Friday, August 5, 2011

Tax-free Weekend -- Maybe!

It's here! Tax-free weekend, the weekend that targets families with school-age children and college-age adults with the promise of tax-free, education-related merchandise, is scheduled for the first weekend in August before most schools have gotten back to business. It begins today and lasts through Sunday, and I’ve heard rumors that in some areas the holiday will last all week. If your state participates in this “holiday,” you may be able to save a few pennies on pencils and paper and all the other small items that your children may use in your home school. I used to make my children homeschool goodie bags filled with fun pencils, erasers, notepads, crayons, activity pads, etc. for our first official day of school. Buying those items during the tax-free holiday helped me prepare early and put more thought into their gifts. Otherwise, it was often a last-minute dash to the five-and-dollar store to collect items for their bags! Oh, if you love educational games, pick a new one up this weekend and start your school year off with some fun!

If you are in the market for something more expensive to begin with, a new computer, for instance, you can save a lot more! Stores are competing for customers, knowing shoppers will be out this weekend and looking to save money, so you may find some really good sales on top of the lack of sales tax. If you are able to shop for curricula locally, as I could, you can save even more. I know many homeschooling families shop online, and I did that as well, but a local homeschool warehouse made it easy to stop in and check the shelves for special deals, and they participate in the tax-free weekend too. 

What makes this weekend extra special is that other stores sometimes participate as well, hoping to lure shoppers to spend (and save) on non-education-related items. They may offer discounts to match the tax-free notion. So if you haven't rounded up all your supplies yet, make that list today, count your cash (you don't want to blow your budget, no matter what kind of bargains are available), and take advantage of the deals in your area!

Here is a list of states offering a tax-free weekend (or week) in 2011:

New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
South Carolina
Washington, D.C.
West Virginia

If your state isn't on the list, all hope is not lost unless you live too far to travel to a bordering state that IS on the list. Contact your state representatives and ask them to work toward bringing the tax-free weekend to your state; maybe you could turn it into a homeschool project and have your children write letters making the request!  

Or, your state may not be on the list, but you know without a doubt that it is participating in the tax-free holiday. Please share the news with me so that I can update this list!

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