I absolutely LOVE summer and am the happiest when it’s hot outside. But the one thing I will admit is that as soon as that cool air arrives in the morning, I do get excited to shop for new clothes! Fall and Winter offer clothing options that you just can’t wear where I live during the summer. I am talking about the thick, fluffy sweaters, jackets, cute jeans, booties/boots, etc. In this blog post, you will learn my tricks on how to make a shopping budget.
I have to REALLY check myself, otherwise I WILL go overboard. That has happened to me too many times. This year, with my hubby’s help, I made a vow to stop spending so much on clothing, and am getting my spending under control. If there’s anything I’ve learned, it’s that setting a shopping budget and sticking to it is non-negotiable.
Maybe you don’t want to take advice from someone who is literally a shopaholic but, if you’re willing to overlook that, here’s my process for making sure you don’t spend too much money on clothes when you see all of the fabulous new Fall/Winter clothing and NEED all the things. This is much easier said that done; I will admit.
Start Tracking Current Spending
Before you can think about how much you [want] to spend on your new seasonal clothing, you have to know how much you’re spending on everything else. That is the basis of making a shopping budget. You can test out some budget apps, or make a list of everything in your monthly expenses. I would also make a “spending diary” and track your spending for a week or two. Make sure you include EVERYTHING you spend money on; whether it is .99 cents or $1,000. Some expenses that get overlooked are: coffee shop purchases (we know you love Starbs, but how much are you currently spending on that coffee addiction??), fast food places, donations, little gas station purchases, etc
You should use this information for a few thing. What are your biggest expenses? How much do you want to be saving (I am really bad at this part, but my husband has been a big help in the saving department)? After all your bills are paid each month, what is left over expendable money?
How Much $$ Are You Devoting to Spending on Clothing?
One thing that I am not afraid to admit, is I LOVE to shop. I’m sure that is quite obvious to you guys. Shopping is something I truly enjoy. I love wearing new clothes and outfits, and as a fashion blogger, that’s something I like to show you guys. That being said, I probably spend more on clothes than the average person likes to. Tally up whatever spending you would like to have allotted to shopping for clothing.
What Clothing Do You Already Own?
Y’all, my closet (in my eyes) is gigantic, which means a lot of clothing can get lost in there — A LOT. Every season I dump everything out on my closet floor and sort through it all. How many pieces did I buy last Fall/Winter and have completely forgotten about? How many pairs of jeans do I actually own. Do I really need another pair? I think you get the point.
“Looking at what you have” is probably the most basic advice I could give you, but I can’t even begin to count the amount of times I’ve bought something for myself only to find a very similar thing shoved in my closet a short time later. So start here: Organize ALL of your clothing in to stacks according to what it is. This way you will really get an idea of what you already have and what you actually need.
Make a List of Necessities
Remember, needing and wanting are two completely different things. I’m sure I don’t have to explain the difference between the two. Do you only own socks that don’t match? Do your tanks have holes in them? Are your leggings still wearable? These are good places to start. Those would be examples of items you NEED to buy. Start the list out by the items you need more of the most. After that, think about how much you’d be willing to spend per category (socks, undies, leggings, etc). Keep in mind the shopping budget you want to stay within and the fact that there are items you still want to buy.
What Items Do You Want?
This is my personal favorite! I like to really research trending outfits and clothing pieces and see what I really want. For example, I know three items I want are from Goodnight Macaroon. A pair of OTK boots, a cute wool hat, and long, cozy color block sweater. Making a list of specific items you want can help you stay on task when shopping for Fall/Winter pieces. I’m more likely to stay on track if I am concentrated on keeping to the list rather than aimlessly wandering around the shopping center.
Even if you don’t like to keep up with trending outfits or pieces, you can certainly still do this step. You just don’t have to be as strict with it. Maybe the move for you is to just focus on the concrete things you really want and make sure those are the things you’re spending your money on, not impulse purchases (which I can also admit I am really bad at).
Bring All of Your New Babies to Center Stage
Whenever I buy something new, I make sure it gets a prominent spot in my closet. AKA front and center so that I see it often and actually wear it. It also makes me feel so happy to see new clothing in my closet. I used to organize my clothing by color and what style it was (OCD much??). I realized recently that organizing that way, for me any way, was causing new items to get overlooked and not worn. Having my new items placed front and center, makes it so easy for me to see it, therefore I will more than likely actually wear it.
STICK TO THE SHOPPING BUDGET!!!
There’s no point in setting a budget if you don’t stick to it, but hey — sometimes things happen and sticking to a budget is much easier said than done. If you do happen to spend more than your budget, try to pay yourself back by spending less in another area. For example, you can spend less at Starbs and fast food places. You can do that until it kind of evens out with the original budget.
I hope you learned a lot about how to make a shopping budget.
You can read my previous blog post by clicking here!
This post is NOT sponsored. As always, all opinions are my own.
**A special thanks to Annie Kingsley for giving me the idea about this blog post!