Tuesday, July 6, 2010

A Mid-Year Clothing Budget Report

Our family of four spends roughly $200-$250 per year on clothing. In the past I haven't kept an exact running total for the year, as clothing is part of our "miscellaneous" spending category, which includes clothes, entertainment, personal care products and services (like haircuts) and household goods. This year I decided to keep track of our clothing expenditures, curious to see if my "guesstimate" of our annual spending in this category was correct.

As of June 30th, our clothing expenditures total $99.54 for the year to date. Here's a breakdown of what that money was spent on:

A pair of sandals for 12 yo son for $8.00 at Value Village

Six pieces of clothing at a church rummage sale: $6.00 (this included a pair of black yoga pants, a white collared long sleeve shirt, light green camisole top, white T-shirt and a tank top for me, as well as a light blue Denver Hayes T-shirt for my hubby which looks like it's never been worn)

A pair of shoes for 12 yo son and a pair of sandals for 10 yo son, $24.13 at Value Village

A pair of black cloth Mary Janes for me, a pair of sneakers for my dh, and a pair of slippers for my 10 yo son, $3 total for all at a yard sale

Socks and undies for dh, $14.00 at a discount department store

Undies for me, $9.04 at a (different) discount department store

Short sleeve dress shirt for dh, $6.77 at Value Village

Decent quality running shoes for dh, $16.19 at Value Village

Skirt and T-shirt for me, $12.41 at Value Village.

TOTAL: $99.54

Well, look at that - so far we are right on track to spend my guesstimated amount of $200-$250 for the year.
You will note that the bulk of the total comes from footwear and undergarment purchases ($74.36, or 74.7 percent of the total spent!). Undergarments are one of the few things we purchase new, so we wait for a sale and buy decent quality ones so they'll last a while. Footwear I don't mind buying second hand; there are lots of pairs of good quality, barely-worn shoes out there. Even at thrift store prices they can still take a bite out of our clothing budget when my dh goes through about 3 pairs of runners a year, and my boys need a new pair of sandals and runners every year, too.

In case you're wondering what the heck my boys are wearing besides footwear (as we haven't bought them any clothes yet this year), we bought several pairs of pants for each of them at Value Village back in the fall. Most of their long-sleeve shirts and T-shirts from the previous year still fit them, as did their swimsuits and some of their shorts. I've had to do some mending on a few items so they'll make it through another season. I also cut off a couple pairs of my older son's jeans (pairs he had gotten a couple of years of wear out of that had the knees ripped out) to make jean shorts, as well as one pair of my younger son's jeans. My younger son needed some more shorts to make it through this summer, so I dug around in our "purged clothing" pile to see what I could do. He has the same waist measurement as me (yep, he's a big, solid kid!!) and I found a pair of jeans and a pair of barely-worn navy cotton pants I had decided I didn't want any more; they are very gender-neutral in their style and cut (probably why *I* didn't want them any more) and they will both make good shorts for him. I'm also repairing a pair of his athletic pants that I'll cut off and convert to shorts as well. With a little creativity, he will now have several new pairs of shorts without it costing us a cent!

I expect the bulk of our remaining clothing budget for the year will be spent on new pants for the boys in the fall. I hope they will still fit into last year's winter outerwear again this year (fingers crossed!). I may have to buy at least one of them a new pair of winter boots as well. Stay tuned for another update at the end of the year!

What is your family's annual clothing budget? How do you keep your clothing costs down?

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