Money Talks: Back to School Finances
We'd like to help you save on your purchases, save for college, and help you get money for your school.
We’d like to remind folks that Mississippi has a tax free weekend coming up Friday, the 26th and Saturday the 27th. BUT there are some stipulations:
· Sales Tax is not due on the sale of articles of clothing, footwear, or school supplies if the sales price of a single the item is less than One Hundred Dollars
· There are definitions of Clothing, footwear, accessories, and school supplies.
· Layaway sales of eligible items do not qualify for the holiday.
· Sales of eligible items that were placed or ordered by mail, telephone, or the internet are not subject to Sales Tax if the purchaser orders and pays for the items during the Sales Tax Holiday and the items are less than the $100.00 threshold.
To maximize the learning experience, involve your kids in the back-to-school shopping process. Together, identify your spending goals and decide where you’ll do your shopping. Discuss a strategy for spending on “extra” things that are not on the shopping list.
_DeSoto County Public Schools: student’s first day August 7th. That’s also the first day for Jackson Public Schools. Harrison County Public Schools start August 8th.
We’ve got some shopping tips for back to school:
· Visit your local brick and mortar retailers. Stores offer competitive bargains versus internet-only retailers. Look for specials and door busters, but try not to let good prices lure you into spending on things you don’t need.
· If your family feels that time is your scarcest resource, searching for deals online may still be your best way to save both time and money.
· Use store coupons and rewards programs. Check your mailbox or inbox for weekly coupons and store websites for printable coupons. These can mean big savings on your more expensive items. You can also sign up for a store loyalty program where you can earn rewards points toward future purchases.
· Consider taking advantage of any pre-packaged, school supplies program offered by your school district. This usually involves paying online for a tailored packet of school supplies that is delivered to the school, ready for use. These programs can offer competitive pricing and save you the time and effort of shopping online or driving to the store.
· Buy used textbooks or download digital textbooks.
· Look around your house before you shop.
SEGMENT 3 The state treasurer’s office’s website has information about saving for college. The state offers prepaid tuition calls MPACT – Mississippi Prepaid Affordable College Tuition. There’s also the savings plan – MACS – Mississippi Affordable College Savings.
MPACT is guaranteed by the State to cover the cost of college and mandatory fees at Mississippi’s public colleges. If a student attends an out-of-state or private school, the plan will pay Mississippi’s average tuition rate. MPACT offers four-year university plans, two-year college plans, as well as combination plans. The plan also offers a variety of payment options to fit your budget.
MACS offers investment options that appeal to all types of investors, from the conservative investor to the aggressive investor.
As 529 plans, both programs offer a state tax deduction as well as tax deferred earnings.
Families who begin planning and saving for college when their children are young have a much better chance of reaching their college savings goals than families who wait until their children are in high school.
Segment 4 There are ways to get free money for your school. To encourage you to show at their stores, retailers have cash back programs for not for profits, like schools.
Target has dropped their program. But Office Depot and Kroger each have ways for you to designate your school so that a portion of your total is donated to that school. https://www.officedepot.com/cm/school-supplies/give-back https://www.kroger.com/topic/kroger-community-rewards-3
Box Tops For Education is a programs where consumers collect and give to the school labels or “box tops” for them to send in for cash. There’s also an app where you can scan your store receipt instead of sending in the top of mac and cheese boxes or soup labels. https://www.boxtops4education.com/
Amazon donates 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to the charitable organization of your choice. Smile.amazon.com
Coca Cola has a website where you SCAN OR ENTER A PRODUCT CODE TO DONATE to your local school
eScrip is an online portal. After you’ve signed up, shop at thousands of eScrip merchants, grocers and drug stores in your town. Your designated school or charity will get a check each month with their percentage of the spending done through that website.