Budget breakdown

After a couple years of tracking what I’ve bought, I feel comfortable predicting my budget breakdown for next year.  I have been trying to embrace the quality over quantity motto but for a recovering bargain hunter, it’s still slow going.  I continue to discount shop and stalk items until they go on sale.  There is nothing wrong with this!  Sale shopping can be great if you already know what you want and you happen to be able to find it cheaper.  The trouble comes when you sacrifice what you truly want for a ‘deal’.  Anyway, I have my past years’ shopping all documented for me to evaluate.  I know realistically what I will pay for items in certain categories.  Which leads me to this breakdown of my projected 2015 clothing expenditures.

  • Five items @ $10 = $50
  • Six items @ $25 = $150
  • Eight items @ $50 = $400
  • Four items @ $75 = $300
  • Two items @ $100 = $200
  • One item @ $200 = $200
    _____________________

Yearly $1300  -or-  $25 weekly

Equates to one item every other week, at an averaged cost of $50.

Obviously, these are just guidelines.  Items don’t cost exactly $25 or $75.  This is on the smaller side of my usual annual budgets.  (On a personal note, the household income varies a lot from years we live in FL to years we are in CA.  I spend more in FL and less in CA, as the jobs bring in differing incomes.  We have just moved back and I am currently not yet employed – so you can understand why spending is on the tighter side.)  I limit wardrobe spending to 5% of gross income at most.  In FL I may only spend 2%, or less.  I don’t want to get used to a luxury lifestyle that I can’t sustain 😉

You can see that a good portion of my budget allotment is still at a very reasonable, or some would say lower end, cost.  11 items are at what I’d call the low end, around $25.  Some may think as low as $10 is ridiculous, but if you eBay or find deals on Gap, etc, believe me, there are good things to be found at even this bargain basement price range.  I have a certain olive surplice dress that may be my most worn dress ever; cost was $8 brand new at Ross.

12 items are mid-range (for me), between $50 and $100.  Fully half of my budget is for this middle price range that I hope to have make up the bulk of my wardrobe over time.  In still allowing myself some low end pieces, I honor my bargain hunting nature, but in figuring in the better end items I am slowly weaning myself away from the ‘deal’ mentality and getting more comfortable with higher prices.  My wardrobe’s quality should slowly improve, as the items I select replace the fast fashion and clearance rack choices of the past.

I have also budgeted for 1 or 2 splurge pieces.  I have it listed as $200, with allowance for a couple $100 items as well, but it could just as easily shake out to be a $275 item and a $125 one, or two $200 items, or one single $400 item.  Point is, I have allotted about 1/3 of my budget for these splurge items.  In years past I would have deemed them too expensive and never even considered items over about $150.  I’m making progress here.

I’ve found that buying one big ticket item is enough for me.  By reviewing past years’ purchases I see I have done exactly that unknowingly.  Knee high Frye boots one year, DVF wrap dress the next, Vince leather/suede mixed media pants this year.  I will never have a head to toe designer wardrobe.  It’s just not worth it to me to spend all of my limited resources on only a handful of items.  I’m content with scoring one, maybe two, a year.  They’ll add up over time.  10 years from now those once-a-year splurges should still be around, and making me very, very happy!


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8 thoughts on “Budget breakdown

  1. It sounds like your budget is a well-honed tool! For me, I want the right PPP item, but on sale, too. I dislike the thought of a staple top or skirt taking years to attain CPW.

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    • Sounds like you shop similarly to me. I don’t *have* to have it on sale, but I don’t mind waiting, or searching around online if that means I can find it cheaper.

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    • Yes, the proof is in the pudding, as they say 🙂 I usually do quite well with the dollar side of budgeting but the number of items is harder for me to contain.

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  2. Have you decided what your big ticket items may be, or do you wait for something to strike you? What if you don’t find those items? Do you roll over the money to next year, or do you reallocate it to the mid-range or low end categories? I’ve had the same item on my list the past two years, but haven’t been able to find exactly what I want. I suppose it will end up on next year’s list as well.

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    • I’ve had some items on the list for years. Others I just happen upon serendipitously. Being that I search for deals and strike when I find them, often those items are out of season or reappear on eBay.
      I never seem to have to roll over the $$$. Something seems to find it’s way to me. I think if you only get one a year, it automatically leaves some back piled for the next season. For instance, getting the leather pants this year means I didn’t get a fine cashmere sweater, or a bright wool coat.
      Between coats (leather and winter wool), boots, cashmere sweaters, and designer jeans (and handbags if I were into those), I think I could rotate between one each of these items every 5 years and be ready to start the cycle again with the next!

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  3. I will follow your progress with interest. I may spend more money on clothes than you do. I break my budget down by item type. For example, I have an idea of how much I am willing to spend on a pair of pants (~$50 – $125); a skirt (~$70); a blouse (~$50). Then based on quantities needed for the upcoming year, I estimate a budget. You are so ahead of me in planning your budget for 2015.

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  4. Pingback: Checking in on the budget breakdown | MOderate wardrobe

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