What's your clothing budget? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 15 Old 04-03-2012, 08:48 AM - Thread Starter
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When I started my budget a few months ago, I budgeted $70/month for clothing. This is for me, DH and our 3 boys. It includes outerwear, accessories and shoes.


We don't really have any good thrift stores in our area, but if I happen to see something good at a garage sale, I'll buy it. I am good about handing down clothing from boy to boy, so we rarely have to buy outerwear, snow boots, etc.


Other than that, we buy our stuff new, but we try to find good sales, limit what we buy, etc. All of us have minimal wardrobes. It would be difficult for us to go a week without doing a load of laundry.


Still, we are going over our budgeted amount every month! I guess I'll have to put more money into the clothing budget, but I'm just curious what other families spend. It seems that a huge part of our cost is shoes. We don't buy anything fancy, but good shoes/sandals for each family member cost A LOT! 



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#2 of 15 Old 04-03-2012, 10:08 AM
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I don't budget for clothes.  When someone needs something I just try to work it in.  We don't buy clothes often, and usually my kids can wear lots from one year to the next.  Unless they have a massive growth spurt, that is!  I rarely get clothes for myself at all.  I got a new swimsuit last year, but that's because we were going somewhere where I needed one that actually fit, lol (instead of just wearing my maternity one w/safety pins to make it fit).  My oldest dd has recently lost lots of weight and I'm getting some of her hand-me-downs. 

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#3 of 15 Old 04-03-2012, 10:30 AM
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Shoes and 3 kids, that will add up!


I dont have a clothing budget either but am aware when the kids have outgrown stuff and I have to buy several items at once. But I find its never URGENT, so it could be a month or a season before we actually get the stuff.


My son gets a pair of good running shoes in the spring for soccer season and the summer. He may get another pair of shoes mid winter. (depending how his feet grow and how the previous shoes last). And a pair of flip flops or crocs, for the summer.  I avoid buying runners in the fall, as they wont get much use during the winter (snow area) and his feet will grow out of them before the spring.  His clothes last a while, several years. We intentionally go shopping for jeans/pants/shorts/a hoodie, bathing suit, flannel shirt / shoes / winter jacket when he outgrows his, but he is never in need of t-shirts&shirts, (perhaps gifted, christmas).  Our daughter, her clothes last a long time too ... she is 2.2 and can fit into 18-24mths clothes fine. The pants were getting small so I bought some new things, but the new pants (size 2) are all to big now :), so they will last.

I enjoy looking for unique items, and may get something when we are in a different city, visiting friends or on vacation. I tend to buy new but mostly at discounted prices. I do scan the salvation army store, but I dont have the patience for that (and the prices are not better then a sales rack at old navy, for instance - although we did get a awesome deal on his first bike -1$, but I digress).  IN my 20's most of my wardrobe came from second hand stores or, boutiques and I enjoyed this kind of shopping, but the city I live in doesnt have decent 2nd hand stores.

On the other hand, my sons friend seems to out grow his clothes every three months and his mom usually has a bag of stuff to pass on to my son, but I think it has more to do with her feeling the need to replace his stuff sooner then I think my sons stuff needs to be replaced. And she may enjoys shopping more regularly :).


I should keep track, actually I have a loose tracking system, maybe I should look back and see how much actually got spent on clothing.


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#4 of 15 Old 04-05-2012, 07:38 AM
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I have no idea what we spend!  I go to a couple towns for their city wide garage sales and can usually take care of DD and the little DSs.  DS1 I have been given a lot of clothes for lately- but I still had to buy him jeans- but lucked out and found them at JCP for $5 each- so I think I bought 8 in various sizes since I have lots of little boys that will wear them.  DH buys clothes about once a year- last year I think he spent about $250 on jeans.  I do supplement him with t-shirts on a somewhat regular basis- he is a farmer and mechanic- so he is really hard on his stuff.  Me?  I like clothes and DH never says anything about what I spend- so when I find something I love for a decent price I just get it :)  I don't really go overboard though- but I do buy really nice jeans that fit well and last a long time- cause I work on our farm too and am hard on things...  I don't really go to the thrift store and expect to find them clothes- most of the time I can do better on clearance and garage sales.


Shoes are what get us.  DH goes through a pair of boots every 3 months- and those are $120 each time.  Me?  I will buy a cute pair for maybe $25 in the fall and spring- and other than that I wear cowboy boots, Uggs, or birks- this was the year for new birks- but my boots last forever cause I buy great quality ones.  Our DD gets her dress shoes from the clearance at Target or LLBean, and the rest of the time the kids all wear cowboy boots- $40 each when they outgrow thiers- when I bought cheapies I couldn't pass them down- now the ones I get can get passed down :)  This summer I bought them each a pair of $40 Keens- hoping those will get passed down too.


Coats- I buy at the end of season clearance- except for DH- he gets what he wants when he needs it- which is generally a pair of Carhartt bibs in the fall (those never go cheaper), and winter boots in the fall too.  I bought 3 of the kids coats in Feb and the total was like $45- and one was a columbia- so I thought I did great!


Grandmas are great for helping out with the kids clothes:)  Christmas, birthdays, Easter, etc- they love buying them clothes and the kids love getting them.  


I know that $70/mo wouldn't go far here though.

