If there's a big-ticket, must-have gift on your shopping list, put down the plastic and try this instead.
Layaway, a program in which you put down a deposit on a costly item and make a series of installment payments toward it, is back for the holiday season. Walmart's program, which runs from Sept. 12 to Dec. 12, is in full swing.
You can also put gifts on layaway at GameStop, Toys R Us, Sears and other retailers. Some airlines, including Delta and United, offer programs that will allow you to pay for your vacations under an installment plan.