Friday, November 13, 2009

Financing From the Old School

There used to be a time when people bought Christmas presents with cash and saved all year to do so. There wasn't an abundance of store credit cards that offered 0% financing for 12 months and there weren't credit card offers being sent to 90% of the homes in America. If you talk to the older generation of Americans (depression era folks), they didn't use and probably most haven't used credit cards much in their lives.

There is and has always been an alternate option that many stores still employ as a technique to sell their wares. Layaway. Kmart is king for the layaway and I'm sure you've all seen the Christmas commercials that highlight their layaway program since the credit card companies have tightened up their card requirements and approval processes (no financial interest of course). The important part to remember though is that layaway is interest free and allows for a purchaser to buy something over minimized payments without paying financing fees and crazy interest rates that credit card companies charge. It really is a fiscally smart alternative for the holidays.

Sears also has a pretty reasonable layaway program as well, along with some Best Buy stores, Burlington Coat Factory, TJ Maxx, Marshalls, and some local stores that you may not even expect to offer layaway. A music instrument and supply store that offers layaway is Sam Ash in case your doing some shopping for a musician in your family.

So, if you don't want to pay cash for your Christmas presents, use layaway. In case you haven't caught on to my contempt for credit cards, now you know. The more I can steer people away from their evil ways, the better I'll feel.

Good luck with your holiday shopping!

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