Layaway: It's back and
easier than ever to use

(ARA) - In decades gone by, layaway was a staple for budget-conscious customers in retail stores across the country, but its popularity waned as credit cards became more available and consumers sought alternate finance methods to buy clothing and necessities. With household budgets tighter than ever due to the recent recession, layaway is once again emerging as a viable shopping tool.

The holiday season is typically the time of year that most people shop ahead, however, many consumers are now taking advantage of layaway year round at retailers like Kmart and Sears. Whether shopping for a wedding gift, a baby shower gift or any other incremental spending occasion, layaway allows people to manage and stick to a budget.

Back-to-school is another peak shopping occasion where using layaway can be beneficial. For parents, who want to plan and budget ahead, layaway is the perfect vehicle for purchasing the latest back-to-school essentials, such as backpacks, sneakers, school supplies and electronics. And for those who stick to a monthly budget, paying for items gradually can make planning a lot easier. Plus, it allows for other budget additions - like contributing a bit more to the family savings account each month.

For busy consumers who rarely have time to shop or take advantage of layaway, websites like and offer online layaway programs. Consumers can simply add items to a virtual shopping cart, schedule and make payments online, then quickly pick up their layaway in-store, hassle-free.

Even with the economy on the upswing, many consumers are hesitant to revert back to old spending habits and in most cases have changed how they approach shopping forever; thus, retailers have had to get more creative in order to lure consumers back to shopping. Layaway, it turns out, has value for both - retailers can turn a profit, and customers can stick to their budgets.

Courtesy of ARAcontent