Author Topic: Family clothing budget? Spending breakdowns?  (Read 4128 times)

KBecks

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Family clothing budget? Spending breakdowns?
« on: January 15, 2014, 11:41:16 AM »
Hi Everyone,

I wanted to ask you about making a family clothing budget.  I have a husband and 3 little boys.  I believe in having a smaller amount of clothing and most stuff is casual, but at the same time I would like to have nicer options and outfits, with accessories for church and seeing friends and relatives.  Nothing too fancy… but enough.

The three boys grow,  we do hand me downs. They need slim size pants.  They go through shoes and snow boots and pajamas and socks and underwear and mittens, and hats.   

My husband is business casual but he needs to have his clothes refreshed now and then to replace things that are getting too worn-looking.  I am a fitness instructor and need good shoes, and a new pair every 6 mos/year when they start to wear out. 

What would you do for a budget for a family of 5? 

I'm new and not ready for a face punch yet.  This will be the first year we track with Mint.  Thanks!

4alpacas

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Re: Family clothing budget? Spending breakdowns?
« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2014, 12:23:26 PM »
Can you comb through your spending from last year?  Since you just started using Mint, you could look through old credit card statements (available through your online account) and checking account (also available online) to get an idea of how much you spent.

The best budget takes YOUR needs into consideration, not someone with the same number of family members.  Try to just shave off a little from last year. 
 * Buy used clothes
 * Look into ways to get items for much less/free
 * Make current items last longer

Thegoblinchief

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Re: Family clothing budget? Spending breakdowns?
« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2014, 02:27:57 PM »
We buy clothing so infrequently that I don't budget for it, personally, but here's a good place to start:

1. Your shoes. Average price (say $100) x 2 times per year, divided by 12 months, so $18.
2. Your husband: $200 annual is pretty generous for business casual, divided by 12 months, also $18. Does his company give any sort of  clothing allowance?
3. Kids: Mostly free. Say, $20 a month in Goodwill/rummage finds. (We get almost all of our clothes as gifts but do need to buy shoes and stuff.)

That's under $60 a month.

For the business casual, my dress pants last much longer if I wash them delicate, INSIDE OUT. I get everything no-iron, and line dry. Line drying will double the lifespan of most clothes, from 100 wash cycles to 200. That's ~4 years for something worn every week.

galliver

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Re: Family clothing budget? Spending breakdowns?
« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2014, 04:23:48 PM »
I can't give you an exact budget, but I have some tips from my childhood growing up in a family of 5 (we were 3 girls, though) that lived on a single grad student/postdoc budget.

One way to improve wear on kids (and adults!) clothes: have "home clothes" or "play clothes." When something gets worn, stretched, embarassingly unfashionable, or torn, patch it and relegate it to home wear, as opposed to school/outside wear. So, e.g. your husband could change out of his nicer clothes into the more worn clothes after getting home so his nicer clothes stay nice longer.

If the kids lose mittens often, you could make old-school "mitten leashes." Stitch to an elastic as long as their armspan and thread through the coat sleeves. (I think I remember doing this when we were really little.)

Start a "pipeline" from someone you know with kids just older/bigger than your oldest; we had some friends that routinely gave us bags of stuff. (And another with someone younger than your youngest to give things away to so they don't clutter up the house!).

In terms of wardrobe size, we tended to stick to about 5 pairs of everyday pants, about the same number of sweater-weight tops and shorts (for summer), about 2-3x that much lower layer shirts, one each of sandals/summer shoes, sneakers, boots, light/rain repellent jacket, heavy coat. Maybe 2-3 pjs. We often had more that we acquired through hand me downs, gifts, etc, but that's about the size of when we would go shopping (this usually meant we were running out of something before laundry day). I've mostly stuck to this wardrobe size as I grew up, except I had to introduce more variations...business, athletic, etc. :(

Hope this helps a little.

