I wasn’t surprised to read in Good Housekeeping that the average UK woman spends around £600 a year on clothes. I know quite a few who spend a lot more than that! I was quite shocked to find in the same article that women’s wardrobes also contain around £300 of clothes that never get worn. I addressed this in my Great Wardrobe Challenge post a few months back.
I don’t spend anything like this amount. Last year the items I purchased new were as follows:
One pair of leather boots, reduced from £60 to £14.40.
Several vests in assorted colours from Primark, about £15.
3 long sleeved black tops, also from Primark, about £12.
A Wallis top, my one extravagance, bought with a 20% discount for £25.
One pair of black suede loafers, £20.
Some socks and underwear, around £25.
Mr S also bought me a pair of Next jeans as part of my Christmas present, but I won’t count those towards my total.
A blue lace blouse from eBay, £6.
I honestly can’t remember buying anything else new. I did make several second-hand purchases, including some tops, skirts, a cardigan, shoes and more jeans from charity shops and boot sales. I would estimate I spent about £40 on these, so a grand total of £111.40. I never look like a tramp – I’m sure my friends would tell me if I did 😀. If you need to save money you can easily do so by hitting the boot sales – the time to do this in the UK is right now! Boot sale season is underway.
The article also said that families are spending more than ever before on their children’s clothes: an average annual figure of almost £800 per child! I was fortunate in that mine were more than happy to wear used clothes and hand me downs, and never demanded expensive designer brands. Now that they are all independent they all buy far too many clothes in my view, but are still savvy bargain hunters!
We also all sell items we no longer use on eBay if they are in good condition.
If you are trying to budget and save money, first take a long look at what you have. If you don’t wear it, sell or donate it. Then consider what you actually need. Don’t buy stuff just for the sake of it, even if it is secondhand. Consider quality used items of clothing rather than new. If you have to buy new, take advantage of the sales.
It is also worth checking eBay for new items. I wanted a Zara coat a few years ago. It was £120 in the shop but I found exactly the same one for £70 brand new. The same with some leather Hotter boots. £135 in the catalogue: I got mine for £50 online!
Finally, look after your clothes and footwear. I keep mine for years. I don’t launder them every time I wear them unless they are actually dirty as they diminish with each wash, and I keep my shoes and boots clean and polished.
How much do you spend? How do you save money on clothing?