Tips for a great sales tax holiday

Posted by Ginkgo100 | 12:06 PM

Our state's annual sales-tax free shopping weekend is a week away, and Living Well on Less had some excellent thoughts on whether you really save money on a tax-free weekend. Here are some tips for making sure you are better off at the end of the weekend:

Make sure you know what is tax free and what isn't. Texas will tax football pants, but not gym suits. Certain kinds of boots are taxed and other kinds are not. Be aware of what is excluded from the tax holiday.

Make a list. Figure out what you need, such as school clothes for your kids or new shoes for yourself, and write it down. Don't buy anything not on the list.

Make a budget and stick to it. Even if you don't usually use a cash budget, this would be a great time to make an exception. Leave your debit card and checks behind. (If you're like me, you don't credit cards at all; if you do, leave those behind too.)

Keep in mind that the tax-free weekend is equivalent to a 7% to 9% off everything sale. Don't pay full price for anything if you would not pay full price anyway. Shop in the same kind of stores you usually do — especially if you normally stick to discount, thrift, and consignment stores.

And finally... make sure you go on the right days. In most states, it's too late for 2008. Only Connecticut (August 17-23) and Texas (August 15-17) have upcoming sales tax holidays for school supplies. And unfortunately, many states don't have a sales tax holiday at all. Don't miss the boat!

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