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 your short term 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.