What a Great Idea!
The more I hear about the financial crisis, the more I begin to wonder if it's the most wonderful thing to happen in the past 30 years. The sudden return of layaway is not the least of them. Just as freeways cutting through freeways and smoking in public have fallen out of favor, perhaps credit cards will be things of the past in the next decade. The concept of something so desired that you can't wait to pay another $10 that makes it closer to reality is much more appealing than cursing the thing that is broken down, out of warranty and you still have three years to pay off at 28% interest.
When I was a child, my grandmother had a Christmas savings plan that had special deposit envelopes that she put five dollars in every Thursday afternoon. I remember sitting in her heavily air-conditioned Rambler in late August as she smiled at me and put her holly adorned envelope into a pneumatic tube and we both imagined those dollars going off somewhere magical tto bring back something memorable four months later.