In Budgeting, Discussions, Discussions, In my closet, Money, Shopping, Style, Women

How does money fit into all of your clothing and shopping?

Money? You want to talk about money?

I have spent a ton of money in the past few years on clothing. I have gone since 2009, on an upward trajectory that made me feel quite terrible in 2017 when I did my roundup and I put the kibosh on it because it was horrifying:

Oh to be back in the 4-digit range of spending for clothes 😛

Look at 2009.

There are a few factors at play as to how my spending has increased over the years…

LIFESTYLE INFLATION

Obviously. The more money I make and save, the more I feel comfortable spending.

This is a terrible, terrible mindset.

I AM BUYING BETTER STUFF

I was at one point, buying only retail, and buying designer items. It was.. insane for lack of a better word.

I was buying new, new new, and all the nicest brands. I mean, we are not talking a closet full of H&M and Forever 21 pieces here. We are talking artisanal, or designer stuff on sale.


That has not changed and will not change with my lifestyle / spending inflation but what HAS changed is I am pretty much limiting myself to secondhand sites like Poshmark or eBay to buy what I want, if anything at all.

I am also STUDIOUSLY  avoiding going into stores in person “just to look” which inevitably ends up in a $500+ bill with the types of stores I like to frequent.

IT IS CYCLICAL WITH MY WORK

When I work and make money.. I spend. It’s pretty simple.

When I don’t work (see dips above), I don’t spend. I don’t feel comfortable.

I need to also break this mindset and just pretend I am not working or about to get laid off ANY TIME.. which is not so hard as of late.

What about you?

The entire series can be found here: Women in Clothes Style & Fashion Survey

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Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

I got out of $60,000 of debt in 18 months using TheBudgetingTool.com. Since then, I have worked 50% of my career (taking 1-2 year breaks), and quadrupled my income within 2 years of graduating, going from $65K to $260K (savings rate = 85%). I could retire today if I wanted, but love my work-life balance as a freelancing consultant in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). I also post daily on Instagram @saverspender.

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7 Comments

  1. M
    Maggie

    Holy smokes! I find that so surprising! Why do you think NZ is so bad for clothes? I found the food, the wine etc there to be such high quality, does that mindset not extend to clothes?! Keep in mind I only spend weeks there, so no In-depth knowledge here, but I’m very curious to your experience! I found a few good pieces there in a second hand store in Auckland. Ugh, can’t recall the name…

    Reply
  2. Financial Orchid

    Overspending on clothes is a privilege for the fit physiques. For overweight people, they are lucky to find whatever fits and looks passable. Sad but true.

    Reply
    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      Oh I agree. The plus size market is undervalued …

      Reply
  3. Yet Another PF Blog

    I spent around $1825 in 2017 on clothes. Prior to that though it was closer to $200-300/year. My goal for this year is ~$300-400, not including my wedding dress. It’s easier to do here in the US where clothes are cheap.

    Reply
    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      I find clothes VERY cheap in the US but even cheaper secondhand

      Reply
  4. S
    Sense

    This is something I actually have a handle on, simply because of where I live–New Zealand!

    I know that I spend less than $3K NZD on clothing each year, if that much, because I wait and buy all of my clothes in the US. After trying and trying, I have accepted that I simply cannot buy clothes in New Zealand, for several reasons: 1. They are too expensive for me, even for very low end, generic brands. 2. The quality is terrible, even if you go up many tiers in cost. The fabric is cheap, they fall apart within the first few washes, the fabric stretches funny, shrinks, discolors, whatever, the product does not do what it says on the label (e.g. outdoor clothing here is surprisingly crap, except for the merino stuff, which I cannot wear because I am allergic to all wool). I honestly do not understand how people here find ways to clothe their bodies affordably.

    Instead, I save up $3K every year to spend while I am at home in the US on vacation with my family. That $3K could be used for airfare, but most years I manage to pay for my ticket home using airmiles, which frees up that money. Instead, I use it to replace electronics and clothing and other items that are exorbitantly expensive in NZ compared to the US.

    I keep a running list throughout the year of items that I wish I had, need, or could use if the money stretches that far. For example, I really want a pair of black skinny pants–I have just recently identified that gap in my wardrobe. I can get by until my trip home in September without them, but they will be the first priority to buy when I go home. I usually hit up Marshalls (aka TJ Maxx) to find higher end pieces that are discounted. My second stop is usually Target–their clothing section has really gotten decent the past few years!, and third I’ll hit up Old Navy sales racks. I usually look through cheapo Rugged Wearhouse and Walmart, too–sometimes you just need a cute $3 cotton shirt to sleep in, and sometimes RW has Limited/Banana Republic/Express clothes that I like for really cheap.

    I miss shopping so much. When I do get to do it in the US, it is fun for the first few days but then it becomes a chore because there is so much pressure to find the thing I need/want before I head off to NZ. If I don’t find it in time, it means I have to live without it for another year. The ultimate in delayed gratification!

    I click on most of your clothing links to live vicariously, and out of curiosity–they are such pretty items (that I’d never dare buy on my $3K budget!). 🙂

    Reply
    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      I would absolutely do that if I didn’t have a lot of options. Canada is not terrible but not great. Quebec is the one of the worst provinces for shopping compared to what I was used to in Toronto Ontario… I do a lot of shopping and guessing online now and secondhand in the US….

      Reply

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