Money Saving Monday: Should You Buy on Tax-Free Weekend?

Money Saving Tips in Boston and Beyond

*Every Monday throughout 2014 I will be sharing Money Savings Tips to help stick to and expand your budget!

Massachusetts Tax-Free Weekend is coming up on August 16-17, 2014. Although you do not have to pay a sales tax on the majority of items, is it a good deal? That depends.

Keep in mind that sales tax is .0625 which means you will receive a little over 6% off. If you were at a clearance rack at the mall and noticed a 6% sale, you may not even stop. It’s not that much.

However, I know when I was doing construction on my house, we bought a lot of lumber on tax-free weekend. We never saw lumber on sale and would have bought it anyway, so a extra 6% discount was a big welcome.

Tax-free weekend is great for items that never go on sale, but for many items that are discounted often, it may be better to buy a different time. Sometimes big ticket items like appliances may seem like the perfect time, but the overall price may be a little higher because retail stores know they don’t need to offer a big discount to entice you to buy.

For example, I was also looking for a fridge during tax-free weekend at various (very busy) stores a few years ago. My kitchen wasn’t quite ready for appliances yet, but I wanted to plan ahead and get the best deal. I noticed a fridge I liked, but the retail price was a little higher than I wanted to pay.

I ended up waiting until I was ready in November for the fridge. I ended up saving around $300 more by waiting. The fridge was a lower price with a great sale. It was also Veteran’s Day weekend, and my Dad offered to buy the fridge (as a housewarming gift) and use his military discount for an additional 10% off. It definitely paid to wait in my case since we ended up saving hundreds of dollars.

Sometimes it makes sense to buy purchases on tax free weekend, but sometimes you may get a better discount at another time. You really need to research and decide whether or not a 6% discount is worth it or not to you.

Will you be shopping at tax-free weekend? What will you be buying, if so?

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