Sunday, November 17, 2013

Why Layaway Is Stupid

For those who don't know, Layaway is a program offered by more and more stores that allows you to put an item on hold while you slowly pay off the value of it. Sometimes there's a minimum weekly, bi-monthly, monthly, or bi-monthly (bi-monthly can mean both twice a month or every two months) payment; sometimes there's an extra fee; but there's always a time limit.

What does layaway actually do?

It entices people who can't actually afford expensive things to buy expensive things. Just because you pay for the item a little bit at a time doesn't mean you can afford it any more than if you bought it all t once.

Besides, if you take too long to pay off your item, it's likely (especially if it's technological in nature) the item either costs less, or a newer, better version has come out. Unfortunately, since you've already sunk your money in the old version, you've mostly trapped yourself into buying it, unless you have the spare change to pay a cancellation fee.

Here's what you should do:

Save your money until you can afford the whole item. Then buy the whole item. If you can't manage your finances well enough to save up your money, you shouldn't be buying expensive things in the first place.