I remember when I was younger, and stores everywhere offered a layaway plan. It made a lot of sense. You pick out what you want, they hold on to it for you (for a minimal fee) and you collect the item when you have paid it off. Honestly, for someone as frugal as I am, that makes a lot of sense. In my opinion, the credit system is flawed in the sense that it appeals so enthusiastically to the need for instant gratification, not to mention adding high monthly interest rates to the mix. Ultimately, every time we swipe that MasterCard, Visa or American Express we end up spending twice what the item is worth by the time we are done paying it off. With layaway, it’s like a $10 charge. Comparing apples to apples, layaway wins.
I understand that not everyone is a saver. Some folks like to budget out for larger expenses over time and make payments. Thankfully, you can now do this with three online merchants that won’t break your bank in high interest charges by offering you flexible payment plans and online layaway.
This website is probably, by far, my favorite. This website has partnered with a large selection of retailers (including Best Buy, the Apple Store, and many more) in which you select your item and distribute your payments over 2 to 10 months. The fee is minimal, shipping, and handling already calculated into your monthly payment. The website synchronizes with your checking account, automatically debiting the payment each month until your item or items are paid in full. When it’s paid, your item ships and you aren’t out 20 percent APR.
Before you scoff at this reference, take a moment to look at the website. Yes, they offer the silly “As Seen on TV” products, but they also offer many more items that aren’t so stupid. If you see something that catches your eye, they give you the flexibility to pay off the item over 2 or 3 months. Put in your debit card information at checkout and your account is set up to be debited until the item is paid in full.
Again, don’t take the same hard nosed mentality as you would with QVC. HSN has some excellent products offering a flexible payment without exorbitant fees and they are worth a look.
In addition to online retailers that provide these services, there are plenty of merchants in your local area that sell furniture, flooring and even appliances on layaway plans or on no interest payment plans (some with no credit check). The key to being a intelligent and thrifty patron is not just avoiding making costly credit purchases, but finding the best item at the lowest price. In many cases, this means saving, but not in all. Do some looking around in your local area and find the solution that is right for you.
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My Biggest Money Saving Secrets
How I Live Frugally and Happily
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