Working Mom: How Much Should You Be Spending On Your Kids Clothing?

Spending money on kids clothing is one of those “boomerang” expenses because you know that in a few weeks (months if you’re lucky), you’ll likely be doing it all over again. As soon as the little ones put on an outfit, they’re likely to run straight outside and dive into a muddy puddle. Kids clothes get ruined so quickly that it’s a wonder that manufacturers can make them fast enough to keep up. Even if you’re buying inexpensive clothing, you’re doing it so often that you’re probably spending more than you realize. There are a few different factors that affect the amount that you spend on their clothes. The information below may prove helpful in seeing where your dollars are going and why you may want to curtail your expense.


The first thing that affects the amount you spend is your income. Although there are exceptions, families with a lower salary typically spend less money per month on clothes than those with higher salaries. The difference, however, doesn’t usually come from the quantity or the frequency of the clothing purchased. The difference is generally as a result of higher income families having more money to spend on higher quality clothes. Families with higher sources of income can shop at places like Nicki’s, while lower-income families are more likely to buy less expensive apparel. However, the difference in quality between the expensive and cheaper clothing often means that the higher income families are likely to be buying things that last longer. Therefore, the difference in spending costs isn’t always as big as you’d think.


Age Of The Children

Each different age group has its own factors that impact the need to purchase clothing. When they’re babies, they’ll grow out of things in no time. When they get old enough to start playing outside, things will be ripped and covered in dirt almost immediately. Teenagers don’t necessarily need clothes as often, however, fashion demands and peer pressure will frequently result in them wanting new things. While the need to shop is likely to be less, parents tend to spend more money on older kids overall. Lower-income families spend approximately $28 on younger kids and $52 on teenagers, per month. The main reason is simple; older kids clothes cost a lot more money. You’re also more likely to be under pressure from them to purchase brand names which in most cases increases the expense.


If you have kids that are into playing sports, be prepared for the expense. Depending on the sport that they play, you could be looking at anywhere from $600 to $1000 if they require a lot of specialty equipment and/or uniforms. The good news is that these items are usually pretty sturdy and it can be kept and handed down to younger siblings if so desired.



The school that you choose to send your kids to also has a significant effect on your wallet. If uniforms are required, you may be spending more. If the school has one specific uniform that can only be purchased from a select few places, or directly from the school itself, the cost is likely to be higher than if there were multiple options available.


The amount you should be spending on clothes every month is a personal choice. However, if the cost is causing you to go into debt, or is impacting your ability to save for more critical things, it might be wise to limit or reconfigure your fashion budget. It is often said, “Rich people remain rich, by living as if they were poor, while poor people remain poor, by living as if they were rich.” Definitely something worth taking into consideration the next time the urge or need to shop for clothing surfaces.




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