It’s Time for Tax-Free Weekend
If you need some back-to-school clothing, this weekend might be the time to shop. Friday (beginning at midnight), Aug. 4, through Sunday (ending at midnight), Aug. 6, is tax-free weekend, meaning retail sales taxes are not collected on some purchases. The operative word is “some.” Not everything you buy will be tax-free. Sadly, school supplies are not included, but there is some legislation that will make supplies tax exempt, so we can hope for that for next year.
What is included?
Clothing. Any article of clothing that is less than $100 is included. Accessories, special clothing or footwear designed for athletic activities or for protective use will not be tax exempt, so don’t plan to get your child’s soccer shin guards or football cleats tax-free. You can shop at chains like Target and Walmart as well as local retails stores and you can shop online.
According to research by www.savings.com, parents expect to pay $592 for supplies, backpacks and services for the new school year, with clothing being the costliest category at an average of $142 per child.
Tips to Take Advantage of Tax-Free Weekend
Every little bit helps when it comes to saving money on back-to-school. Many retail and online outlets will offer coupons and special sales during tax-free weekend, so using coupons, sales or cash back offers can boost your purchasing power.
- Take advantage of back-to-school promotions
- Use a cash-back app to add to your deals
- Pay for purchases with discounted gift cards
- Use coupons. Yes, you can use coupons during cash-free weekend. They might help you buy an item that is priced higher than $100. If a pair of jeans is $110 and you have a $15 coupon, that brings the price down below $100, so the jeans will be tax-free.
- If you shop online, be sure to make the purchases (place order and pay) during tax-free weekend.
- Plan what you need in advance and shop early. Popular items go quickly.
Planning and knowing what you need will help you save money. Don’t get caught up in deals that will leave you disappointed once you get home. Also, knowing the costs of items that you are purchasing can help you avoid the remorse you might feel when you see it on sale a couple of weeks later, which could save you even more money than getting it tax-free. Saving money is great, but having a year-long budget strategy can help you be ready to take advantage of opportunities like tax-free weekend in a way that fits into your family’s larger financial picture.
What are your best tips for saving money?