If you’re a single person under the age of 35, according to research conducted by MoneySmart it’s likely you spend, on average, $18 a week on clothing and footwear. Based on those numbers, by the end of 2018 you’ll have racked up $1000 in fashion related expenses – and possibly a credit card hangover.
Many of us probably know we spend far more than this. In fact, a poll of MoneySmart readers revealed that 29% of us are likely to suffer from impulse clothes buying when we hit the high street, easily spending upwards of $1000. That pressure to keep up appearances can get expensive!
But what if there was a way to look great and satisfy our retail therapy needs without spending money, or at least, less than $18 a week?
Well, it turns out there is. In fact, looking great for less can be even cheaper than grabbing a bargain in the Myer and David Jones stocktake sale. There are ways you can look great for absolutely nothing, if you’re willing to apply a little ingenuity to updating your wardrobe.
With that challenge in mind, we’ve found four simple and achievable ways to help you do exactly that.
Host a clothes swap party with your friends
While the majority of your wardrobe is often perfectly functional, and your clothes are generally always far from being worn out, what I like to call ‘wardrobe fatigue’ – what happens after multiple wears of the same outfit – often causes us to enter the impulse shopping danger zone.
The truth is, we’re hardwired to love variety and the confidence that comes with a new outfit. This is why we head to Westfield when we’ve got a special event coming up or feel the need to freshen up our look after a break-up. And if you think shopping to relieve stress and boredom is bad, rather than chastise yourself just remember, that’s exactly why it’s called retail therapy!
But instead of paying for new clothes, why not consider swapping clothes with friends as a way to achieve the same goal? Chances are your trash will easily be their treasure, and together you’ll be able to give your collective wardrobes a completely new lease of life.
For instructions on how to host a successful clothes swap party, check out this blog.
Lean on support groups for those big life moments when looking great counts
There are certain things in life that we’ll put off or avoid if we can’t afford to purchase the right outfit. This could range from an important job interview, a family court appearance, a child’s wedding, relative’s funeral or even an appointment with your bank manager. Sometimes looking and feeling great is an absolute must to give you the confidence to tackle these things head on.
If you’re on a limited budget and are looking for alternative ways you can get your hands on the type of clothing you need for such an important life event, consider reaching out to organisations like Dress for Success. These not-for-profit groups work with other support agencies on a referral basis, and you can contact them directly to learn more about getting an appointment. They’ll have you suited up and looking great in no time, for no cost.
Sell your clothes and reinvest the profits
Getting rid of the old to make way for the new is even better when you bank some cash along the way. From setting up a stall at the local market, to simply jumping online onto Gumtree or eBay to sell your unwanted clothes, there really is no excuse these days to let your old jeans and jumpers languish away in your bottom drawer.
With your new-found profits, you can either reinvest them into a new wardrobe, or spend some and save the rest. Either way, you’ll break-even or come out ahead. In our books, that’s a fashionable win. For more ideas on how to be a hit at the local markets, check out our article How To Look Like A Million Dollars On A Budget.
Get fit and rediscover your wardrobe
How many clothes do we discard simply because our waistlines have expanded? If your clothes are too tight from endless summer barbecues or Friday night drinks, then hitting the pavement for a run or a walk is a much healthier alternative to shopping for replacement pants.
Not only will your waist and wallet thank you, nothing feels better than zipping up those old ‘skinny’ jeans. Commit to ten thousand steps a day and measure it using an app on your phone or your Fitbit. You’ll be amazed how quickly you slip right back into those loved wardrobe staples!
If impulse buying has had the better of you in the past, you can draw a line in the sand and conquer your fashion related debt right now. At Debt Busters we’ve been helping Australians out of debt for over 15 years and we can help you too. Give us a call at 1300 368 322. We’re here to help!