Store Layaway Plans have been around longer than the credit card. In tough times, this was a great way to make purchases, by paying a little per week over a set period of time, until you paid off your purchases, and then you could take them home completely paid for.

For the retailer it was one way to make sales in a tough economy, and for the retailer and the customers to save on credit card fees. The retailer has to pay a fee when the customer uses a credit card, so by offering an in store layaway plan, this stops the customer from abusing their credit card (for these purchases anyways!), and saves on fees for the retailer.

Store Layaway Plans - Making a Comeback

As credit became readily available, many stores came away from these layaway plans, but they have started to make a comeback. Layaway plans are a great way to get your Christmas shopping done ahead of time. The bonus to these store lay away plans, is that you don't have to try and hide your gifts, as they keep them safe until you make that last payment, and you avoid credit card debt with interest.

Sears, and K-Mart are at the top of the list right now for layaway plans, but many other stores are following this idea. You can take advantage of any sales, well in advance of the Christmas rush, as these layaway plans, if done properly do not charge any interest.

Most are for 60 days or 8 weeks, but some will go to the 90 day mark if you spend enough. You basically shop in the store for all your gifts, and then you head to the layaway counter with your cart instead of the checkout counter, and set it up. You need to read all the fine print before you sign, and you need to be prepared to make your payment each week, or what ever the set payment period is. If you don't make this payment, then charges can happen, so don't purchase more than you can pay off in the set amount of time, which is usually 8 weeks.

Store Layaway Plans - Divide Your Purchases Over Weeks

The store will basically ring in your purchases (including all taxes) and then divide the total by the weeks of payments. Keep this in mind while shopping, and make sure you can afford to do this.

The stores will usually time it, so that your gifts are totally paid for at least a week before Christmas. This is a brilliant idea for those early Christmas shoppers. But it doesn't have to be just for Christmas gifts. It is a great way to help with holiday budgets. For example: if you are hosting the holiday dinner this year, and your dishes are looking sorry, or tablecloths or cookware, or whatever you feel you need to replace, you can start now and put this on layaway. This is a good way to spread holiday shopping over a period of time.

That is why store layaway plans are very popular with department style stores that carrying just about everything from toys to dishes to underwear, you can get it all in one spot.

The difference between using your credit card and a store layaway plan, is that if you use a credit card, you swipe your card, sign, and take away your goodies. With a lay away plan, they hang onto your goodies, until you pay for it in full. If you like the idea of a store layaway plan, then find a store that offers this service, make a list, and pay attention to any sales going on right now, as many store layaway plans will honor all the prices as of that day you are shopping.

Store Layaway Plans - Are They For You?

So, find a store you like, find the best deals, at least 8 weeks before you need them, and then lay them a way, make your payments, then take them home with no credit card balances to deal with in January.