Friday, February 27, 2009


Every day another story, more of the same. Wall Street crumbles, falls, topples, drops, blah blah blah. People are being foreclosed on in rising numbers, bankruptcy filings are going through the roof... the companies that are failing the most? Credit companies. Credit cards, lenders, etc. When did credit become such a huge, can't-live-without-it deal in this country?

The mentality of so many people now-a-days is that they want something, are entitled to it, and want it NOW! They know can buy something with credit and pay it back later. Then they run into problems and have trouble paying it then, so they put it on the card. This snowballs in to a massive amount of debt and they pay and pay and pay. But what happens if you have a hiccup and can't put it on your card? Or when you start having trouble paying your cards? Then the problems grow even faster.

Now, I don't like credit cards, but this is a new turn for me. I have credit card debt that I am paying off.... what a surprise, eh? But I have since learned of the problems with credit and have changed my ways. I pay as much as I possibly can with cash. The look that I got when I paid my car payment in cash was priceless! The woman had to ask if I had a checking account or if I wanted to open one with them. She couldn't understand why I wanted to pay cash.

Now, to the main reason for this post. K-mart has re-instituted their layaway plan. That is, you take item(s) to the layaway counter, put a down payment on them, keep making payments until it is payed off and then you can take it home with you. The exact opposite of credit-cards that let you get the item now and pay for it later. I know that there are other smaller shops that do this for their customers as well.

What an interesting concept... paying for something before you get to take it home... Make sure you really want/need it. I'm not saying that you shouldn't use a credit card. I don't know your situation. But I am going to say that if you can get out and/or stay out of credit card debt, just imagine if you put the money that you are paying them and put it into the bank each month, how soon you would have enough to buy things with cash! Wouldn't it be nice to not have to worry about debt and credit card bills and car payments and someday even not worrying about a mortgage!?!?!

Think about it, and if it makes sense to you... Do It!


Chris W said...

Exactly....everyone wants instant gratificaton. We want it, we want it now, no matter the cost or outcome. I'd love to read a random list of credit card bills and see what all the purchases were. I'd imagine most are on frivilous items that no one really needs. I dated someone years ago who already at age 20 had over 20k in credit card debt, mostly on $400 purses, $300 shoes, and jewelry. My guess is that she is STILL paying on them. Luckily, Lisa and I only have 2. One is being paid off, and the other is kept strictly for emergencies. It saved our a$$es last year when the freezer decided to die with close to 200 lbs of fresh beef in it.

We use layaway at Kmart usually every year at xmas. It's easier than just trying to save and shop all at once, and definitly better than a credit card. Of course, since they're the only ones around that still have layaway, the lines can be insane. But, that shows how many people actually NEED something like layaway doesn't it?

Wallyworld did away with theirs last year. I came to find out that it was simply because they didn't have the room for so many packages. Every year they would have to bring in empty semi trailers just to store the layaways. It still makes no sense to me that with the amount of money these people make, they couldnt just add on the warehouse area to accomodate all this. Rather than do something so simple, they turn away thousands of possible customers/sales....I just don't get it.
I remember years ago when I worked at a Woolworth store, xmas layaway was HUGE. Sure, it was a major PITA, but I'd love to see the numbers now of the sales that came just from layaway. Hopefully with the economy the way it is, more companies will see the value of the layaway program and reinstate it, only time will tell. Great post!

Art Blomquist said...

Just webbumbled across your blog. It's now on my daily reading list.

It is my conjecture that 2009 will be a turning point in the failure of economic globalization. Of unfettered consumerism. These "hard times" may well be a period of grace that returns us to sanity.

Deciding the difference between my needs and my wants is often the start of our spiritual/financial rebirth.

FarmerGeek said...

Chris, exactly right!

Art, thanks for stopping by! I am sorry you started reading just as I took a bit of an unexpected hiatus, but I hope you stop on back now that I am back and raring to go!