NewsBack to School 2023


Kansas City college students get creative to save cash on back-to-school gear

UMKC School Supplies.png
Posted at 5:40 AM, Aug 03, 2023
and last updated 2023-08-03 08:04:51-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Missouri's Back-to-School sales holiday tax weekend kicks off Friday and it's a weekend college students living in Kansas City look forward to so they can save big and get more bang for their buck.

The National Retail Federation expects back-to-college spending will be be at a record high and nearly double what it was in 2019.

For some college students like Emma Hilboldt, senior at University of Missouri - Kansas City, an increase in spending is something she's used to especially while working inside the UMKC bookstore.

“I see a lot of price increases especially working here having to change the tags every time the price goes up," Hilboldt said.

Hilboldt says taking advantage of Missouri's back-to-school sales tax holiday help ease some of the financial burden felt by college students, especially those who work their way through college like her.

“I think college students, we save money where we can and saving $100 on a computer, is like winning the lottery," Hilboldt said.

So just how much of an impact, does shopping during the state's sales tax holiday have on a college student’s budget?

We shopped with Hilboldt inside the book store for what she calls basic college student supplies. It's important to note, limitations are placed on items by the state.

  • UMKC hoodie $44.99
  • Air Pods $169.99
  • Planner $34.99
  • Binder $6.99
  • Notebook $5.99
  • Backpack $49.99
  • Used college textbook $187.50
  • MacBook Pro $1199.00

Total with sales tax included was $1,840.84. With all local and sales tax excluded $1,699.44
Hilboldt advised if students and families want to stretch their money further, shopping around ahead of the weekend helps find the best deal.

“(Just) do research on where the best deal is and when the best time is," Hilboldt said.

UMKC faculty echo Hilboldt's advise and say that even if you’re not a college student, this weekend can help families across the heartland save big especially for families dependent on one person’s income.

“Sales especially on these kind of things, is what we call a regressive tax meaning it impacts and hurts people at lower income or lower wealth than people at the end of the spectrum," UMKC supply chain economist Larry Wigger said.

The National Retail Federation estimates each family will be spending nearly $1,400 for back to college spending with electronics being one of the most in demand items.