Student Exercise: A Look at Apparel Spending

Do you ever wish you could quickly and easily see all of your financial information? As we discussed in Chapter 2, does a great job of putting all of your balances and transactions together in one place providing you with your entire financial picture.  In fact, does even more.  For example, it gives you an idea of what other users are spending in different consumer categories such as apparel.

In an article titled “Fashionable Finances, How Much Are Mint Users Dishing Out to Look Good?” it is reported that between July 2010 and June 2011, users spent between 15-23 percent of their discretionary funds on clothing.  Moreover, it is not surprising that the amount of money spent on clothing differs dramatically in different areas of the country.  For example, the really big fashion spenders can be found in Manhattan in New York where they spend on average, $362 per month on clothes, which amounts to 21 percent of their discretionary income.  They also shop more frequently, with an average of 2.9 clothes shopping transactions per month.  Interestingly, the number two location for dollars spent is on the other side of the country in San Francisco, CA where 20 percent, with $308 per month goes toward apparel.  The least frequent shoppers live in Tucson, AZ where they spend an average of $131, or 17 percent of their discretionary income on 1.8 shopping transactions per month.

What was the national average?  It was $161 per month on apparel, with 1.9 clothes shopping transactions per month, and an average amount spent per transaction of $84.

Discussion Questions

  1. How much do you think you spend per month on your clothes?  Do you keep track of your spending on clothes?
  2. If you had to cut down on spending, would you limit spending on entertainment, eating out, or clothes?
  3. Why do you think the differences around the country are so large?


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