Recently, I have seen a bunch of ads on TV for layaway plans at big box stores. I had no idea that layaway even still existed, as I only remember it from when I was a small child at our local Kmart – and have not seen it since then. Layaway plans are great for people who do not want to charge items they need to credit cards and who have the time to make weekly/monthly payments until said items are paid off. They offer an interest-free way of buying products without going into debt, which can be especially useful for some families. And really, they did wonders to teach people discipline about spending – you couldn’t have what you wanted until you had paid for it in full! The easy availability of credit has taken much of that discipline away, and people end up paying a lot of interest on every day purchases, which is not a good way to live. To help you get back on track with your spending, you can do the layaway plans at your favorite store (if they offer it) – or you can create your own layaway plan right at home.
With layaway plans, you don’t get to take your items home until they are paid off. So really, why not just start to put money aside a few months in advance of your need, and then take that money to the store to pay for your shopping? For example, you could start setting aside a few dollars a week at the end of the school year, so that come August and back to school time, you have the money ready to buy the stuff your kids need for school. Shopping on a budget is much easier when you plan in advance like this! It removes some of the stress from things like back to school shopping while also helping you to learn to budget and use your money more effectively.
Too often, families fail to do any planning in advance for the necessities in life – which leads to them falling behind on debt payments. While layaway plans can help, they are not available everywhere like they used to be. Learning to create your own layaway plans for the things that you want helps you really understand the value of your dollar – something that is sorely missing in today’s consumer-driven world. Take the time to budget and have respect for how your money is spent!