How to build a wardrobe within your budget?

The average woman spends 150 dollars to 400 dollars a month on clothing.  This doesn’t seem like an extremely shocking number to me. However like anything in life, what you spend on your clothes mainly depends on your budget & your income.

Did you know that you should only spend 5% of your monthly income on clothing according to financial planner Pete Dunn?  I don’t know about you but that equals to about 105 euro’s a month for me, which doesn’t seem that much. So how do you buy clothes without feeling restricted? How to go from restriction to abundance in this area?

For me 5% equals 105 euro’s a month or 1050 euro’s a year.  In the last years, I haven’t even met this number to spend on clothes because I have taken time of work to study at an expensive art school & I opened my own vintage shop. With the money I made I invested in myself ( study) and my business ( vintage). And even now I’m afraid of spending that amount a year on clothing, even if I really like to,  because we’re in the first year of being house owners. So I’ d feel guilty. And again, the number doesn’t even seem that much to me.

Now in comparison 1050 euro’s does sound like a lot.  It IS a lot. So I start from that number & I detract from the 105 euro’s if I overly spend. For instance. If I have spend 150 euro’s this month I will detract 45 euro’s from the next month to keep it in balance. You could also just detract 45 euro’s from the total amount but I believe It helps to keep your budget a bit in balance every quarter of the year so that you don’t spend everything in on one season and are left with nothing the next.

So how did I invest in a decent wardrobe these last  three years without spending that amount money?  Well it wasn’t easy & I do admit that there are a lot of things lacking in my closet, like simple T shirts. It’s hard to find a good T-s shirt in the second hand or vintage market because they get easily worn out.

So It’s crucial to know what to buy new and what to buy second hand. I will write another post on this topic later on.

First of all, I buy a lot of vintage. For the other items I really want and are a bit more expensive, I save. It’s always better to buy something you love and will wear often than the cheaper alternative. One of the items I invest in for instance are Clark’s shoes. Don’t laugh now, they have gotten some kind of groovy over the last years. If I love them and need them I will buy them because I know I have bought quality and they will last me a few seasons or even longer. They also always feel and fit great so I’m comfortable buying them online.

I visit a lot flea markets. The keys are going there early to see the good stuff first and taking your time Also, treat the items you want as though they cost a 100 euro’s each, otherwise you might just buy them because they are ok and cheap but you’ll end up donating them the next year.

I’m not a big fan of negotiation though. If you like it, then it’s probably worth that price to you. The other person has set his or her price too. They bought & worked for the item they’re selling and they are giving their time in life selling the item. That alone is priceless.

This is probably my business side speaking since I’m a vintage seller and it kind of  makes me very upset when people don’t acknowledge the time, money and effort you put in to your product. But that’s just me. If you feel ok negotiating, please feel free to do so. Just don’t do it at my booth at the fancy lifestyle markets you’ll find me, haha.

The other thing I’m good at looking online for good deals, but that’s a whole other story. We’ll talk about my online shopping secrets later over coffee, or tea.

What about you, how do you stay within your clothing budget?

XO,

Maureen

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