How Much Do You Spend?

Today’s post is on a topic that I’ve always been curious about – on average, how much do you ladies spend on your wardrobe each month? How do you manage or control that spending? I’ll share my own “info,” but I’m more interested in hearing your thoughts.

^ 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 (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.


0 thoughts on “How Much Do You Spend?

  • Reply Revanche August 1, 2010 at 4:56 pm

    I think it's really neat you shared this! I always wondered approximately how much it was costing to keep you in such chic clothes. 🙂

    As much as I love the fashion of your blog, as someone who started out as a PF blogger, I'd love to see more about the financial side as well.

  • Reply bugette August 1, 2010 at 6:48 pm

    I've kept a record of my expenses for the last couple of years, but this is actually the first time I've looked at it! It's odd…I just record everything but never analyze it so I guess I'm not getting the full utility out of it.

    For the past 3 years ~ $100 per month.

  • Reply me in millions August 1, 2010 at 7:01 pm

    I try to do a few no spend on clothes months a year to help balance out the months that I do spend. It works out to an average of $200/month. Reading all of these fashion blogs has made me evern pickier with what I buy, but I still have expensive taste!

  • Reply diaryofashopper August 2, 2010 at 12:33 am

    I do keep track, and I have averaged $185 a month over the last year, which is an all time high for me. Since I have gotten into buying quality over quantity, I have been spending a lot more money, even though I am buying fewer things. But I am hoping once I have finished building a wardrobe full of long-lasting items, that my cost will go down.

  • Reply Leena August 2, 2010 at 9:23 pm

    i have not been keeping track, but probably 250 to 350 per month.

  • Reply Midori August 5, 2010 at 5:07 pm

    for the past 12 months…I'd say way less than $100/mo. Maybe even as low as $50/mo once averaged out. The 12 mo before that though…eesh. I don't even want to know. Wouldn't be surprised if it was $400-$500/mo.

  • Reply Nina L. November 10, 2010 at 6:30 am

    What an interesting topic! I've just recently started tracking my expenses. For clothing/accessories, my total is under just about $300/month. 🙂

  • Reply Edwina December 3, 2010 at 11:57 pm

    Wow you're so organized! I'm trying to cut down my expenses. It's hard though especially during Christmas and birthday months! :S

  • Reply Anonymous April 18, 2011 at 5:33 pm

    Its nice to know that I'm actually under-spending but I don't think I"m as stylish as some of you ladies.

    I budget $100 per month. I don't shop every month so sometimes I save it for a big sale. I only allow myself $100 per month, no excuses, no justifications for over spending. It includes shoes, apparel, handbags and accessories.
    Cosmetics don't count but I only get the usual staples (foundation, powder, blush, lipstick) every 4 months.

    Great topic!

  • Reply Ellie December 29, 2011 at 11:56 am

    Wow..I have no idea how to really budget things, and savings/investments? forget it..Is your "Fashionable Finance" blog still up by any chance? I want to learn more about this sort of thing..but have nowhere to start.

  • Reply Anonymous December 10, 2012 at 7:37 pm

    i'm also new to budgeting and would like to learn more about it. Can we still read your "Fashionable Finance" blog? or maybe you can post more of these tips in future blog entries 🙂

  • Reply Heidi December 13, 2013 at 9:45 am

    Jean – I am trying to get a budget plan and routine down for the next year. I have been following you for a few years now and fascinated by how you're able to eat out, shop often and still able to afford a beautiful high quality wardrobe! Is this the way you still manage your spending? I would love to know you're tried and true methods!

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