^ 2 things I tend to splurge on - Burb Coats and Coco
Before I started PAG/ExtraPetite I had a blog called "Fashionable Finance" for over one year, on which I babbled about savings, investing, retirement accounts, etc until I bored readers to tears. To avoid that happening again, please continue reading at your own discretion! Snoozefest to ensue!
I consider "wardrobe expenses" to include apparel, shoes, handbags/accessories, AND alterations. I have several credit cards and do a lot of returns, so it's critical for me to track exact net spending. I've used Mint.com (free) for two years and it's pretty simple. Here's a step-by-step:
Step 1. Transactions automatically load from all of my credit cards. "Categories" are applied.
Step 2. In the Trends tab (my favorite) you can select any time frame and view your total spending.
Step 3. Click on any piece of the pie to drill down on the spending. For my "Wardrobe" category:
So there you have it. $193/month so far this year, but not including July and NOT including my annual coat and handbag splurges. Those haven't happened yet, but can easily bump this monthly average number up another $100-$200.
Some tips I've read about for managing wardrobe expenses:
1. Budget by % of salary (Elle tweeted an article that said 4%)
2. Analyze "cost per wear." Let's say I spend $800 on a coat that I'll realistically wear 2x a week, for 4 months in the year, for a minimum of 3 years. The cost per wear is about $8.
Personally, I hate budgeting and cringe at the thought of analyzing cost per wear. I have no debt, so my spending guidelines are simple: save and/or invest 30% of each paycheck, use 30% on rent & fixed expenses, happily spend from the rest and save anything else that's left over.