Leadership

Arianna Huffington swears by this simple money-saving tip that can also save you time

Arianna Huffington
David A. Grogan | CNBC
Arianna Huffington

While Arianna Huffington may be worth millions, she has a frugal habit that helps her save time and ensures she doesn't spend hours sifting through her closet each morning.

"I'm a big believer in repeats," she tells CNBC Make It. "I love finding outfits I like and repeating them again and again and again."

This is a habit that Huffington, the founder and CEO of Thrive Global, believes women need to form because it saves both money and time that could be spent on other tasks. "Women waste so much money and so much attention, and stress out so much believing they have to always wear a new outfit for every occasion," she says.

In fact, women own more clothing items now than they did in previous years. According to Forbes, the average woman owned nine outfits in 1930. That number has now jumped to 30.

Shopping for clothes also takes time. A survey poll of 2,000 women by the market research firm OnePoll.com found that the average woman spends 399 hours and 46 minutes shopping.

Broken down even further, the firm found that each year women spend more than 100 hours on 30 trips to shop for clothes, 40 hours shopping for shoes and 50 hours window shopping.

Repeating the clothes you already own also saves you time that would be wasted on planning what to wear in the morning and this is where men have an edge, Huffington tells a panel at the Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit. She should know.

Within Huffington's professional circle, she often sees highly successful women who clearly took a long time to get ready, the media mogul wrote in a 2016 blog post. Men on the other hand, just show up in hoodies and t-shirts and look like they've spent less than five minutes on their clothing choice.

Huffington may have a point. In a 2014 Facebook Q&A session, Zuckerberg admitted that he repeats his standard grey t-shirt look because it saves time, The Telegraph reports.

"I really want to clear my life so that I have to make as few decisions as possible about anything except how to best serve this community," he said.

Former U.S. President Barack Obama has the same mentality. Michelle Obama tells Vanity Fair that her husband wore the same tux and shoes for eight years straight.

President Barack Obama holds a meeting with Vice President Joe Biden and his advisers in the Oval Office of the White House on Feb. 10, 2011.
Pete Souza | The White House.
President Barack Obama holds a meeting with Vice President Joe Biden and his advisers in the Oval Office of the White House on Feb. 10, 2011.

"And he was proud of it, too," she says. "He was like, 'I'm ready! I'm ready in 10 minutes. How long did it take you?'"

However, men aren't completely off the hook when it comes to shopping for clothes. Fashion public relations firm Boutique @ Ogilvy polled 1,232 adult men and found that they spend $10 more than women on clothing and accessories. They have also outpaced women when it comes to online shopping, outspending them by 20 to 30 percent.

Nonetheless, Huffington advises that you approach clothing with a more economical view. "When we're able to reclaim all the time and energy lost to picking out clothes and getting ready," she writes in her blog post, "we'll gain a serious competitive advantage."

Like this story? Like CNBC Make It on Facebook!

See also:

Arianna Huffington says she became truly successful when she quit one common bad habit

Arianna Huffington on Uber's new culture: 'We do the right thing. Period'

Arianna Huffington on the Women's March: 'This is the moment for women to find their voice'