With the costing of living crisis most of us are having to tighten our belts. Therefore, we thought it was a good idea to look at where our money went. From this I have had a really good think about how we could be saving money on spending and generated these tips for saving money on clothes.
Give yourself Time before Purchasing
First of all you need to stop and give yourself time before purchasing new clothes. Ask yourself whether you really need to buy them or not. Are you buying them out of want or need? Can you do without it? What would happen if you didn’t buy it? If you left it a week before buying them – would you still make that purchase?
A good trick I heard of is to think in terms of how much you would need to work to buy something. Is it really worth that time? Think about the bigger picture – what’s more important that purchase or freedom from debt, mortgage free home, a holiday, investing in the future (for you and/or your children/family) or early retirement? Could you transfer the money you would have spent on the clothing to a savings account or off the mortgage?
Why do you want to Spend Money on Clothes?
Another thing to consider is what made you think about this purchase? What was it that made you want it? Was it advertising or something you happened to see – or was it a conscious choice? Step away from accounts/shops/things to tempt you. Really think about your online usage and where you may be being targeted, perhaps without realising. When you do go into shops then go armed with a list of the things you really need so that you are not tempted. If it is really bad also only take the amount of money you need with you!
Looking after your Clothes
You can save money by looking after your clothes to give them a longer life. Thinking carefully about how you wash, dry and store them. Fabric conditioner is not always good for certain fabrics for instance, but white vinegar makes a better alternative. Are you separating your washing? Keeping the washing machine clean so that it does not mark the clothes, or make them smell. This can be particularly important if there are any sensory requirements with clothes.
Clothes that are needed
Sometimes we do need to buy clothes. Whether that’s because the school uniform no longer fits, there’s holes in our pants or a special occasion has arisen – are just a few examples of when this could occur.
Obviously underwear is an exception but everything else could you think about whether it needs to be new? Could you buy second hand or even borrow things from friends or family; say for an important function.
Tips for Shopping for Clothes
Could you shop around; remembering that actually the cheapest might not be the best as may need replacing more quickly. Designer retail outlets often hold cheaper stock. Look out for sales but don’t get sucked in. Can you buy in bulk?
Buy clothes out of season. In the winter try to just add more layers to summer clothes.
Look out for shops where they give vouchers for taking your old stuff in.
Careful to check return rights; can you get a full refund if you change your mind, or just exchange/credit note?
Try clothes on in the shop – you might not be so keen once you are wearing them.
Buy children’s clothing where you can – it has no VAT on it!
Try to shop locally. Brands that manufacture in the same country that they operate will help avoid excessive carbon emissions from import-export activities. Thinking about the ethics of the clothes – who made them and how far have they travelled. Have they been bulk produced or are they high quality? Choose natural materials like organic cotton and bamboo. Consider whether the brand is sustainable.
Mend and Upcycle
Could you instead of buying something new mend or upcycle something old? If you repair your clothes you also lower their carbon emissions by keeping them longer! Also you could do this with something second hand as well as things you already have. As well as charity shops there are many people giving away things for free.
Long Term Buying of Clothes
Over the long term you could challenge yourself not to buy clothes for a period of time. If you really feel you need to buy them in that time you will require a really good reason. A good idea is to discover what clothes you already have do you actually use.
You could do this by either having a declutter (thinking about why you bought things you wish to get rid of in the first place); or by putting the clothes that you do wear in a separate place (drawer/cupboard) and think about the clothes left behind that were not worn. Again asking yourself what was it that lead to their purchase, and why have you kept them? Would you buy them again?
Your unworn clothes could then be sold or help with the cycle of people providing free clothes by donating yours; either to charity or on free sites to help others.