Dear Dave,

How do you feel about using layaway programs?

Jay

Dear Jay,

I'm not a huge fan of layaway plans, because they're not really the solution to a problem. What's wrong with just saving up and buying stuff when you have the cash? I mean, Christmas comes at the same time every year, you know? It's not like it snuck up on you.

I know there are rare instances when particular items are on sale, and you can take advantage of it through layaway if you don't have the cash at the moment. I don't really have a problem with that kind of thing in rare instances. But I would not, under any circumstances, use a layaway plan that has fees attached. You might as well borrow the money if you're going that route.

Here's a good rule of thumb: if you don't have the money, you can't afford it. And make sure you don't get into the habit of lusting after things you don't own, because that lack of contentment is always tied to people being broke. Just don't make plans like this a way of life, Jay. If you do, you're liable to stay chained to layaway programs just like you'd be chained to debt!

-Dave

Dave Ramsey is America's trusted voice on money and business, and CEO of Ramsey Solutions. He has authored seven best-selling books, including The Total Money Makeover. The Dave Ramsey Show is heard by more than 12 million listeners each week on 575 radio stations and multiple digital platforms. Follow Dave on Twitter at @DaveRamsey and on the web at daveramsey.com.