The holidays are just around the corner. If you’re on a tight budget, that news may be enough to make you break a sweat. The holidays can be an expensive time of the year. Many families not only break their budget but actually go into debt to afford gifts. Layaway may be the answer you’ve been looking for.
What Is Layaway?
Layaway is a system many stores offer. You essentially buy the item or gift now and pay for it over time. The store hangs on to the item and you take it home once you’ve paid for it in full. Most layaway programs set up a regular billing system so you are able to schedule regular payments and have the gift paid off by the holidays.
The Benefits of Layaway
There are actually a number of benefits to layaway, including the opportunity to save money.
#1 You can buy the item on sale now. It’s sure to go up when the holidays roll around. This saves you money.
#2 You don’t have to pay interest. If you were to buy the item on credit, then you’d have to pay interest. Layaway doesn’t charge interest. If a store tries to charge you interest, it’s not a true layaway program.
#3 You ensure the item is available. Stores regularly run out of in-demand items during the holiday season. When you buy an item on layaway, you ensure that you are actually going to be able to give it as a gift.
#4 Easy payment installments. Chances are, it’s much easier to find a few dollars a week in your budget now than to find a few hundred in your budget when the holidays roll around. It’s much easier to pay for items over time than in a large lump sum.
#5 You get your holiday shopping done early. Unless you enjoy fighting the crowds during the holiday shopping season, layaway helps you accomplish your holiday shopping early.
How to Find Layaway Programs
Most stores offer some sort of layaway program. While many don’t advertise the program, all you have to do is ask. When money is tight for everyone, stores are doing what they can to help consumers buy.
Make sure you’re not paying any interest. Ask about any layaway fees; some stores do charge a bit to hold onto the item. And ask about payment plans, direct payment and when you can pick up your item.
If you’re on a budget and you want to get your shopping done early, consider layaway. It’s a tried and true solution to holiday shopping and spending.