Calculating Cost Per Wear
A jacket you want is $350. You figure out that you'll wear it 5 times a month. Multiply the 5 by 12 months (it usually evens out, since you may wear it more some months thant others) which equals 60. Now, divide 350 by 60. $5.80.
That's what your new jacket will cost per wearing in the first year. Consider, too, that it will be even less expensive as the years pass.
First off, if I had 5% of my family's income to spend on clothing and bought the $350 jacket, the rest of my family would all be naked and I would be wearing nothing but the jacket. Not very practical in the mountains of the Great Northwest.
Second problem, if I purchased the $350 jacket, is that I would be stuck with it for a really long time. Since I prefer to wear more current items, I would tire of the jacket long before it earned its keep.
Breaking down my total spending plan a few years ago, I calculated that I need to achieve a cost per wear of about $1 for dresses, $.25 for separates, and $.10 for everything else (shoes, coats, undergarments, etc). I leverage my occasional oops by frequenting $1 day at Value Village. Here's what I got today:
Instead of using cost per wear to justify expensive purchases, I discipline myself in the heat of the buying decision. Is it really worth it?