Saturday, October 25, 2008

Can You Say Layaway?

A recent news story reported that some retailers are bringing back the concept of layaway. I think it's a good idea.

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Somewhere in the land of gotta-buy-it-now-even-if-it-means-charging-it-on-a-credit-card-with-22-percent-interest, the concept of a layaway department got dumped.

When our children were small the Farmer and I were a one-paycheck family, allowing me to be a stay-at-home mom. This decision meant restrictions were placed on our cash flow and we reserved our credit card (singular) for emergencies. Budgeting got pretty creative at times. I learned to buy things on sale, stockpiling necessary goods if I found a real bargain.

We used the layaway department to avoid paying credit card interest. I would shop when seasonal children's clothing first appeared in the store, setting aside whatever the kids needed for the upcoming season. I'd pay towards the balance out of each paycheck and before the season kicked in I'd pay the final payment and pick up the clothing. We also used layaway for Christmas gifts. It forced you to plan purchases which removed the impulsive aspect of shopping.

It always worked well for us but like I said, times changed and layaway disappeared.

How about you? Did you ever do layaway? Do you think it's time has come again?

21 comments:

chocolatechic said...

I believe that Lay-A-Way will come back, and come back big.

I rarely used it, but I think tons more people will, when it does come back.

Vee ~ A Haven for Vee said...

No, I never used it. I remember my mother and aunts using it. I know that my local Wal*Mart has one and my daughter-in-law uses it for Christmas toys. Truth to tell, it always annoyed me because people would set away good merchandise and then there would be nothing on the shelves when crunch time was on. If the stores are well stocked, I think it would work, but often they don't stock as well as they used to. Maybe it's just me...

The Blue Ridge Gal said...

Lay-a-way... good for the shopper, but having been in retail before, I can tell you it's a nightmare for the retail employees. Those lay-a-way backrooms are pretty scary... it's no wonder things get lost. Yikes. BUT, as far as the economy goes, probably an okay thing for the consumer.

Trish said...

Oh I so agree...funny. I forgot about the existence of this fundamental economic concept. My folks HAD to use it. No money but the needs were there...they knew in advance of those needs...and began to save for it. If an item came up in the ONE store in our little town...they would have it put away for that need. Yep.

Gizmo said...

When my kids were little, I used lay-away ALL the time. I was a single parent of three small kids. If I didn't use it, they didn't have new school clothes, or Christmas.
I understand why it disappeared, and for so many families in the position I was - I'm happy to see it return.

TinaTx said...

I used it a lot! It was great for Christmas shopping - the longer it was in lay-a-way, the less time you had to worry about a place to hide things until Christmas!

Sarah said...

I loved lay-a-way and it provided a way for us to do Christmas. Something about being able to pay on it when you can with no interest is a fabulous idea for most people!

Significant Snail said...

I used it, especially during my college years! I would certainly use it again. It really does make you plan and think things through.

Cathy ~ Tadpoles and Teacups said...

I have used lay-away once, for a piece of furniture.
And, I hear ya on the creative budgeting issues! :)

Rue said...

I know people that used it, but it was gone before I ever could. I think it should come back, since it doesn't cost people more money in the long run.
Beautiful purses ;)

hugs,
rue

Mogsie said...

I do layaway things ~ especially if something I want/need comes up on sale, because then I get the sale price, and eventually I have my "thing"

It takes a bit of planning, but that can be a good thing, because one must think things through.

I also have a Christmas club account at my bank ~ doesn't earn much interest, but by the end of the year, Christmas money is pretty much free and clear!

:)

Mamahut said...

Do you suppose that is where the idea came from that we have Christmas items out at halloween time? I have bought on layaway before and loved it.

Sandy Toes said...

I have no idea what lay way is but I do think if you can't pay for it now unless it's a true need...wait!!!

I love your blog...so cute!
-Sandy Toes

Lori said...

Wow, does that bring back memories. Our winter coats were always put on layaway. I don't think I ever utilized it when we had small kids but it definitely has it's purpose.
This topic kind of got me thinking about S&H Green Stamps too. It was always so exciting to save up enough books up stamps and purchase something with them!

RiverPoet said...

I always did layaway when the kids were little. This year, I noticed that K-Mart is doing layaway. It's a MUCH better option to credit cards.

Peace - D

LIBERTY POST EDITOR said...

Yes! I love the layaway plan. I hope it's back to stay.

J said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I've been thinking about layaway too. Two weeks ago I asked the district manager of a woman's clothing store to see if the company would consider re-instating layaway.

becky said...

I saw an ad on TV the other day (can't remember what kind of store) that said they had Lay a Way. Brought back all kinds of flash backs! So, it's coming back. No big surprise, what with all the credit mess.

Janet said...

I remember the first ( and probably only) time I used Layaway. I was a teenager with a healthy babysitting business, yep $.50 per hour. I was rolling in the dough and I placed a skirt on layaway and the store called my mother for some reason and she had a FIT. I can still remember it and it was over 40 years ago. My parents only buy what they have cash for and never even had a credit card until they were in their early 70s. Anyway, I had to go to the store and take the skirt out of layaway and lose my deposit. Humiliating for sure.

That being said, I think it is a much better idea than putting things on credit cards and spending the next ten years paying them off. Instant gratification needs to take a backseat. The apple certainly doesn't fall far from the tree.

Ok, off the soapbox. I remember my first Christmas Club too. It was 1962 and I had $12.50 for shopping and what fun I had.

Janet

StitchinByTheLake said...

I love layaway and used it often when my children were small. I wish they'd bring it back in more places! blessings, marlene