How to Create a Budget for Your Fashion Obsession
We all love to look good, right? Yet, some of us spend time thinking, planning, and shopping a lot more than others. This can cause a big strain on personal or even family finances. It can be hard to explain to your significant other exactly how important that new top is to your personal wardrobe. Unfortunately, money is the number one cause of stress in relationships.
Like it or not, most of us still need to think about our rent or mortgage, utilities, food, and healthcare–and none of us want our fashion obsession to derail our life at home. The key to keeping up with style while maintaining your finances can be as easy as having a set budget and sticking to it. Here are some ways to help with your fashion obsession:
Set an Overall Budget
We’ve all made spur of the moment decisions to buy something for our wardrobe we really wanted–without really knowing what it will do to our budget. Planning and knowing how much money you can really afford to spend on your wardrobe is a key first step.
If this seems overwhelming, it doesn’t have to be. There are lots of good, cheap or even free budgeting tools out there that can help you keep track and manage your money. These tools will make it easier for you to take control of your finances. Get a good handle on what you have left after the fixed costs of living, and get ready to shop, but wisely.
A lot of our shopping choices are made from laziness or false assumptions. The first spending tip we can offer is to pay attention and shop smarter. Leave your assumptions and your preconceptions at the door and consider different ways to get what you are looking for.
For example, is a store that sells in bulk always cheaper? Is it more beneficial to shop on huge sites like Amazon? Recent studies prove that it isn’t in all cases. You may think, or have been told, that the big stores offer the best bargains, but often, smaller retailers offer more bang for your buck.
Even better, service and quality remain high on smaller retailer sites while deals can be plentiful. Give smaller stores a try–you’ll be glad you did. Don’t let impulse shopping rule you–even if you have the money in the budget, keep looking for the better deal and you’ll have more funds for the next thing you want to buy.
If you want to get alerts sent right to your computer or phone, you can sign up for coupons and newsletters. Most retailers now offer free email newsletters that will alert you to sales and promotions. Wouldn’t it be nice to know what is on sale and when? Download an app that lets you check for the best deals at your favorite stores.
The more you save on clearance, special promotions, and bogs, the more money you’ll have to spend on full-price items. If you don’t want all the emails cluttering up your main inbox–consider setting up a “shopping”’ email address that can become your go-to stop on shopping trips.
Long-Lasting Basics and Statement Pieces
It’s wise to have your wardrobe filled with basics that will mix and match, and you can spend your extra cash on the stand-out pieces and accessories that will put the look over the top. A simple (and inexpensive) little black dress turns into a head turner through a variety of shoes or attention-grabbing and trendy items like jewelry or scarves.
For guys, remember that no one can tell if you’re wearing a $20 t-shirt from the mall or a $100 designer top. What people will notice are cool shoes, a statement watch, or even a special belt. Think “keep it simple” in your basics and aim for “timeless classics” that you can dress up or down.
Take Care of Your Clothes
Perhaps the best tip overall is to take care of your clothes and make them last. There are basic items that everyone needs–white shirts, good-fitting jeans, and a warm coat. Once you’ve found these pieces, take good care of them.
The last thing you want is for your fashion obsession to lead to divorce or credit card debt and bankruptcy. By following some simple steps, you are likely to save money and be more mature with how you’re spending.