Most financial experts recommend spending no more than 5% of your monthly take-home pay on clothing. Depending on your salary and spending habits, that percentage may seem like too little or too much.
No matter what portion of your monthly income you allocate to new clothing, learning to stay on budget when you’re shopping for it is essential. Here are some ideas to help you create a stylish, functional wardrobe without breaking your budget.
Budgeting for the amount you’ll spend on clothing is helpful for reining in shopping sprees and impulse purchases.
Calculate your monthly clothing budget by multiplying your monthly take-home pay by 0.05. If you bring $3,000 home each month, for example, you should aim to spend no more than $150 on clothes.
If you don’t have that kind of space in your budget to buy clothes, or you’re spending much more than that each month, consider reviewing your monthly expenses and re-evaluating your budget.
Where do you shop for clothing? Finding most of your clothes at less expensive stores and turning to high-end brands for go-to pieces only is a smart way to make the most out of your monthly clothing budget.
Which pieces are worthy of an investment, and which should you try to save money on?
High-quality staples have their place in a wardrobe, but there are some items that are okay to spend a little less on.
Some clothing staples have to stand up to heavy use. Splurge on these pieces so you can wear them for several years to come.
Splurging on something just to regret it later is a common feeling. Consider which items you pay more for carefully to avoid buyer’s remorse.
What you’re willing to pay for a particular piece comes down to your personal preference. Take hats and scarves, for example. While you get what you pay for with these accessories, a less expensive winter hat can still keep you warm. You can find an abundance of inexpensive scarves, but a well-made cashmere piece may be a smart investment if you’ll use it often.
When you go shopping, you know better than anyone which clothes you’ll wear the most and how durable those pieces must be. If you dress in business casual clothing, you might choose to save on jeans and splurge on a vintage necklace you’ll wear every day.
Beyond dress codes and professional expectations at work, the right outfit can give you extra confidence for a presentation or make you feel more powerful as you work through daily tasks.
Professional clothing is often expensive. Fortunately, there are a few ways you can find affordable clothing to boost your wardrobe for work.
It’s possible to get the clothing you need, or want, and still stay on budget. For more tips on managing your money, visit our WalletWorks page.