Applying Intentionality to Shopping Georgia’s Sales Tax Holiday

First the facts; Saturday July 30th and Sunday the 31st is the state of Georgia’s first sales tax holiday of the year. This first tax holiday is focused on clothing, computers, and school supplies. The second sales tax holiday will be September 30th through October 2nd and will be for Energy or Water efficient products.

Jim Beall
Jim Beall of Beall Financial Planning, Inc., 2207 Ingleside Ave. in Macon.

This weekend’s primary focus is for getting kids ready to go back to school but that does not limit the sales and purchases to just school supplies or kids size clothing. All clothing including shoes with a sales price of less than $100.00 is tax free during the holiday. Clothing accessories such as jewelry, handbags, watches or eye-wear are not included. Computers, accessories, and peripherals and most software for home and noncommercial use with a price of less than $1,000.00 is also tax free. School supplies purchased for noncommercial use with a sales price of $20.00 or less per item are also included in the sales tax holiday. The full details of what is covered can be found at the State of Georgia’s Department of Revenue website GA Sales Tax Holiday PDF

Intentionality is a mental or physical state of being deliberate or acting with purpose. It is preparing in advance for what you want to achieve. In this case maximizing your limited resources of time and money. Start before you head to assess what clothes you and your family will need for school, work, and any fall sports activities that your family will participate in and start a list. Have you gotten a list of supplies from your children’s school? Go ahead and get that list and print it out to take to the store along with the list of clothes you need along with the sizes you need. You’ve got your list now determine the store or stores you need to shop at to get what is on your lists. What you will want to avoid is buying stuff that is not on your list. People who shop without a list will generally buy more and spend more than those shopping from a list. They also will end up with a lot of impulse purchases that sit around unused or unworn cluttering up their house and closets.

If you are taking your kids shopping with you for their back to school supplies assign them specific items from the list for them to pick out. With younger children give them some control over pens and pencils and other small items this is an ideal time to teach them how to compare prices, work within a budget, and the difference between a want and a need. When going to a store prep them for exactly what you are shopping for and that you are only buying what is on the list. You are priming them for what to expect at the store and it helps them and you resist the many ways stores use your brain against you through your senses to spend more. Older kids are starting to develop their own senses of style and preferences give them more freedom to choose their clothes and school supplies but also give them a strict budget. You are preparing them for life and it’s never too early or late to develop good spending habits.

Shopping intentionally is as simple as assessing what you need, making the list, determining which stores will have what you need and preparing yourself mentally before entering the store to only buy what is on the list. One last thing, if you find that store that has a great deal on the shoes that meet the dress code let your friends know before they drive all over town looking for them.

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