The One Thing You Need To Cut Out Of Your Monthly Budget (How & Why)
I won’t make you wait any longer than the first few sentences of this post to know what that one thing is.
Don’t get me wrong you guys, I’m a big fan of clothing.
1. It keeps you from being naked. I’m a big fan of people not walking around naked. ;)
2. I really enjoy a good outfit. Some people don’t have much interest in the clothes they wear but I do. Fun fact: this blog started as a thrifty style blog before it morphed into what it is now. (I know crazy right?)
Also don’t get me wrong because lately as you’ve seen in my monthly budget posts, I do sometimes spend money on clothing monthly. But the difference is that I don’t give myself a clothing budget.
Let me explain.
Something I see in multiple people’s budgets and even budget sheets that are given out online is a specific clothing budget spot every month. An amount you set aside every single month to buy clothes. If you are serious about changing your spending, this is the first thing you should cut from your budget.
I’m pretty sure most of us, have enough clothes in our closet to dress ourselves enough times before we do laundry again. So why is it that we are constantly needing to buy new clothes? I think when we have this in our budget it does a few different things, let’s dive into those shall we?
What having a clothing budget does:
1. It makes you think you need to spend that money since "It's in the budget after all!"
As with a lot of other categories of budgets I don’t agree with, the same principle applies. Having a budget for something makes you feel like you should spend all your money in that category every month. It's a mental thing, because you can, your brain thinks you should.
If it’s the last week of the month and you have $20 in your clothing budget and you are bored, it’s natural for your brain to go “I should go shopping”. You might as well just say goodbye to that money every month because even if you don’t need new clothes, it will be gone by the 30th.
2. It makes you look at your not-new-clothes constantly as “old”
When you are constantly getting new things in your closet, you start to look at your clothes from say a year ago as “old”. When we look at things as “old” we don’t typically get excited to wear them. This is a bad habit to get into. With having new clothes circling in constantly a year from now, these new clothes will feel like old ones. And guess what? Your brain will want to go shop for some new ones.
3. It is not a necessity after all...
I mean if you’ve been around me or the blog you know I’m all about keeping the unnecessary spending down to a minimal. If you have a multiple categories of non-essential items that you are spending each month, that is basically just money down the pipeline. Like I said earlier, I’m sure you have enough clothes that you are not going naked down the street. Cut it out of your monthly budget and I’ll tell you what you can do instead.
What to do instead when you want to buy clothes:
1. Have a non-essential budget.
This is essentially known as my “Lydia Budget” and Greg’s “Greg Budget”. You can read about mine here. This is where I buy anything that isn’t a necessity. Clothing falls into this category, but it is not the entire category.
So yes sometimes (especially lately) I buy a clothing item every month, but this isn’t a category for clothing. It’s also for books, home decor, hair dye, etc. So every month I’m not guaranteed spending $25 on clothing that I don’t need. I’m spending it on all of the unnecessary things that may bring me joy. Which yes, are unnecessary but are all in one category and not encouraging me to spend a bunch elsewhere. As a bonus, I keep that category at a low budgeted amount of $25 to keep unnecessary spending under control.
2. Sell the clothes you have.
If you have the urge to buy some clothing that you don’t want to take out of your non-essential budget, sell a clothing item you own. Use that money to buy a newer item. Instead of just getting new and dumping the old sell it to reinvest into your wardrobe. This not only saves money but teaches you to keep your clothing in tip top shape so that it could potentially be sold later.
I hope I didn’t burst any bubbles or dreams with this post. Again, believe me, I’m a big fan of clothing and take up most of the closet from my husband. But my wardrobe does not cause any strain on our finances and brings me even more joy because of that fact! ;)