How to Stick to a Clothing Budget

I knew I loved Dave Ramsey.  He had me when he said “you should have a clothing budget.”  How much should you allot for your clothing budget each month?  According to Pete Dunn from, you should budget about 5% of your take home pay for clothing.  If I recall, Dave Ramsey says about the same.

I can honestly tell you that we do not buy clothes each month.  For Joey, we buy twice a year generally.  We buy him clothes for school and when the weather gets warmer.  We buy clothes for the kids for holidays and birthdays, planning for the seasons ahead.  We do not really have a clothing budget every month, but rather at certain times of year.

Greg has the same clothes he wore in college so that saves us money (and that was what like 15 years ago, right Greg?).  He hates spending money on clothes.

For me, I could easily spend the 5% on clothing because I love to shop.  Since we started budgeting, I have cut back drastically on my clothing budget.  Sigh…  I am trying to be creative with what I have in my closet.

Here is a list of ways you can save on clothing for your family:

  • Re-use clothing for kids.  It is ok to share clothes from people you know.  For example, we have 2 boys born at different times of the year.  I can use some of the clothes that Joey wore on Logan, but not many because the sizes just aren’t right.  Thankfully, we have a friend who lends us clothing from her son who was born at the same time of year as Logan.  Tons of money saved there.


  • Shop clearance first, and then sales.  Always go to the clearance section first in a store.  Always…. period.  You can find great deals there.  If not see what is on sale.  Never settle for full priced items.


  • Shop end of season.  Especially for kids clothes.  At the end of winter or summer you can find kid’s clothing for very cheap prices especially at outlet stores.  Estimate the size you think your kids will wear for the upcoming season.  Kids grow so quickly so we generally do not buy full priced items for them.


  • Check coupon sites before shopping.  Check sites like for deals before you go shopping.  You can save a lot just by using coupons.


  • Make a list of what you need.  A list will keep you on track to what you actually need.  When finding deals on clothing, it is easy to overindulge and buy things you don’t actually need.  Remember that less is more.  Go through closets to see what is actually needed before shopping.  I was totally guilty of buying just because I could and because something was on sale.  I have done a lot better over the past year because of creating lists.


  • Shop second hand stores.  Look into second hand store for kids and check out sites online like  The have designer clothing for adults for half the price or less.  The clothing is second hand, but it has to be in good condition.  You can also check them out if you want to sell some of your clothes that are in good condition.  You’re welcome;)


  • Re-organize your closet and create outfits with the items you love.  Ok, so I cheated a bit here, but make sure you go through all of your clothes.  You never know what you might find that you misplaced before.  Think of different ways to wear your clothes.  This will save you money in your budget.


When going through your closet, which items do you love to wear? Are they simple items that can be dressed up for a special occasion? Do you like small embellishments on the shirts? Are you a jeans and t-shirt wearer most of the time?

My point is, figure out what your style is instead of trying to keep up with the ever changing fashion world. That way, when you go to buy new clothes, you can stay true to your style and use the clothing longer. Simple will always be trendy. It is easy to find cheap accents to clothing whether it be belts, scarves, jewelry, watches, etc. You can always find a way to dress up an outfit for not much money


Bottom line, sticking to a clothing budget doesn’t have to seem like a nightmare or impossible. I am a reformed shopaholic so this girl knows. Fashion can still be fun on a budget if you plan ahead and stay true to your style.





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