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Ask The Readers: What is an average clothing budget per person?

Today’s question is from Stephanie:

I am curious what an “average” clothing budget might be per person. Is there a figure of how much one should allot for clothing on a per-person basis? For example, I have a figure for food ($40/per person/per week) but what about clothes?

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  • says:

    I allot $10 per week for our clothing budget. This is for everyone (myself, husband, 3 growing kids). This gives me about $40 a month. After two months, that money rolls over into our “fun” money. I rarely buy for myself ( I follow, she has great wardrobe tips), and my husband’s shirts last forever. With 3 growing kids, I’ve learned to buy no more than one size up, because it’s turned out to be a waste of money if a growth spurt hits during the wrong season, and I buy excellent quality items at a thrift store. I only shop brand names, because the quality is really worth the money full price.

    My son is 4, and I have probably spent $30 total on his clothes from birth until now (doesn’t include gift cards for holidays and b-days). My daughter is 2, and she currently owns 2 pairs of jeans, and several good quality shirts. We aren’t going to need to use our clothing budget money for quite a while. And when my kids do need clothes, they will get minimal clothes (less laundry to do!!).

    So, I guess to better answer your question, you first need to decide where you are shopping. If it’s a thrift store, your budget is going to be a whole lot lower than, say Target. And if you are a higher-end consumer, a little bit higher 🙂

  • Rhonda says:

    Depends on how much wiggle room you have in your budget and if you have growing kids/changing sizes. I guarantee we don’t spend $100/yr on clothes each including new underwear & socks. Definitely let others know you’d love hand me downs.
    You may also check what your buying for food if your budget is tight? My grocery budget is $65/wk for 3 people and I buy fresh necessities, maybe $25 each week then maybe monthly use what’s left to stock up on sales so we always have plenty.

  • Laura says:

    As many have posted, I think it is really family and function specific. My husband is disabled so we live solely on my income. Since he has a severe back injury, shoe quality is huge for him. We budget $100/yr for his shoes. The rest of the family clothing budget is combined.

    We utilize multiple resources to stay within our means. Our monthly budget (minus hubby’s shoes) is about $20/month total. We have 4 seasons so I go through both our kids clothes quarterly. I have found that the older my kids get, the more gently used their clothes are since they grow so quickly and have fewer accidents/stains. I will often ask families at church with older children if they would mind letting me know when they plan to get rid of clothes that will be the next size for my kids. I always offer to pay for them also.

    We have found over the years that it is best for us to pass on our clothes to those who need them once we are done. It is amazing how God provides a needy recipient. Likewise, how often we have received a call or email about a bag full of clothes that just happen to be the size my son or daughter needs.

    Many have posted about thrift stores. The ones in our area are not good. I often find that I do better shopping the clearance sales at Belk, Khol’s, and other large retailers. I was able to get my daughter a London Fog winter coat last February for less than $10. That coat will last her 2-3 years. I also got her gorgeous church dresses for $3 – $6 each at Belk.

    Since our kids grow so quickly, we also limit their wardrobe. They each have 5 school outfits, 2 church outfits, and 2-3 play outfits. This makes it easier when they outgrow an entire size before the seasons even change….

  • Erin says:

    This seems to vary a lot from family to family. For us, I budget $50 a month for me. I don’t work, but even as a stay at home mom its important to me to still look cute. BUT, it fits into our budget and should our financial situation change, it would probably be one of the first budget cuts. As for my husband and two year old, we don’t really budget. When my husband feels he needs to replace some clothes, he usually works an extra shift and uses some of that money to go out and buy what he needs. Our two year old also gets clothes as needed. Sometimes we get hand-me-downs from friends or clothing gifts from family, but most of the time, we buy her what she needs. I usually buy a spring/summer and a fall/winter wardrobe. I stick to 10 simple mix and match outfits which I try to buy inexpensively. I buy her shoes as she out grows them. The money usually comes from a budget sur… like those extra shifts hubby works. We try to spend far less than we earn, so when needs like this crop up, its not difficult to take care of. I would estimate we spend $200 a year on the kiddo and $200 on the hubby. (again, should money become tight, there would probably be some drastic budget cuts in this category) Hope that helps!

  • Amy Moore says:

    I would say we spend over 2,000 a year on clothes. I budget 100/month under “children” and I use most of that for clothes for my 2 children. I buy Gymboree and BabyGap on clearance, in larger sizes for my children. We get few hand me downs. Some months I hardly spend anything because the clearance sales aren’t great, and some months, like January, I spend 150 dollars because so much is on sale. I get 125 a month in “fun” money and I buy clothes out of that for myself. I am a SAHM so I usually buy workout clothes and a few tops. My husband gets the same amount of money, but does not use it on clothes,lol. We buy his winter work clothes the day after Xmas at Banana Republic and he buys 200 dollars worth of clothes at Kohls in the Spring with a 30% off coupon. I love buying clothes, I could easily spend 300 dollars a month on myself if our budget allowed.

  • says:

    There are two of us. I work outside the home and my husband’s work has a laundry service. I don’t craft or decorate my house. My artistic expression is on my outfits. So my budget is a little higher than I would like: $30/month for two adults.

