Have you started Christmas shopping yet? Or are you one of those people that likes to get their shopping done super early? Regardless of where you are, how is it going? Did you make a Christmas budget? Or have you thought about ways to save for Christmas? A frugal Christmas is not a bad Christmas, don’t you think?
Sometimes, no matter how hard we try, we break our Christmas budget. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was an easier way so we didn’t stress about this?
Layaway might be an option for you to consider. Here are 5 reasons to consider using layaway for Christmas.
What Is Layaway?
Layaway is a system many stores offer. You essentially buy the item or gift now and pay for it over time. The store hangs on to the item and you take it home once you’ve paid for it in full. Most layaway programs set up a regular billing system so you are able to schedule regular payments and have the gift paid off by the holidays.
The Benefits of Using Layaway for Christmas
There are actually a number of benefits to layaway, including the opportunity to save money.
#1 You can buy the item on sale now. It’s sure to go up when the holidays roll around (unless you’re certain that you’ll be able to score a great Black Friday deal). This saves you money.
#2 You don’t have to pay interest. If you were to buy the item on credit, then you’d have to pay interest. Layaway doesn’t charge interest. If a store tries to charge you interest, it’s not a true layaway program.
* This actually may depend on the store. Be sure to double check and ask!
#3 You ensure the item is available. Stores regularly run out of in-demand items during the holiday season. When you buy an item on layaway, you ensure that you are actually going to be able to give it as a gift. This is great, especially when it comes to those hot holiday toy items.
Check out our proven gift ideas for kids:
#4 Easy payment installments. Chances are, it’s much easier to find a few dollars a week in your budget now than to find a few hundred in your budget when the holidays roll around. It’s much easier to pay for items over time than in a large lump sum.
Of course, this also depends on the strength of your Christmas budget.
#5 You get your holiday shopping done early. Unless you enjoy fighting the crowds during the holiday shopping season, layaway helps you accomplish your holiday shopping early.
How to Find Layaway Programs for Christmas
Most stores offer some sort of layaway program. While many don’t advertise the program, all you have to do is ask. When money is tight for everyone, stores are doing what they can to help consumers buy. If they have a website, and most major stores do, check online and see.
Make sure you’re not paying any interest upfront. Some stores may charge you interest and some may not. Ask about any layaway fees; some stores do charge a bit to hold onto the item. Some stores may also ask for a percentage of your overall total. Also ask about payment plans, direct payment and when you can pick up your item.
If you’re on a budget and/or you want to get your shopping done early, consider layaway. It’s a tried and true solution to holiday shopping and spending.
How to Keep Track of Your Layaway Payments
Have I ever told you that I actually really enjoy using Excel spreadsheets? They’re an easy way for me to keep track of spending. I created one earlier this year for tracking family finances for a budget and now I have another one to share with you.
First, you’ll need a copy of my free layaway tracker. After you’ve opened it in your program of choice (I use Excel but you can also use Google Sheets), you’ll notice tabs across the bottom. These tabs represent the major stores that offer layaway.
To set it up, follow along with the video below:
If you still have questions, please contact me and don’t forget to pin this post for later!
Need some more help with keeping your Christmas spending in check? My good friend Joyce of My Stay at Home Adventures has created a Debt Free Christmas eBook and workbook. I’ve had the chance to look at it already and let me tell you- if I wasn’t already motivated to save money this Christmas; I’m there now!
Not only can you provide your family with a great Christmas, but you won’t go broke or in debt in the process.