I realize school is just starting but it is also a great time to start your holiday planning if you haven’t already. Here is a blog post I wrote last year about saving money and time by planning ahead for holiday expenses.
One way to purchase items over a period of time is with layaway. Walmart is offering holiday layaway beginning September 16 and running thru December 14. Items that can be put on layaway include toys, electronics, small home appliances and select sporting goods such as trampolines and large exercise equipment. Each item must be at least $15 and the total layaway purchase must be at least $50.
A down payment of 10 percent or $10, whichever is greater, is required and will be applied to the purchase. There is also a $15 fee to open an account. If the order is cancelled or not paid in full, the $15 is not refunded. Shoppers who make their final layaway payment get a refund of the $15 fee in the form of a Wal-Mart gift card.
Layaway plans are also offered by Kmart, Sears and ToysRUs.
Even though with layaway programs you avoid credit card debt and fees, you still need to monitor what you are spending so you are able to make the payments as they are scheduled.