Tag Archives: sales tax

Sales tax increases are another reason to be frugal

Last week, the state where I live (North Carolina) increased its sales tax from 4.5% to 5.5%. With local taxes, that means our total sales tax has increased from 6.75% to 7.75%. A 1% increase may not seem like a lot, but it can add up for big purchases. On a $1000 purchase, that’s an extra $10 tacked onto your total cost.

I’m not sweating it, though. Paying less money in sales tax is just another perk of frugality. Here’s why:

I don’t buy a lot of stuff.

Since we live frugally, we just don’t make a lot of purchases that are subject to sales tax. Most of our expendable income goes to groceries, which is subject to a 2% sales tax in North Carolina. Our budget only includes about $100 a month for entertainment and household expenses like toilet paper and cleaning supplies. That means at most we’ll be paying an extra $1 a month with the increase.

Secondhand items are usually subject to 0% sales tax.

When a friend or family member gives you a piece of furniture or other item, guess how much sales tax you pay? 0%. The same is true if you shop at garage sales or Craigslist. In some states, you don’t even pay sales tax at thrift stores, particularly if they’re affiliated with a church.

If you’re worried about sales tax increases, think about ways you can live more frugally overall. After all, the less you spend, the less you pay in taxes.