Budgeting for a Clothing Allowance

A subject that is not just near and dear to my heart but one to which I am absolutely committed is fiscal responsibility. Let’s bring it down to your personal responsibility. My belief is you need to look like a million dollars at all times whether taking out the garbage or in a business meeting.

I stress building a strategic wardrobe because you should be mindful of finding great quality items that will last you a lifetime and not put you in to debt, as I do not believe in being in debt on any level. Bear in mind that I am talking about your investment wardrobe which is the major part of your wardrobe spending. Where play clothes are concerned, I absolutely encourage you to buy discount, Target, or Forever 21 and think of that segment of your closet as disposable and fun.

Take this moment and take a look at your own budget. However you’re paid whether it be bi-monthly or monthly, take a good look at what you need for bills, rent, and other items to keep your fiscal house in order. After that part of your income is spoken for, set aside a little for yourself after you put the rest in to savings. It is a documented fact that a huge shortcoming of the American lifestyle is that we as a nation of spenders and not savers. Why be the norm when it’s not necessary… we should all work toward being better than that.

Even if all you can set aside for yourself each month is $50 (if it is possible to put more please do so), it will add up quickly and go a long way in helping you build your essential wardrobe. If you shop well and don’t do any spontaneous spending (I am completely opposed to fashion emergencies because it’s a waste of your money as you end up with items that are “okay” but not fabulous) you will be left with amazing items and never have to worry about fashion emergencies again.

The entire goal of making a plan regarding what you need in your success essentials, then strategically acquiring them during sales so you get the best price, is to allow you to build your wardrobe. Naturally, the discounters who carry true designer wear are a great source year round (though even they have serious markdowns at the same times sales in the department stores and boutiques occur, but with major additional savings). Another budget conscious source would be the high-end resale stores. I had a client find a Giorgio Armani Collection suit with the tags on it and she paid a mere $150 for it.

Here is where I promise you that if you will follow the plan, you will always, under all circumstances, have something glorious to wear for all occasions. If you need a copy of my book to figure the plan out, please use it!

Back to the budget… My method for setting money aside is putting cash in an envelope. When I go shopping and use my credit card (so I to get my highly desired airline miles) I know that when the bill comes I have that cash in an envelope ready to pay the debt off right away.

In addition to setting a particular amount aside with each pay check, another great time to put money in your personal clothing savings is when you take your clothing to resale. You will receive a check for these once loved but no longer worn goodies. When that check comes cash it and put the funds in your clothing savings envelope. It is wonderful to find a piece you really want to add to your wardrobe and know you have the cash to pay for it.

Please be cognizant your finances and avoid going into debt. Building your wardrobe isn’t a wild spending spree, it’s a journey and budgeting is the best way to make this journey a success.

I once took a business class in which the professor stated that you should be spending no more than 55% of your overall income on necessities (paying utilities, groceries, rent, etc.) Take this opportunity to look at your budget and think about your expenditures and savings. Regarding your clothing, if you invest wisely in your wardrobe you’ll build one that will last you for years or a lifetime. You have invested in your education and now is the time to invest in your career. Please do so wisely.

It is my sincere hope that you keep this in mind and shop strategically by saving money in advance and not spending spontaneously.

Here’s to wise money management and your success!

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