Setting a Wardrobe Budget & The $75 Challenge

dvf Dress

A New & Ambitious Clothing Budget
$75 monthly with the option to rollover funds if the full amount is not spent.

The Impetus
My end-of-year credit card statement showed its digital face to my inbox.  I was ecstatic – my arms flailing about like a Bieber fan.  Honest.  Even though I constantly monitor my spending, I use the final statement to reflect on the ghosts of purchases past and to set new financial goals.  As a result, I decided to challenge myself to a $75 monthly shopping allowance.  I ran out to TJ Maxx to celebrate, and rewarded myself with the dress above.

Balbity Blab About Athleticism and Shopping
Shopping is my favorite sport.  I play in the grocery store, in outdoor shopping malls and online.  I’m a team player and a chronically generous gift giver.  But truthfully, nobody is going to like me more or less (or at all, even) because I bought them fancy wine.  And just because I’ve always wanted an everlasting gobstopper a classic pair of Manolo Blahnik d’Orsay pumps, it does not mean I need to own them.  It’s fun to be generous to thyself and others, but I often think about all the cash I could save if I could be a little more stingy.

When creating a budget, attempt to learn from the past, honor the present, and mindfully consider the future.
Past. Six years ago, I wouldn’t have thought twice about purchasing the aforementioned pumps and I’d have bought a Rebecca Taylor frock to match (on sale, of course).  When my husband and I were engaged and saving for a home, I didn’t buy a single article of clothing for an entire year.  Girlfriend was desperately yearning for a new sweater.  There was a shopping explosion immediately after we closed on the house.  Embers could still be seen for roughly 3 years.

Present. Thanks, past – I have a wardrobe filled with some fabulous forever items.  I don’t think it is realistic to go a year without shopping for clothes.  Well-made garments make me happy, but I’m not opposed to purchasing less classic items from places like Forever 21.

Future. A new dwelling will trump a cute outfit.  It’s always been the plan to live in our current home for 7-10 years, so buying another house within the next several years is in the cards.  We’ve grown less interested in things and more focused on experiences (i.e. Polo Matching with our favs on the cheap) – I suspect these values will continue in the years to come.  Still, it’s nice to wear a new blouse whilst experiencing the world.

Setting a wardrobe budget requires support.  I’ll be taking up a post or two each month to keep readers informed of the $75 adventure.  It should keep me honest.  If $75 isn’t enough for a new pair of boots next fall, I’ll walk to school in the snow barefoot in the name of this challenge.  Enough of this budget talk. I’ve got $16 burning a hole in my pocket. 

Clothing budgets are personal, but I’d love to know if any of you have ever taken on a similar challenge.  How much do you think is too much to spend on clothes each month?



11 thoughts on “Setting a Wardrobe Budget & The $75 Challenge

  1. I’m looking forward to seeing how your budgeting goes! I don’t have any hard-and-fast rules for myself, but these days hold back much more than I used to. I also gravitate more towards thrift shopping!

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