite a lot in the winter sales. Any surplus funds go into what I call "short term savings" so for things for the house etc. I supplement this money with the proceeds of selling off anything that I am not wearing much on ebay and I do ask for bags, scarves etc. as birthday and Christmas presents. I go through phases of thinking I'll buy higher priced items from nice shops with periods where I shop more or less exclusively in Sainsburys and New Look!

LavenderHills Tue 24-Oct-17 18:55:06

Thanks @ExConstance; it's interesting to hear how other people do things. I hadn't thought about supplementing by selling infrequently-worn things on eBay, but that's a really good idea. I feel a clear-out coming on!

EllenLydia Tue 24-Oct-17 19:05:43

I budget for 4 seasons so quarterly. This is made up on a monthly amount which I save up.
Generally winter is the big one with boots and a coat on alternate years. Summer is a medium spend and Spring and Autumn small.
I did the same for the children when they were younger with the big spend for them being Autumn for uniform.
It started when I had a budget of £25 a week for food clothes and everything else including saving for holidays Christmas etc! We managed but it wasn't easy.
The children now call it the smart price years!

LavenderHills Tue 24-Oct-17 19:25:47

@EllenLydia LOL at the smart price years!

I think buying boots and a coat on alternating years is smart. I'm trying to force myself to focus on quality, not quantitysmile

Crazmas Tue 24-Oct-17 19:56:34

This is a great thread, I’m interested to hear what people say.

I personally buy as and when I fancy (weeklyblush) ...but I’d like to start saving so I have some money for the sales.

Judydreamsofhorses Tue 24-Oct-17 20:15:41

I’m an as and when shopper. I allocate myself an amount of money for each week, which I withdraw in cash. Paying with “real money” makes me more aware of what I’m spending. That money can be spent on clothes, makeup, socialising, whatever. If I have a big purchase lined up I tend to do it at the beginning of the month when i’ve just been paid, then reduce the weekly pot accordingly.

LavenderHills Tue 24-Oct-17 20:19:00

@Crazmas I have the same problem, buying as and when I feel like it, but I'd like to start taking a more planned approach so that I can get the most out of my money and avoid regrettable impulse purchases.

I like the idea of taking a whole-year approach, so I can say to myself "I have x amount to spend overall on fashion this year. When and where should that best be spent?" This should mean that when the sales come around, I'll have money saved up and know what my spending priorities are!

Want2beme Tue 24-Oct-17 20:28:18

I'd like to buy at the end of the month with whatever's left but it doesn't work out that way because I end up buying during the month. I'd like to decide what I want to buy each month and stick to it instead of going off on a tangent.

shouldaknownbetter Tue 24-Oct-17 20:32:51

I budget £1000 per year consisting of £300 in September, £200 in January sales, £300 in March and £200 summer sales. Plus if I sell stuff on ebay I may use that money too.

That's the theory anyway, in practice it may end up a little more. But hey, gotta have a budget to start with.

I tend to buy relatively cheaply, not afraid to get stuff off ebay, sainsburys 25% off is a godsend... rarely spend more than £30 on an item.

bingohandjob Wed 25-Oct-17 06:55:26

Over the year,I probably set aside/spend £150 -200 a month on clothes, hair and beauty but I plan ahead and am in fortunate position to be able to spend up front and then not spend for a few months if that makes sense. I buy the best I can afford for key items (good quality shoes, proper waterproof mac, winter coat) but will buy in the sales, eBay or always with a discount code. Eg knew I wanted TNF Arctic Parka so set up alert on eBay and bought colour & size I wanted for £55 in the summer and stocked up my work wardrobe with dresses from Boden that were simple/plain and about 70% off. Tend to buy classic stuff rather than high fashion stuff that can date. I also do an annual wardrobe cull and generally give half to friends and half goes on eBay sale and I make around £200/300 which I stick in holiday spending money pot. Last few years,I buy less but I buy better quality in terms of fabric (merino is my wonder fabric and feels amazing on). Oh, and I do an annual bra, knickers and tights bin and replace - anything scratty or laddered immediately goes in the bin! My "impulse" buys are restricted to a lipstick or a nail polish these days. I also buy for my husband's wardrobe - I earn about 50% more than him, can afford it and am happy to do it (he did same for me on my way up the career ladder) and again, plan ahead so bulk buy work trousers/shirts and jeans in sale and best quality I can afford bigger items like coats and shoes. He used to think I was nuts buying winter boots in summer but now he totally gets it when weather turns to crap and he's fully kitted out. I see it as just part of our joint income requirements like food/utilities. He sorts his own more fashion stuff for tshirts/shirts etc.

aniceearlynight Fri 27-Oct-17 18:50:27

Well done on paying off your debt!

As a single mum of two teenage DDs I have very little disposable income and what I do have often tends to go on clothes/shoes etc for them. I don't exactly budget as such but I do save up for my clothes as I like well-made, expensive items and I find they last for some time as my look is not particularly fashion-led.

I have set up a few different bank accounts (Martin Lewis's 'piggybank' technique for budgeting) and one of these is for my clothes. I sell everything that isn't nailed down old clothes of mine and the DDs on ebay and I use cashback websites to get cashback on online purchases. Once I have about £50 in topcashback or paypal, I transfer it straight into my clothes account so the money doesn't get muddled up with my general expenditure and spent on transport/food/bills etc. My bank account also offers a 'save the change' function whereby when I spend say £4.75, it rounds up to £5 and puts the 25p in the clothes account. Then if I have e.g. £50 left in my bank account at the end of the month, I transfer it across. It all adds up and then I have a little 'pot' to spend on clothes.

