Not Ready to Pay? Lay It Away!


Remember layaway?

It was a great way to start your gift shopping early, while paying just a little at a time. I remember my mom making layaway payments, once upon a time. And, it was my favorite way to shop when the hubby and I first got married.

The longstanding tradition was eliminated several years ago — but this holiday season? Put the credit cards away and layaway instead! It’s now back at several retailers nationwide.

If you’re not familiar with layaway, let me give you a quick overview. You shop at your favorite store, take your purchase to the layaway counter instead of the checkout, and make a down payment. The retailer will store your purchase until you have paid the balance in full.

Layaway plans provide relief for your holiday budget by avoiding the use of high interest credit cards, while making small payments as you can afford them. Plus, you can take advantage of sale prices to add your items to layaway, even when you don’t have the money to pay for it. It’s the original shop now, pay later!

There are several stores offering layaway plans this holiday season. Each retailer will have its own policies & procedures, including down payments, service charges, cancellation fees and time limits. Be sure to check with your store for full details, but we have the basics for you right now:

Kmart: 10-15% down payment, $5 service charge, $10 cancellation fee, 8-week contract (12-week plan available for purchases over $300)

Sears: greater of $20 or 20% down payment, $5 service charge, $15 cancellation fee, 8-week contract (12-week plan available for purchases over $400)

Toys R Us: 20% down payment, $5 service charge, $10 cancellation fee, 90-day contract (must be paid in full before holiday cutoff date)

Walmart: 10% down payment, $5 service charge, cancellation fees vary by state, pickup by December 16th (no layaway on Black Friday)


If you find any other stores offering layaway programs, let us know in the comments. I’ll be sure to update the list!

What do you think — will you layaway this holiday season?

Photo Credit: Flickr

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