The following is a guest post from Crystal Stemberger over at Budgeting in the Fun Stuff. Her daily posts cover her expenses, savings, and what she spends on the fun stuff in between.
If you are a reader here, I assume you appreciate “cheap”…at least once in a while. I am a HUGE believer that we can all afford anything, we just can’t afford everything. Along those lines, I prioritize and spend more where it matters most for me (our physical home and travel) and less on pretty much everything else.
Thrift Shops for the Win
Since clothing has never been a major habit of mine anyway, I decided to give up retail clothes shopping altogether in May 2013. Since then, I’ve only bought new undergarments and some new costume parts. When I have needed a new shirt, dress, sweater, pair of jeans, or even shoes, I’ve gone to the local Goodwill and the other main resale shop.
Now my mini-shopping sprees cost even less than before and they are more fun. My two close girl friends come along, and we have a great time. One of them can even find some plus size clothes for work and play. We generally grab anything and everything that we may enjoy wearing, try it all on and model for each other, and then we only buy the pieces that we personally liked that also get the seal of “not frumpy” approval from the other two. It’s made for a much better wardrobe on my end at least.
On average, I spent about $300 a year on new items up until 2013. Now it is about $100 a year and I’m building up a solid wardrobe of just items that I enjoy wearing. No unnecessary fillers.
From May 2013 through May 2014, I donated 4 trash bags of clothing that included the whole gambit of women’s clothing items. I only added back some new underwear, a couple of bras, a Catwoman costume, two pairs of pants, a pair of heels (didn’t own any and had a conference to attend), 2 shirts, and a sweater/cardigan. Altogether, I spent less than $100. This past weekend I spent another $36, and should be good to go until at least 2015.
I am not a minimalist and I am not a frugal blogger as my minimalist and frugal blogger friends will attest. But I never cared about clothes much anyway and re-wore all of my favorites constantly no matter how many other clothes I owned. Deciding that I would only own my favorites was a game changer.
Do you have something that you could cut back on without missing it much? Is there anything that you spend money on that you rather skip if it meant having the money for something that you want more? Make a list of your priorities, serious and fun, and make sure that you are putting your money where your heart decides. That’s the key to budgeting happiness overall.