How to Decide if I can Afford new Clothes

Buying items which are not essential, such as clothes can sometimes be tricky, especially if you are budgeting or on a tight income. Sometimes justifying buying things like this for yourself can be difficult, especially if you have family members who also need things. There are things that you can consider though, which could help you to make the decision more easily.

How much can I afford?

It is good to start with thinking about whether you can afford the clothing. Look carefully at your bank account and statements and see how much money you actually have. You should be able to find out what is in your bank account quite easily and you may also want to look at what cash you have as well. This should help you to know whether you have any money available to spend right now and how much you have available. This could determine whether you can buy clothes at all and if you can, where you will buy them from and how many you will buy.  

What else do I need?

If you do find that you have money, then it is wise to think about what else you need to spend it on before you buy clothing. Consider how long it will be until you next get money and what you will need to buy in the meantime. Think about how much those items will cost, whether there are likely to be any emergencies you might need money for and whether you should keep some back just in case. This can be tricky but if you look back at old bank statements you should be able to see when payments tend to come out of your account and if any are likely to come out before you next get paid or have other money coming in.

Can I wait?

It can also be worth thinking about whether you can wait for the clothes you want or not. It could be that you are getting really desperate for new things, perhaps because clothes cannot be repaired and are falling apart or that you have changed size and you have nothing to fit. It might be that your clothing is not coming up very clean or that you have an occasion to go to that you need something smart for. Alternatively, it might be that you want something new, perhaps because you feel what you have is too old fashioned or you are conscious that it is old. It might just be that you feel you want to stop having to go to work wearing the same old things all of the time.

It is worth thinking about your reasons for wanting new clothing and whether they are really justified. Also think about what clothes you might have that you have not worn for a long time and whether you could use some of those instead. If you are going to an occasion, you might be able to hire something for less money than you can buy something for.

Can I use savings?

It you do decide that you need to buy something, then you should see whether you have any savings that you can use to buy it with. It is often easy to forget about using our savings. This might be because we only normally spend money from our current account, or it might be because we do not really want to spend our savings. If we really need the money though, using our savings could be the answer.

Can I Afford to Borrow?

Another alternative is to borrow money. This could be a useful way to get the money and could mean that you will get it fairly quickly. You will need to be sure that you are able to repay the loan though. You also need to note that you will have to pay more if you buy items like this because you will have interest to pay. However, you might think that it is worth it if it means that you will be able to get the clothes that you need more quickly.

As you can see there are a lot of factors to consider but you will have a selection of choices. It Is best to start by working out how urgent it is that you have new clothes and if you decide that it is urgent, you can then think about how to pay for them. If you have a poor credit record there will be less options for you, as borrowing will be more limited but there should still be options available to everyone. You just need to make sure that you choose the option that suits you the best. Consider your short term goal, to get the clothes as well as how you will manage in the future once you have spent the money. You also need to let your financial situation dictate to you how much you will be able to afford to spend.

What is the Best Way to Pay for my Holiday?

Most of us like to go on holiday from time to time. Some of us will look forward to our next holiday as soon as we have finished our last one and constantly be thinking about places we want to go. Some may just have one holiday a year and other may just take them when they feel like it and not have any sort of routine to it. Often the biggest influence on a holiday and when we take it, as well as where we go and what we do is the cost. Some holidays can be really expensive and others can be a lot cheaper. The cost will always be an issue as you will need to decide whether you want to have a holiday that you can easily afford (or wait until you can before you go) or whether you want to borrow money to pay for it. It is worth thinking about the pros and cons of the options so that you can decide which will be right for you.

Using Savings

If you have savings, then using for a holiday means that you will be able to go as soon as you wish and you will not have to pay the interest on a loan. This means that the holiday will be cheaper and you will not have to wait for it.

Some people do not like using savings though as they feel that they should be used to pay for emergencies rather than luxuries. The savings may also be for a specific purpose and the saver may be reluctant to use them for something else. It can be tricky to part with savings when you have worked so hard to save them up, particularly if you have them earmarked for something else. You may also worry about how you will afford your next holiday if you use up your savings to pay for this one.

Saving up

If you have no savings or do not want to use the ones that you have then you could save up for a holiday. This will also save you the expense of a loan. However, it will mean that you will have to wait to go on holiday until you have saved up enough money. If it is a cheap holiday, then it may not take you that long to save, but if it is something expensive, it may mean that you will need to wait a long time. Waiting can be good as you appreciate the holiday a lot more as you know how hard you had to work to get it. However, if you are in desperate need for a holiday then you may feel that it is just too long for you to have to wait.

Borrowing Money

If you are able to borrow the money for a holiday then you should be able to get the money right away and then go when you want. You will not have to wait to save up. You may also be able to raise your budget a bit and have a more expensive holiday because you can borrow more. Obviously, the amount that you can borrow will depend on your credit rating as well as how much you can afford to repay.

So, you can see that there are three main options for paying for a holiday are using savings, saving up and borrowing money. It can be a very personal choice which you use. However, the method that you use also has implications for the type of holiday that you can afford to take. You may only be able to afford a basic one if you use the money that you have saved or if you save up, but by borrowing, you might be able to afford something more. This may or may not be important to you. It all depends on what the purpose of the holiday is for you. It might be that you will be happy just getting away form home for a bit and a cheap campsite will be enough for you to experience that. However, you may prefer to go and explore other countries or to be really spoiled and have something luxurious and for that you may need to save up for a long time or borrow the money to be able to do it.  It is worth making sure that the method you choose will be right for you. If you get back and get stressed because you have no savings or because you have loan repayments, then this could counteract all of the relaxation that you experienced during the holiday. It is worth thinking about the effects that your decision may have on how you feel after the holiday as well as during it. Relaxing is great but if you have to be more stressed afterwards in order to experience relaxation then it is not worth it.