As summer begins to wind down and the school year draws near, many parents are preparing to open (and maybe empty) their pocketbooks on back-to-school shopping.
According to the National Retail Federation, American families spend about 42 percent more on back-to-school purchases now than they did just a decade ago.
Total spending on back-to-school shopping is expected to hit nearly $25 billion this year, the NRF said. On average, a family with school-age children plans to spend about $630.36 on school supplies, electronics and clothes this year.
A RetailMeNot survey found that on average, parents spend about two weeks shopping for back-to-school supplies. More than 1 in 4 parents expressed concern about the financial burden and stress of back-to-school shopping.
Parents can take some of the sting out of the annual ritual by taking advantage of sales-tax-free weekends in 17 participating states, as detailed by RetailMeNot. Click on an individual state to see what items will be tax-exempt:
- Alabama: Aug. 7-9.
- Arkansas: Aug. 1-2.
- Connecticut: Aug. 16-22.
- Florida: Aug. 7-16.
- Georgia: July 31-Aug. 1.
- Iowa: Aug. 7-8.
- Louisiana: Aug. 7-8.
- Maryland: Aug. 9-15.
- Mississippi: July 31-Aug. 1.
- Missouri: Aug. 7-9.
- New Mexico: Aug. 7-9.
- Ohio: Aug. 7-9.
- Oklahoma: Aug. 7-9.
- South Carolina: Aug. 7-9.
- Tennessee: Aug. 7-9.
- Texas: Aug. 7-9.
- Virginia: Aug. 7-9.
Tax-free shopping holidays typically start at 12:01 a.m. and end at midnight.
Five states – Alaska, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire and Oregon – don’t have a sales tax. In eight states, clothing purchases are normally tax exempt (Minnesota, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Vermont) or tax exempt up to a limit (New York, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut) according to the Tax Foundation, a think tank in Washington, D.C.
How much do you usually spend on back-to-school shopping? What are the most expensive purchases you’ll make? Share your comments below or on our Facebook page.
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