My thrifting year goes from July to June which means it’s that special time when I confess how much I spent on thrift shopping this year! This is my first thrifting year in the US and I’m so curious whether I spent more, less or about the same as in Canada! Let’s find out!    

What I Spent on Thrifting This Year
I have a giant Texas closet now and I’m not afraid to fill it with all my thrifting!

How much did I spend on thrifting in years past?

Every summer, I pull out the calculator (er, my phone, but please picture a vintage adding machine) and tally up my purchases from the past year then, to make myself feel better, I calculate the cost per piece. To recap…

Over the years, women have commented on their spending and mine, and I have studied clothing budget posts by other fashion bloggers, and I have concluded that my spending is not that bad though the quantity of purchases is higher than most.  And for that, I blame thrifting!

How much does the average person spend on clothes?

People who budget recommend spending approximately 5% or less of your net income on clothing.  Who here follows that?! Not many of my friends calculate and spend a monthly amount within that month. Rather, we tend to shop according to seasons or save up for pricier purchases.  So, how much do YOU spend on clothing in a season?  That brings up something that was challenging for me in Houston: there are no seasons! Not like in Canada anyway, so I lost my shopping circadian rhythm.  (That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!)  Nonetheless, I like this budget recommendation because I am way under budget and that makes me feel like I’m winning at life.

Here’s me thrifting/winning at life! (though apparently the lady working the till would not agree)

What pieces did I buy while thrifting this year?

Before I reveal my final tally, let me share some factors which affected my spending. Firstly, I did a fair bit of online thrifting. I shopped on ThredUp, the biggest online thrift shop, as well as Poshmark, which is like an online personal consignment store, and  The convenience of online thrifting is ah-mazing (hello thrifting in bed!) but the price point tends to be a bit higher – still better than regular retail but higher – so that drove up my cost per piece.  Here are a few examples…

What I Spent on Thrifting This Year
LOVE this Pilcro skirt I scored off Poshmark for $35 new-with-tags – I would never spend that on a skirt at a thrift store.
What I Spent on Thrift Shopping This Year
These Pilcro denim joggers were $21.25 and worth every penny to get me through the Houston “winter.”
J Brand shorts new-with-tags for $19.20.
I scored a few Anthro brand dresses off Poshmark. They’re my fave thing to search for online and offer the most ridiculous posing inspiration. They were between $10 – $33 each.

Aside from the online thrifting, I bought a few higher priced items…

Girls with coffee*, clogs and mustard cardis!! (Note my reusable cup which may or may not hold coffee) I’m wearing $25 @freepeople jean leggings from @Poshmark, @korkease clogs $15 from KCM thrift store, @michaelkors blouse $9.10 from @valuevillage_thrift ages ago, and gifted but thrifted card
My Korkease sandals on the right were $15!
What I Spent on Thrifting This Year
New condition Poetic License flats also for $15. I *had* to have them, obv.

So there you have it.  A handful of pricey purchases online and in person, and your bottom line goes through the roof!  Just kidding, it wasn’t through the roof but it wasn’t my most frugal year!

My annual thrifting budget was…

Drum roll please…

I bought a total of 218 pieces for $1341.23 which works out to an average cost of $6.15 per piece.

Gulp! That’s the highest total since my second year of thrifting… (or, if you’re paying attention, it’s actually the highest ever when you factor in US dollars!)  Still, my closet could handle the influx and my pocketbook was just fine. If we think monthly, that’s around $112 per month; if we think seasonally, that’s about $335 per season.

Should I cheer or cry? Would you cheer or cry?!  Let me know (gently) in the comments!

xoxo Nicole

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  1. I love the per piece breakdown. Why was year 5 $7? Is this because of what/where you bought, or economic conditions?

    I noticed a few years ago Goodwill prices jumping up.

    Do you think $6 per piece is the new $5?

    • nicole

      Thanks! I thrifted some pricier items that year – a couple leather jackets, some pants with a higher price point, a leather bag, etc. – and had less inexpensive items like accessories to bring the average down. Goodwill prices are definitely lower than Value Village/Savers but often similar or higher to little non-profit thrift stores, and Goodwill in the US seems cheaper than Goodwill in Canada. Still, I think you’re right, $6 is the new benchmark average to beat (for me). Some people like to think of percentage of MSRP rather than average cost per piece. Thanks for commenting!!

    • About 2 months ago I noticed our Goodwill prices went up about $ for each category in clothing across the board. So yes, you are correct. The Value Villages went up even more than that, I was surprised after a few non-thrifting months (too many clothes).

      • nicole

        Hmmmm, I wish that weren’t the case but I guess it’s a business like everything else. I do think VV prices are too high and doubt it translates into more money for the non-profits or employees – but I tend to just not buy if I don’t like the price. I know I can get plenty at a price point I’m comfortable with, so I have no problem saying no. It’s too bad though. Thanks for keeping me posted!

  2. I think that sounds about right! Thrifting is both your hobby and your therapy, so if you compare your spending with what people spend on their hobbies, or factor in $100/hr for therapy, you come up way ahead!
    And a girl’s got to get dressed!

    • nicole

      THANK YOU!! Ha, it’s so true. I’ve had A LOT of therapy this year! lol I needed it though,and also needed a hot weather wardrobe! Thanks for reading, commenting and affirming! 😉

  3. Do you ever sell any of your purchases at consignment stores or on Ebay?

    • nicole

      I have taken pieces to Plato’s Closet in the past but otherwise don’t like the hassle of consigning. However, I have a Poshmark closet and use that to sell some of my purchases that don’t fit or otherwise don’t work for me! I linked to it in the post and there’s a link on the right side when on desktop. Poshmark is only in the US unfortunately!

  4. Thanks for showing the maxi dress with the birdie on your shoulder photo again. I love that one and laughed all over again just like it was new!

    I’ve been considering trying Poshmark for some Johnny Was tops that are too long for me, and a leather Patricia Nash large work bag that I only used once. Do you find that your things sell? Quickly? Do you get fair prices considering the effort to photograph and list them? Thanks for any input.

    • nicole

      You are welcome! When my son took that photo, he said “RELEASE YOUR INNER CAVEMAN!” So funny. I’ll do a post about Poshmark – thanks for the impetus – but just quick: some pieces move quick, some don’t and it’s not always what I would predict but there is no harm in leaving the postings up once you’ve gone to the effort of listing them. It is not hard at all to post pics (mind you I’m not very fussy about how I do it) – quick photo, accurate description including any flaws and boom boom, listed! I feel the prices are fair – they take a cut which I feel is reasonable for the benefits of using the site. I’m not a high volume seller nor am I making my living with reselling, so it works for me. Stay tunes, I’ll delve into this more deeply soon! Thanks for the question, the inspiration and for reading!