NataliaDuma

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Re: Family clothing budget? Spending breakdowns?
« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2015, 01:17:30 PM »
You can buy your clothing at thrift stores or consignment shops. I think that buying items there would help you a lot a great deal. Since your children are still young and are going to continue on growing buying secondhand clothing is not such a bad idea. They wouldn't be wearing those clothes for a long time anyway. Here is one recommended site for you to check out: luxeconsignmentstore@gmail.com. They mostly have secondhand branded clothing so I think that the items there would definitely be worth your money.

justajane

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Re: Family clothing budget? Spending breakdowns?
« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2015, 02:02:11 PM »
We have three young boys too (7,5,1), and I would say we spend about $50 a month, give or take. This is in large part because we have reused almost all of their clothes. I line dry all shirts, which extends their life significantly.

I shop sales/clearance and buy way ahead, sometimes years and years ahead. I almost never pay more than $5 for pants, $3 for shirts, and also buy socks and underwear on clearance when I can.

If your boys all wear slim pants, that's really a boon because, in my experience, slim pants are often on deep clearance. When I go to a store, I almost never look anywhere but in the clearance section.

This $50 doesn't really include shoes. I would say we spend another $150 or so a year on shoes. Shoes are a real budget buster.

My husband and I spend very little on our clothes and shoes. I would say we average about $75 a year each. We just wear them forever and don't worry about fashion. The bulk of our clothing budget is thus spent on the children, which in many ways is the opposite of the Goblin Chief. Neither is right or wrong. It's just how we spend.

lbmustache

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Re: Family clothing budget? Spending breakdowns?
« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2015, 04:35:57 PM »


One way to improve wear on kids (and adults!) clothes: have "home clothes" or "play clothes." When something gets worn, stretched, embarassingly unfashionable, or torn, patch it and relegate it to home wear, as opposed to school/outside wear. So, e.g. your husband could change out of his nicer clothes into the more worn clothes after getting home so his nicer clothes stay nice longer.


Seconding this! I have my work clothes, casual clothes, gym clothes, and pajamas. I pretty much ONLY wear the pajamas at home. The second I come home from work I take my work clothes off. I might putz around the house a bit in casual or gym clothes, but I'm almost always in pajamas. It's a win for your clothes and a win for you since you get to be extra comfy ;)

GeneralJinjur

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Re: Family clothing budget? Spending breakdowns?
« Reply #7 on: September 07, 2015, 06:38:11 AM »
I have a boy and two girls.  Until recently, I would go shopping in the first week of July and January to buy clearance clothing in the next size of two up from where they are now.  I usually spent around $200 in each of those months. 

Now they are teenagers and you can't guess what size they will be in a year.  They've been introduced to thrift stores and like the variety of clothes to fit them now.

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mm1970

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Re: Family clothing budget? Spending breakdowns?
« Reply #8 on: September 07, 2015, 08:50:26 AM »
Honestly I don't spend much on the kids.  We get hand me downs from friends.

For the 3 year old, I buy underwear.  Everything else is hand me down, will probably work until he's 5 (size 4 then).

For the 9 year old, we do buy him jeans for school (2 - 3 pair a  year) and occasionally shorts or shirts.  Otherwise hand me downs.  From age 4 or 5 on, I've found we cannot get used jeans because they seem to acquire holes in the knees.  This year it's more like 4 pair, because we bought him 2 pair of size 7's and he grew 2 inches this year, so it's time for size 8.  He's also slim.

We do not have any nice clothing.  I purchased my older child a suit once (at Walmart) when my mother died unexpectedly.  That's about it.  As far as nice clothing, you only need one outfit.  And I'd only get it when you are going to need it.

JRA64

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Re: Family clothing budget? Spending breakdowns?
« Reply #9 on: September 07, 2015, 09:09:13 AM »
Before you go clothes shopping - take a trip through your closet, dresser, anyhwere else clothing moight be stored. I recently did this using the Marie Kondo method (The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up). I *found* a few things. There are entire categories that I won't have to shop for, for a few years.

When you do go, keep track in your head what the total cost should be. I did my annual shopping trip a couple of days ago at an outlet store where different pieces had different mark-downs. The total the store rang up was $40 higher than what I thought it should be, before taxes. Turns out their "system" was not properly capturing several of the advertised discounts, and my total was correct.

NataliaDuma

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Re: Family clothing budget? Spending breakdowns?
« Reply #10 on: September 14, 2015, 12:42:53 AM »
Have you considered buying from thrift shops or consignment stores? Most have decent choices of clothing that they sell for a cheap price. It would definitely help you minimize your budget for your clothing.