Iowaorganic- mama to DD (1/5/06), DS1 (4/9/07), DS2 (1/22/09), DS3 (12/10/10), DD2 (7/6/12) and a new kid due in early 2014

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#5 of 15 Old 04-05-2012, 02:04 PM
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I wish I could put clothing in the budget. But no, we don't have any room for one. As a pp mentioned, when it needs to happen, we fit it in. 

And shop at thrifts. 



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#6 of 15 Old 04-06-2012, 01:11 AM
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I don't keep track of it too well.  We don't have a specific budget for clothes.  It just fall into the misc. category.  I buy some clothes new and some from thrift stores.  I'd say on average I spend about $100 a month, for 4 people, plus some gifts for others.  This would include shoes.  I might spend up to $300 before winter (for coats, boots, snow pants and Christmas gifts.).  We can probably get by on much less, but I do like shopping for clothes, especially since I gained weight and fit into a standard size. :) I guess we must go through a lot of clothes, because I donate 5 or 6 large garbage bags of them every year.

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#7 of 15 Old 04-06-2012, 09:18 AM
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We don't keep a specific budget, we just squeeze it in as needed.  I hit up the thrift stores about twice a month and yard sales in the summer.  If I find something we get it.  DH and I rarely get new clothes.  DD has all the clothes she could ever need from her cousin's hand me downs.  DS seems to find all the superhero shirts a kid could ever need second hand, so we really don't spend that much on clothes.

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#8 of 15 Old 04-06-2012, 03:57 PM
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I budget $100/month.  It will slowly build up for a few months and then get blown buying winter boots or back to school shoes.  But, I have been thinking about increasing it slightly, because most of my clothes are in really bad shape and I can't see how to afford to replace them regularly enough on that budget.  I always put the kids' clothing needs first, and I end up wearing tshirts with holes in the pits.

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#9 of 15 Old 04-07-2012, 01:35 PM
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The boys get $500 twice a year, collectively, for clothes and shoes. Outerwear is separate. Dh and I both budget $500 spread through the year as well. No good thrift shops where we are, but we're close enough to Branson to use the outlet mall for a good deal.

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#10 of 15 Old 04-08-2012, 07:24 AM
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I don't put it in the budget, but should.  I sort of work it in as needed, but then feel frustrated when I can't keep our budget on track.  


And I always buy for the kids and dh, but never spend enough on myself and I end up wearing ancient, worn out clothes.  


I need to simply admit that clothing/shoes is a big expenditure for a family of 6, but it is hard when it feels like there are so many other things that we are spending on right now. 

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#11 of 15 Old 04-08-2012, 08:03 AM
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Ideally Id like to spend around 100 per person per year.. but it usually ends up closer to 200-300 for each kid per year, probably around 200 for DH per year and basically nothing for me.. I shop thrift stores but its hard to find good clothing at thrift stores/yard sales in my oldest two children's sizes. I won't buy shoes used although I do hand them down.

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#12 of 15 Old 04-08-2012, 11:07 AM
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We budget $250 a month for our family of 2 adults and 4 kids.  We share the clothing budget.  My partner has a professional job that requires a professional wardrobe, and it is challenging to find clothing in his size.  A good deal for a pair of pants is $50, and a work-appropriate top is the same.  We shop at thrift stores for the kids but find that with our family size, we don't have as much time as we used to to browse and scour the thrift stores the way we used to.

4 kids under 10
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#13 of 15 Old 04-08-2012, 07:37 PM
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Well this is going to change for us. We are going from a climate where you only needed 'summer' clothes to the traditional 4 seasons.  I could get away with shorts and sandals for DS for the past 11 years and just add a sweater if needed, possibly a pair of jeans or sweats when they were on clearance, now we are going to need proper winter clothes, summer clothes, rain gear and everything in between.

I am going from 'not having a budget' because we don't really need clothes to, OMG, WE NEED CLOTHES and there is no budget.  You can't wear Keens in a snowstorm.  What have I gotten myself into.

I would guess my family of 2, a kiddo who wears odd sizes (husky) and a mom, had a budget of under $500 a year and most of that was on REALLY good shoes.

I am also going back to a professional office so I need a new closet as well.. oh dear.

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#14 of 15 Old 04-09-2012, 04:21 AM
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We do $40/mo for clothing. Sometimes other things come up and we spend that money on other things, but almost all of our clothes are second hand. I typically shop for DH and DS (they have no interest in it, which is good...)

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#15 of 15 Old 04-09-2012, 11:56 AM
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I hadn't budgeted anything, but recently changed that to $100 per month which I don't expect to spend. I buy new jeans and shirts for DH for Christmas.  My mom always gives him nice sweaters/shirts . . . so much so that after 8 Christmases, he still has some with tags on, so, I put a stop to it this past year.  I rarely buy any new clothes.  My main incentive for not gaining weight is that I work in a professional environment and the cost of a new wardrobe would be ridiculous.  When I do, it's a new suit from Nordstom Rack for $80.00 maybe once a season . . . and whatever I buy can generally be worn in 2, if not 4 seasons.  Just put on a dress for Easter that I wore in my brother's wedding 8 years ago before we conceived our daughter. Woo hoo!!!


For the kids, once number 2 came along, I found our local Goodwill and have lucked up with great things for DS.  Plus, we had gotten hand me downs from my nephew (which I expect to dry up with my brother's impending divorce - the loss of which is the least of all our worries, for sure).  I have discovered zulily for great deals on shoes and coats.  And I still shop end of season sales for pajamas and boots.

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