How spending $80 a month on clothing is helping me save money

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October 1, 2018

So I know we’ve been here before…you know, the place where I tell you I think I’ve finally figured out the best way to buy clothing on a budget. But this time…THIS time, I think I have truly figured it out.

As a recap: ever since I began my financial freedom journey back in 2014, buying clothing has always been a bit of a struggle. For the first several months I didn’t budget for clothing at all (this may or may not have had something to do with the $1,600 balance I was paying off on my LOFT credit card…I wore those clothes for a LONG time.) But going cold turkey really didn’t work out well. (See: the time I cracked and used a credit card I’d been paying off to buy $200 worth of clothing.)

Then I started simply budgeting for clothing every month with the intention of squirreling that money away until I saved up enough to buy something I really wanted. But I wasn’t always super diligent about pulling the money out of my account so it would eventually get absorbed by other purchases or simply forgotten about all together.

I even upped my budget line (from $15/month to $100/month) in an effort to feel more freedom to spend this money, but then I just found myself freezing up not knowing what it is I even wanted to buy…kind of feeling overwhelmed with decision fatigue. And that money would also eventually get used for something else.

Fast forward to 3 months ago when I signed up for my very first Le Tote. Le Tote is a fashion subscription service that allows you to rent clothing and accessories for a monthly flat fee. One of my Houston besties has been subscribed to Le Tote for yyeeaarrss and I finally decided to bite the bullet and join her.

There are different subscription levels but for $80/month (this includes insurance in case anything happens to any of the items) I receive 5 clothing items that are mailed straight to my door. When you sign up for Le Tote you fill out a questionnaire to prioritize your sizes and style preferences. Based on what you choose, Le Tote will put together your first “tote” for you, but you can swap out the pieces if you aren’t into what they’ve selected for you.

You receive the items, wear them as many times as you’d like, and once 30 days passes you simply throw them in the already postage-paid bag that comes with it and drop them in the mail. Once the bag has been registered that it is back en route to Le Tote, you’re eligible to pick out your next 5 items. And if there’s something you really love, you can simply keep it and Le Tote will charge your account. So simple. Plus these items are highly discounted from regular retail - the best!

What I’ve discovered in the last 3 months of this clothing rental experiment is even though I am spending $80/month on it, it’s actually helping save me money in the long run. With three totes I’ve received, each one has included pieces that I’ve loved and thought, “I want to buy all of these!” However, after wearing them a few times, I start to realize that, while I do like the pieces, I’m not actually sure I want to commit to spending any money on them.

Having the opportunity to actually wear clothing first to see how it fits and shifts throughout the day has been way more helpful in the clothing-buying decision making process than simply trying them on for 2 minutes in a dressing room mirror. Thus, I put thought and care into what I want to purchase, saving myself (and my wallet) from typical impulse buys that normally happen when shopping. Instead - I enjoy wearing them for a few weeks, happily send them back, and save my money for pieces I truly love.

I honestly wasn’t sure if the investment in this subscription would be worth it but so far I approve it 100%. It scratches the itch of wanting new clothes (every single month, no less), keeps me on budget, and forces me to be thoughtful and intentional when making buying decisions. What could be better?

Want to try it but aren’t so sure? Snag you first tote for FREE with my referral code below!

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