    • Carley says:

      We put $50 a month towards clothing. It is my hubby and I and our little 17 month old with one on the way. We are blessed with hand me downs as well. I tend to shop at thrift stores, garage sales and consignment shops for myself – I am a SAHM. My hubby gets some of his clothes like at JC Penny, etc for his work.

  • Tammy says:

    I put about $20 a month for our clothing budget for 6 of us. I budget $100 a week for groceries. We have a limited income an shop sales and consignment shops and lawn sales.

    • Shannon says:

      How on earth do you only spend $100 per week on food for 6? We also have 6 (2 adults/4 children) and our food budget is about $300 per week. What state do you live in (I’ve heard that makes a big difference)? We live in California.

  • Amy B says:

    we have budgeted $40/month for my husband, myself and our 9 month old daughter. We have been blessed with TONS of new clothes for her by grandparents, so I have picked up odds and ends for her at garage sales and our children’s consignment shop.
    I like new clothes, and probably about once a month I will buy a new shirt/pants/shoes on clearance. I have to make my husband spend money on clothes 🙂
    The most we spend is on business casual clothes for him and shoes (we are both runners, so good shoes are important to us!)

    • Alyssa says:

      I think its a good idea to set aside some money for clothes each month, even if you don’t use it on a monthly basis, at least $10/month per person, if you can afford it. You never know when a kid is going to get a nasty stain you can’t get out, a hole in his pants, grass stains, loses his sweatshirt etc. My boys feet are growing so fast and shoes can be expensive. If you find great deals at Goodwill or someone gifts you some hand-me-downs, then you can put the extra saved money toward another goal or keep saving for a true clothing emergency. I look forward to having a new top or replacing an item that’s worn every so often. I lost 25lbs last year, so I’ve had to gradually replace almost all of my clothes….Thanking God for a great Goodwill nearby!

  • Melissa L says:

    For kids clothing I buy Lands End stuff at the end of the season. If they ever rip or fray you can have them replaced, without question. I usually pay less than $10 for a pair of pants and with a young son, I don’t have to worry about holes in the knees anymore. Tops I pay about $6 or for a polo $8. Just shop for winter clothes around March and summer clothes in September.
    Budgeting is one part of the equation, but buying things that last is the other part of good home economics.

    • Anne says:

      We don’t have a specific budget, but we spend $200 or so per year (on average) for my husband and myself. This includes pricier items like winter coats and the hiking boots he wears on his trek between the train station and his workplace.
      We spend about $400 or so per year for our son. Winter clothes are more of a challenge than summer – not only are the items themselves more expensive, but long sleeved shirts look sloppier when too big and skimpier when too small as opposed to short sleeved items, so his winter shirt wardrobe is harder to buy ahead of time than the summer.

  • Rob says:

    I’m a little late commenting on this, but better late then never. I don’t have an exact budget for clothing, but it is a very small amount. Once a year my church does a clothing drive, everything is free and you can take as much or as little as you need. There is usually some name brand very nice items so I will stock up then. I have two girls who are 4yrs. apart so when the oldest out grows hers I will pass them on to a friend, who has a daughter in between mine, and when her daughter outgrows them my youngest is ready for them. It is a good feeling to help out another family and my friend also sends more clothes back then what I sent. My children are also the only grands on both sides so we get help from family. (my sister is an awesome goodwill shopper) And my sisters and I will swap clothes often. As for shoes and undergarments… those have always been added into the birthday and Christmas budgets. My children are both in school 2nd and 6th grade and they think Goodwill is the best store ever, they are just thankful that they have clothes to wear.

  • Susan says:

    I wonder what comments would be made in 2015 (2 years later)!

  • Erica says:

    I am so surprised!! How is it possible that people can live on such a small budget.. WOW. I get $250 a month of clothing budget and my two kids $100 a month.. and this seems not enough

    • Chrissy says:

      I was sitting here reading these and actually looking around like I was in the twilight zone. 30 dollars a month? 200 a YEAR for coats and shoes and work clothing? Am I insane, or where the heck do these women shop? I haven’t bought clothing items since before November- I have been running on the same 4 sweaters and jackets, layering, etc. I am going shopping tomorrow and budgeted 500, and thought that was not enough for a new wardrobe so I was googling how much an average person spends….guess I need to re think my spending.

      • Dee says:

        Lol. I agree. I have two teenagers now a 9 year old. I guess when my kids were tiny I could spend less. But just to get jeans that fit my son I’ve spent roughly $300 in the last six months. He’s skinny and growing. Very hard to find 26 x 30 jeans online let alone get them as a hand me down item. I just need him to get to a 28 waste! The 30 length are already starting to look short. I think they do make 28/32. Then he has flat feet and A knee condition, so tennis shoes inserts cost me about $150. And then there are the soccer cleats. I am hopeful that his foot has stopped growing. Thankfully my oldest daughter could make a paper bag look good.

        • Nicoe says:

          I’ve been online all day looking for help with this and everywhere I look all I see is 7$ pant 3$ shirts im like WHERE?? 12$ shoes? this must just be in the house clothing.

    • Beth says:

      Thank goodness for your post! I was reading these other figures and feeling really bad about my budget! I am budgeting $300.00 a month for 4 people. I live in NY where we have to buy for all 4 seasons!

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