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Ask Dave

Dave's Take on Layaway

Lori wants to know Dave's opinion on buying something using layaway. Does he have a problem with it?

QUESTION: Lori on Twitter asks what Dave thinks of layaway with no fees. Dave says it's not bad, but why not save your money. Cash is better.

Dave's ANSWER: It's okay. Layaway is when you set a product aside, pay on it a little bit every week until it's paid off, and then you pick it up. They hold it behind the counter for you.

I kind of prefer that you just save the money and buy the item. What would be wrong with that? Then you could have the option of doing other stuff with your money, and you would not be halfway into a bicycle or television. Why not just save up your money?

If someone argues that it's on sale, it usually is, one way or the other. You can find deals on things, and when you're walking around with cash in your pocket, you sometimes make different choices.

Layaway is basically a savings account that doesn't pay interest and it traps you into using the savings for only one thing. It's not bad, but it's just not good. Cash is better–you having the personal discipline to set that same amount aside each week or every month until you have enough set aside to buy something. One definition of maturity is learning to delay pleasure.