I make a clothes/accessories shopping list at the beginning of winter (Sept) and in Spring (March) and I pretty much stick to it. I agree about buying good boots/coat in alternate years but I would add in a handbag. Last year for winter I bought an APC bag and this year I want a warm, short puffer coat. I will identify my chosen prey then sales stalk it e.g. put it in my basket/wish list on the website and wait for the sales or other discounts to begin. I don't often pay full price. I also buy about 40% of stuff on ebay or Vestiaire Collective.

I write down everything I buy and pin it on a pinterest board - makes it easy to track spending and to see wardrobe gaps or repeat buys.

It all sounds v. geeky, I know, but I enjoy it. I'm a bit of a puritan about spending and a bit of a perfectionist about clothes and I put a lot of thought and effort into my wardrobe!

chanie44 Fri 27-Oct-17 20:32:22

I give myself xxxx pocket money each month to do with as I please.

I have a notepad and will write down stuff that I want. Then, I’ll buy it as the budget allows. If something is on offer or about to sell out, I may go over budget, but like that flexibility.

Writing down what I wants helps me not to forget and sometimes, I end up crossing it off my list if I change my mind. By being more focussed, I rarely make mistakes in stuff I do buy as some things may be on my list for months.

I’m not very good at saving for savings sake, eg for the sales, but will happily save up for a specific item. At the moment, I’m saving up for a bag and will put £10-£20/birthday money aside until I can get it.

AnnabelleLecter Fri 27-Oct-17 20:48:40

I buy things when I see them all year.
Then tend to have a couple of big shopping trips in early Summer about £150 and then Autumn £300 ish coat/boots/jumpers. I usually only spend my Christmas money/vouchers roughly in the January sales.
I don't buy half as much as I used to and
I'm trying not to buy anymore work clothes as I'm retiring when DH is 55 in a few years.

rightknockered Sat 28-Oct-17 02:04:42

I don't have a structured approach. I know how much roughly I can spend on myself each month. It can be anything from £30 to £800, depending on household expenses etc. This month I had around £100, next month I will have nothing. I won't spend any money on myself until February. I have 2 dc's birthdays in November, Christmas, and another dc's birthday in January. In February I will probably spend around £300.
I'm not excited by anything in the shops at the moment, so it isn't difficult.

rightknockered Sat 28-Oct-17 02:07:14

I do have a slight problem with shopping, more likely to spend when feeling low

repetitionrepetition Sat 28-Oct-17 04:00:00

if i find something i love, and i’m still thinking about it 2 days later, and i can afford it out of my disposable (which is budgeted for), i buy it. i wouldn’t be able to put a yearly cost on it it would be totally spurious.

misscheery Sat 28-Oct-17 05:05:39

Morning, everyone.

Long time lurker first time poster

Been with my boyfriend for 3 months, relationship is just fabulous, actually moved together.

Question: what do I get him for Christmas? What should the budget be? Around £100? I don’t want to over spend and look ridiculous. He is a software developer however I don’t think it should be something related to IT/technology as he has every single gadget he could

Ideas; please?

misscheery Sat 28-Oct-17 05:06:26

Oh, my, so sorry, OP! Obviously too early for me! Making that a separate post, of course!

LavenderHills Sun 29-Oct-17 10:46:12

@aniceearlynight that does sound geeky, but in a good way! I am going to steal some of your habits; thanks for going into so much detail smile

LavenderHills Sun 29-Oct-17 10:48:14

Lol @misscheery, don't worry about it!
(Btw, I'd go with a ridiculously snuggly, luxurious cashmere scarf for the boyfriend.)

LavenderHills Sun 29-Oct-17 11:03:13

@AnnabelleLecter my MIL recently retired. She is a very chic woman and I have inherited most of her MAGNIFICENT work wardrobe grin

TheOtherGirl Sun 29-Oct-17 13:59:25

I don't really budget as such, and probably spend between £150-£200 a month on clothes, cosmetics, shoes etc. Sometimes it's more if I'm having my hair cut/coloured.

My shopping habits used to be quite puritanical and dull. Lots of black, grey, navy from The White Company or pretty frumpy stuff from White Stuff.

But since I started following a few fashion bloggers I have really moved out of my comfort zone (hurrah) and my shopping habits are much more eclectic. Plus having a very fashion conscious teen DD has introduced me to shops I'd never noticed before. So I now shop in Zara a lot, some H&M and even Newlook. I've bagged some bargins off eBay (latest buy is a gorgeous Laura Ashley shift dress, still with tags, for £12). I have also discovered DePop and recently bought some beautiful mink suede ankle boots by KG for just £15, unworn!

I still love a mooch around Jigsaw and Mint Velvet and John Lewis to treat myself sometimes though smile And I bought an All Saints leather jacket from their Camden store a few weeks ago, which I fully intend to be wearing in 10 years time, assuming I can keep it safe from DD's hot little hands hmm

PNGirl Sun 29-Oct-17 14:27:30

I don't really. I have a few hundred quid left each month after bills but before food, so I stash some and spend some. One month it might be 50 quid on some stuff from TU, another it might be 300 on a handbag and some boots. Anything over 50 quid requires serious thought and comparative price shopping.

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