Tag Archives: clothing

Setting up a Clothing Budget

girl's skinny jeansOMG! I was just going to buy these Vigoss Skinny Jeans for my daughter at JCPenny’s for $19.99 (org. $34.99). But found them on Amazon for $12.99! It pays to shop online (sometimes). They come in 3 cheery colors for this price: Paradise, Emerald Green, and Carribean. It’s all the rage with my 9 year old. 🙂

Lately, I have been feeling unbalanced in the war against debt. And I put the reason on school starting again. The high costs of clothing, bus passes, yearbooks, school pictures, fundraisers… you name it! And I wasn’t prepared this year. I was reading one of Brad’s (Enemy of Debt) many wonderful posts and asked him how he found the balance while becoming debt free.

I wrote:

[…] I am more amazed at the discipline you and your family put forth in not borrowing since January 2008!

I find it hard when raising teenage kids. Especially when it comes to buying school clothes. How do you find that balance of spending vs. savings? My kids need jeans and by no means do I buy expensive brands. Well, I guess that is why they call it a journey. Have any tips on finding that balance?

Brad wrote:

[…]The biggest obstacle to the things we want is often ourselves, which is why credit cards have become a crutch for almost everyone. I would say that the biggest, most important habit that must be changed is becoming an aggressive saver. Not in regard to just the emergency fund or nest egg, but for everyday needs with what is called sinking funds. I have not had to go through the teenage years yet with regard to buying clothing but I would suggest that you start now in establishing a “school clothes fund”, to help make your journey easier. Take what you spend each year on clothes for your kids and divide that amount by 11. Each month set aside that amount in a special savings account, and when next year comes you will already have the money needed to buy their clothes, and without the use of credit and interest. We use this method and it has made not using credit very easy.[…]

It was an upside kick in the head for me (in a totally good way). I already have that ‘summer’ savings fund through my credit union! It’s the one I have set up to automatically put $35 biweekly into the account. Which comes out to roughly $900 + for the year.

The original use of that summer savings fund was to pay for increase day care costs through the summer and back to school items. Now the current use is to fund increased day care costs and summer excursions. Which is completely fine with me (doesn’t hurt to have a bit of fun during the summer), but I threw out the notion that I need money for the kid’s back to school costs (embarrased to say that they are being charged on the Kohl’s credit card)!

Here is my solution

I am going to set up an additional $35 biweekly “school” fund in a savings account that is accesible throughout the year. Since kids grow out of their clothes every 3 months I need to beable to reach the account in need. This is a perfect solution to stay off the credit card path but take care of the needs of my children.

Thanks, Brad! (And congrats to the new bundle of joy on the way!)

Do you think $35 biweekly ($900+ a year) is a good amount for a school fund (clothing, year book, etc…) for a tween girl and a teen boy? Or should I increase it to $50 biweekly?