Author Topic: Christmas on layaway!  (Read 4362 times)

chouchouu

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Christmas on layaway!
« on: October 20, 2012, 11:37:39 AM »
I'm a member of a birthboard where this little gem was posted;

Is this too much?

Went christmas shopping for ori today. Ended up getting her a few "big" things (ie; over $25)
*Playskool pink elephant ball popper
*Little people princess songs castle
*A talking vanity that teaches letters and numbers and generally just made her squeal in glee and excitement
*Some talking dog toy named violet that does multiple things like teaching letters numbers songs etc.

I'm going to get her books... some board puzzles... and a few of the smaller toys that aren't availiable to put on lay a way. I just don't want to go overboard. I want to make sure she has a nice christmas but I don't know if I'm getting too much or too little, since my sister always breaks the bank for her kids I don't have anything realistic to compare to.


Of course the majority of comments were that it wasn't too much but she could always set aside some of the gifts for the one year birthday (yes baby will be ten months at Christmas) in February. I commented that I didn't see much utility in "educational toys" that merely spout out recorded numbers and mentioned that since she was using layaway it did sound like she was spending too much. Cue all these self righteous comments about how layaway is sound financial planning and so much better than credit cards. I almost puked myself and decided I'd better sign up for the Mustachian forum asap. So here I am!

Karl

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Re: Christmas on layaway!
« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2012, 01:13:46 PM »
Welcome to a little corner of sanity.

I remember receiving talking toys as gifts for my daughter a couple years ago.  We quietly removed the batteries before she found out that she could turn on the toys to make noise (thus providing an additional bit of sanity in my world).

If you want to teach your children, then try the following high-tech toys/activities:
1.  Read to your children every day.
2.  Talk to your children and respond to their actions.

For a child, love=time, not toys.

Ok, enough soap boxing for one day.

Jamesqf

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Re: Christmas on layaway!
« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2012, 09:30:57 PM »
I don't think the real problem here is arguing about whether or not layaway is sound financial planning, it's the idea that a 10-month old infant would be able to get any use at all out of those things.  Maybe if they lay them away until the kid's 3 or 4...

Nudelkopf

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Re: Christmas on layaway!
« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2012, 11:02:21 PM »
Haha. I worked 3 Christmas's at layaway (lay-buy, in Australia) and it could be pretty hilarious.

One woman put away $1000 of Star Wars lego for her husband. Lol. But people would go much crazier for their kids.

strider3700

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Re: Christmas on layaway!
« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2012, 11:20:52 PM »
For those of us that do most things on cash.  I understand and have credit cards  but what's layaway?    I always assumed it was getting someone to sit something aside so that you could pick it up later and pay at that time... 

Worsted Skeins

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Re: Christmas on layaway!
« Reply #5 on: October 21, 2012, 08:44:55 AM »
For those of us that do most things on cash.  I understand and have credit cards  but what's layaway?    I always assumed it was getting someone to sit something aside so that you could pick it up later and pay at that time...

Layaway is an old fashioned idea that has made a comeback.  Essentially someone puts $x down and then pays $y weekly until the set pickup time.  Usually the store charges a fee for the service.


dionysiandame

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Re: Christmas on layaway!
« Reply #6 on: October 21, 2012, 09:06:09 AM »
I don't think the real problem here is arguing about whether or not layaway is sound financial planning, it's the idea that a 10-month old infant would be able to get any use at all out of those things.  Maybe if they lay them away until the kid's 3 or 4...

Yeah, I'm kind of leaning this way myself. If she's planning on storing the toys until the child reaches the appropriate age to get utility out of them and then plans to pass them along to relatives, charity shops, etc- hey, more power to her.

I don't see anything wrong with layaway, it makes more sense for some income classes to do this as opposed to using credit cards, especially if they may be guarding themselves against fluctuations in price. I've never used it, but if there was something I really wanted where the option was available I would.

Hey, at least she's not using Fingerhut.

caligulala

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Re: Christmas on layaway!
« Reply #7 on: October 21, 2012, 09:51:29 AM »
We have one talking toy. The alphabet train. Before I had kids, I was all up on my high horse about talking toys, but now I think having a couple of them isn't so bad. Does everything need to be "interactive"? No, but that stupid train has been a toy workhorse and has taught both kids the alphabet, which is a rote memorization exercise.

And I can't condemn layaway either. At least she's figuring out how much she can set aside for gifts each week and makes that payment in cash. Far better than impulse buying all that stuff on a credit card and then worrying about paying for it later. If she can't make the payments at least all she is out is the restocking fee instead of hundreds of dollars in interest.

I guess I don't see what is so shameful here. People's financial awareness is on a continuum and to me it seems like she's at least aware enough to try to stay within her means. Maybe by setting a non-judgmental example, you could inspire her to a less consumeristic Christmas next year.

okits

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Re: Christmas on layaway!
« Reply #8 on: October 21, 2012, 12:29:58 PM »
I commented that I didn't see much utility in "educational toys" that merely spout out recorded numbers and mentioned that since she was using layaway it did sound like she was spending too much. Cue all these self righteous comments about how layaway is sound financial planning and so much better than credit cards. I almost puked myself and decided I'd better sign up for the Mustachian forum asap. So here I am!

For some people, a happy Christmas = insane amount of presents. It just does. I'm sure I felt like this at one point, and it's such a visceral instinct that it's not easily reasoned away by someone who just wants to cavort in a field of wrapping paper on Christmas morning.

Your response was right, of course.  The other posters might have been receptive to the idea that the OP need not feel pressured to keep up with her sister's spending, because what her kid needs is her love and time, not stuff. People feel judged when you point out that they do their children no favors by blowing money the parents don't have on items with low utility (toys.) 

Closer to December I think I'll start a Christmas support-group thread. Last year our household spent thousands (yes, thousands) in total, on Christmas. For gifts and entertainment for about a dozen people.  I'm expecting resistance to doing much to improve the figure this year, but am going to try.

gooki

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Re: Christmas on layaway!
« Reply #9 on: October 23, 2012, 02:39:50 AM »
We have a pretty good rule for Christmas gifts.  One gift from Santa, one gift from the family.

They'll get plenty spoilt by relativies.

chouchouu

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Re: Christmas on layaway!
« Reply #10 on: November 02, 2012, 03:21:17 PM »
And I can't condemn layaway either. At least she's figuring out how much she can set aside for gifts each week and makes that payment in cash. Far better than impulse buying all that stuff on a credit card and then worrying about paying for it later. If she can't make the payments at least all she is out is the restocking fee instead of hundreds of dollars in interest.

I guess I don't see what is so shameful here. People's financial awareness is on a continuum and to me it seems like she's at least aware enough to try to stay within her means. Maybe by setting a non-judgmental example, you could inspire her to a less consumeristic Christmas next year.

The problem I have with layaway is that it is clear that the person is living paycheck to paycheck, they have no savings to buy these wants so have to utilise layaway. It seems crazy because not only are the amount of gifts extravagent but it didn't occur to the person that the money would be better off going to savings or paying off debt. If the money were put into a college fund instead the approx $150 (no idea just guessing) would be about $600 by the time the kid finishes high school. I don't understand the concept of scrimping all your extra funds to purchase something that is a want, not a need. Let's face it, all the products that can be purchased on layaway are not needs so should never be purchased. If you can't afford to buy them your money is better going into your bank account. It's sad that being out of cc debt is considered an achievement, having a solid savings account you can rely on for extra living costs should be the norm.