Missouri’s Back to School Sales Tax Holiday begins at 12:01 a.m. on Aug. 4, and runs through Aug. 6. As a personal finance and savings guru, this is one of my favorite weekends of the year. But every good deal-hunter knows that to get the most bang for your buck, you have to fully understand the sale and how it can benefit you. Here are a few tips on navigating sales next weekend. Keep in mind, even if you are a Kansas resident, you can still shop Missouri sales.
Estimate your savings
The sales tax in Missouri is slightly over 4 percent. This knowledge can really help you ahead of time if you know about what your family spends each year on school supplies. If you spend around $200, this could save you about $8. If you plan to spend much more, your savings might really add up!
However, you can anticipate that stores will be crazy busy. Is the savings you will get worth fighting the crowds? Also keep in mind your school may offer a supplies program. I’ve heard that some schools allow you to buy supplies in bulk through them, or their PTA. Depending on the cost, this may be well worth it to you!
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Understand the restrictions
There are some spending cap restrictions per state for the tax savings:
▪ Clothing under $100
▪ School supplies under $50
▪ Computer software under $350
▪ Computers/computer equipment under $3,500
Please keep in mind this doesn’t mean there are no taxes at all. Cities and counties may still charge a tax, even if the state does not. There are also some additional items the exemption does not apply to. For example, clothes apply but not accessories like purses.
Stick to your list
If you decide to hit the stores, it can be very tempting to overspend based on some of the fun product displays that are out. Believe me, I am a sucker for all the adorable fall clothes. But remember, your whole reason for shopping at this particular time is to save, so stick to the items your kids actually need for school. Even if it’s a sale, if it’s out of budget, it’s out of budget. Stay committed!
With these tips, you’ll be well on your way to back-to-school savings in no time!
Kat's Money Corner is posted on Dollars & Sense every Tuesday. Kat Hnatyshyn, when not blogging or caring for her little ones, is a manager with CommunityAmerica Credit Union. For more financial chatter, visit communityamerica.com.