I've had conversations with young people lately about a concept that they just can't seem to wrap their heads around. And that's partly because you don't see or hear it advertised.

It was called putting things "on layaway".

This was when you picked out what you wanted to buy and took it to the cashier. You then paid part of the purchase price, generally 20%. Then you left the store. Then, when you got paid again, you came back to the store and gave them some more of your money. And most of the stores would give you a couple of months to pay the entire balance and take your purchases home.

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My folks didn't have a lot of money. So mom would take my sister and me for school clothes shopping in July. That way my two pairs of jeans, a few shirts, and my blue velvet Traxx sneakers would all be paid for before school started.

For Nervous Consumers, Layaway Becomes A Popular Option
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Did shopping on a day when we should've been at Mitchell pool suck? Yes, it did. But we had that task out of the way. And when you are one of the first to do your shopping, stores haven't run out of anything.

And part of the reason for layaway was that people like my folks had a tough time obtaining credit fifty years ago. So we didn't have credit cards.

Many places still offer layaway. But one that struck me as kind of funny was finding out that you can now do layaway online. Yep. Amazon Prime and many other retailers let you make layaway payments online. Who knew?

Amazon Layaway
Credit: Amazon.com website


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