Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Lay Away Away

Just the other day I did a very frugal thing, I returned to a store with an on-going sale and asked for the difference in charges from the previous non-sale week's purchases. Yes, you can do that in most chain stores. Anyway, the lady said, "Okay, we owe you." Then we both stood there for a long time before she realized I had paid in cash and said, "Gosh, no one pays in cash anymore." Exactly!

This is exactly why our economy is in the crapper. People spend money they don't have on things they don't need. The average person owes $4,200 in credit card debt. $8,100 if you count per household. That is averaging in the 25% that don't even own credit cards. What that tells me is we've been a society living on borrowed money and borrowed time. We lived beyond our means in a false pretense of being a part of the so-called middle class.

So, it's no wonder the sales person was shocked to learn I used cash to pay for my purchases. Instead of seeing me as an anomaly, retail shops should expect people to spend with money they have. If they don't have it, then they should either save to purchase objects or at least use the lay away method. Request the shops you frequent add this payment option if they don't already do so. Lay Away is where stores put an item aside for you and you pay in increments until the item is fully paid off. Then and only then are you allowed to take the item home.

How else do you think we an change our horrific spending habits?


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