Budget tips

The Clothing budget

clothes shop

It is easy to spend a fortune on clothes yet a presentable wardrobe can be maintained at a very reasonable cost. This article explores ways to contain the cost of clothing.

We all want to look our best and we are surrounded by seductive advertisements enticing us to buy all manner of designer goods. The shops are filled with goods, helpful assistants and “special offers”. One need go far to see a a very nice new shirt at an attractive price. One may soon be telling ones self that it is a very nice shirt, the price is good and one will look very smart wearing it. One has the money and it takes but a moment to add this lovely item to the wardrobe. Why simply buy it?

Perhaps because one already has a sufficient stock of shirts? For effective control of clothing expenditure this should be the first question to ask. Regard clothing purchases from an “inventory management” perspective. Once your stock of clothing is sufficient for your needs buy only to replace items that are no longer presentable. Your clothing needs are determined by your lifestyle choices and dress requirements at work. You will need a sufficient stock of clothes to appear at work looking clean and presentable every day. You need sufficient clothes for the days when you are not working. Some clothes will be needed for special occasions. Old clothes can be used for activities such as gardening, painting, renovating and servicing the car.

A very point one should always remember when one wishes to cut expenses is “learn to be content with enough“. Wants are without limit but resources are finite. One can not just keep buying things. Every extra item has what an economist might describe as diminishing marginal utility. If one has 20 shirts then another shirt adds little. You need to decide how many shirts, jackets, trousers you really need and then stop buying more. Settle for replacement of worn items.

Check your wardrobe. If it contains clothes you rarely wear, have never worn, or have forgotten you owned then you presumably already have more clothes than you need. Simply replace items as they wear out. Clothes shopping consists of shopping for a particular item such as a business shirt. You should have a fairly clear idea of the item you wish to buy before you enter a store. Buy that item, and only that item, and leave the store.

Think of managing your wardrobe in much the same as you would manage the stationery cupboard at work if that task was assigned to you. The general idea is to keep sufficient stock on hand to immediate availability of all commonly used items. One would not buy excessive items of stationery so why buy excessive amounts of clothes. One would not buy stationery items that are unlikely to be used. Similarly, there is no good reason to buy clothes that are unlikely to be worn.

When you have decided you need a new item of clothing then shop around for the best deal. evaluate each purchase to get value for money and only buy something if you will wear it regularly.

Look for quality as a well made shirt made of quality materials will last a good deal longer. Look at the fabric. Examine the stitching in the seams. A well made item should have no loose ends in the stitching. the stitching should be straight. Double stitched is good.

Consider buying off-season. Winter clothes are much cheaper in summer and vice versa. The clothes can sit in the wardrobe for a few months until the appropriate season arrives.

If buying designer labels the reconsider whether the price is really worth it.

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