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Saving money and increasing income

How can I save money on clothes?

Sometimes we treat clothes as a luxury, but they are a necessary living cost.

We need to look smart for work or interviews. Children grow out of clothes all the time.

It can be hard to find good quality clothes that cope with wear and tear.

By following these simple tips, you could:

  • Save a lot of money on clothes
  • Find managing your budget easier

These guides are to help people keep fixed budgets while they deal with debt.

We know that this can be a lot harder for some than others. If you are:


  1. Keep track of what is in your wardrobe
  2. Save money on school uniforms
  3. Cover the cost of school uniforms in other ways
  4. Find bargains with pre-loved clothes

Keep track of what is in your wardrobe

Most people have clothes items they do not need or wear.

Here is what you can do:

Sell anything you have not worn in a year

  • Except formal outfits for weddings or job interviews
  • Put the money towards your debts or into a savings account

Set aside clothes you want to keep

You want enough outfits to get you through a typical week

  • Can you make 7 outfits from the clothes you put aside?
  • Can you wear 3 of these to work?

Try putting your clothes on hangers instead in drawers.

This makes it easier to:

  • Plan an outfit
  • Keep track of what clothes you have

How to save money on school uniforms

Planning and shopping around can help.

  • Find out if your school has support for struggling families
  • Your local council may help with school uniforms and PE kits. Learn more on their website
  • You may qualify for a school uniform grant if you live in:
    • Scotland
    • Northern Ireland
    • Wales
    • Visit the UK Gov website for more information
  • Governing bodies or parents’ associations may have financial support or advice about school uniforms
    • You can find this at the school or in information about the school
    • You can also contact the parents’ association or the school’s head teacher
  • Trade union members may qualify for a school uniform grant
    • Get in touch with your union for more information

Some schools have sales on new and pre-loved uniforms.

Other ways to cover the cost of school uniforms

When you are on a long-term debt solution

  • Your budget has a section for clothing
  • Try to set aside some money every month towards school uniform costs

Find out what your child’s school requires

  • Some items must fit specific guidelines, like:
    • The school blazer
    • 'Official' colour shades and materials
  • Other things are more flexible like:
    • Shorts
    • Skirts
    • Jumpers
  • You can buy these in your local supermarket for a reasonable price

Buy the school logo as a patch and stitch it onto items

  • Such as the school blazer
  • This is cheaper than buying things with the logo already on

Put your child’s name on their clothing

  • Name tags cost a few pounds, but replacing lost clothing costs more
  • You can also write their names on the inside label with a marker pen

Find bargains with pre-loved clothes

Why not try:

Your local charity shop

  • Most charity shops pride themselves on selling high quality items
  • Online shops mean you can get great second-hand outfits from across the UK
  • Go to charity shops with an open mind
  • Take a look at the clothes you have at home. Think of colours and fabrics that will match
  • Look out for items that can go with many pieces of clothing. Like:
    • A good pair of jeans or
    • A smart jacket
  • Sometimes high street stores donate extra clothes to local charity shops
    • They might cut the labels out of clothes before they donate them
    • Look out for this, it could be something brand new that is cheaper than its original price
  • Get to know the volunteers in the charity shop
    • Let them know what you look for
    • They may keep an eye out for things you want

More tips for saving money on clothes

Thinking of buying clothes online?

  • Try it on in store first
  • There may be fees to send it back

Make sure you check clothes for faults like loose buttons or holes

  • Ask the shop assistant to knock money off the price if you find something wrong

Be mindful of clothing sizes when buying vintage or older garments

  • Clothing sizes have changed over time
  • An older size might feel a bit of a squeeze

Invest in a bobble remover

  • Remove frays or ‘bobbles’ from wool coats and sweaters
  • Takes years off a garment and makes it look new
  • Bobble removers are cheap on the high street and online

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