Slaying Your Style on a Budget

Mens Fashion Style
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos

The average American household spends around $1,800 annually on clothing apparel, which is a pretty small percentage of our average pre-tax household earnings of around $75,000. Fervent fashionistas, of course, can spend considerably more, and we know that the U.S. apparel industry is worth $12 billion. The ultimate way to ascertain the desirability of our spending habits is the amount we are saving per month or year. As noted by USA Today, American households spend over 90% of their income, meaning that most of us can afford to cut corners in many areas – including that of clothes shopping.

Setting a Budget

If you are a true fashion lover, then clothing is about much more than keeping warm or dressing to job standards. It is about expressing yourself through your apparel and donning items that are carefully selected and a little ‘out of the ordinary.’ Staying at the top of your fashion game involves monthly expenditure on clothing (at the very least). To ensure that shopping sprees don’t interfere with savings goals, drafting and sticking to a strict budget is key, as is freeing up money wasted on pursuits that mean less to you. Use an app like Mint to track spending and to identify areas you could easily cut back on to save more. Determine an exact amount you can afford to spend per week or month, and don’t go a cent over budget.

Payment Methods Matter

Depending on your choice of credit card, you could wind up paying significantly more (up to double) for your purchases, especially if you pay for designer items over various months. Because achieving loans depends on your credit score, you should aim to use credit exclusively for necessities and investments rather than luxuries. When you do use credit for your shopping, ensure the card you most frequently use has an attractive interest rate.

Planning Purchase Dates

Sales (especially Black Friday) are an ideal time to buy your most expensive designers items, but you need to keep your eye on prices almost from the beginning of the year for any exclusive purchase you wish to make. The Wall Street Journal states that retailers often slightly increase prices of items before their Black Friday sales, to make the price reduction seem more significant. Make a list of the precise models and size you are interested in, visiting your favorite shops before sales dates, so you know the exact item you need. When sales hit, go straight to stores with items on your list, avoiding the temptation of buying older designs that may already be outdated. Of course, if you find a classic design that never goes out of fashion and the price is right, consider adding it to your list, so long as you remain within budget.

To stay at the top of the fashion game, a strategy is key. Start by taking note of what you are already spending, so you can determine ways to cut back on some expenditures to free up more cash for fashion and saving. Don’t pay more than you have to. Make sure your payment methods are attractive and, if possible, use a debit card or a credit card with a low-interest rate. Finally, shop when prices are lower, ensuring you don’t get scammed into buying last season’s hottest item.