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A Smart Alternative to Charging Your Holiday Purchases

In order to avoid the stress of spending a large amount of money all at once at the end of the year or being tempted to charge my holiday purchases on credit cards, I start my shopping towards the beginning of the year. I do this because it just has not worked out well by any other method for me. If I make my list of ideas early, then I not only have time to find the perfect gift for each person, but I have the luxury of waiting until I can find an exceptional price for each gift.

Now I know not everyone can be as organized as I am. Nor do I pretend to think that everyone wants to even think about shopping for gifts after they just finished up with all that hubbub. For all those people who wait until the last minute, I do suggest that you start a little bit earlier . . . early enough to take advantage of the Kmart Layaway program. With this program you can take up to 8 weeks to pay off your purchase provided you make a payment every 2 weeks. This works out perfectly for my family, since my dear husband gets paid bi-weekly.

We have cut back on the gifting budget this year and have tried to save most of it for our children. The biggest purchase we have made is the gift from the big guy to our preschooler. Because I shopped early, I was able to find an exceptional deal . . . 25% off plus free shipping on a wooden train set plus a train table. If I hadn't been so lucky, I would definitely have taken advantage of the layaway service at Kmart. This is the exact wooden train set I purchased for my son. Putting it on layaway would have been a great alternative.

Also keep in mind that Sears, Kmart's parent company, is also offering layaway this year.

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