It’s that time of year again, parents. Kid ask Santa for expensive tech gifts like an iPhone X, iPads, the latest gaming consoles, expensive video games, new computers, and many other things. So how is a parent supposed to afford to buy them without wracking up a huge amount of debt? Well, I’ll tell you. I have three sons and they always want the latest gadgets. My husband and I both work, but we’re not wealthy. Here are some of the ways that we’ve been able to afford the latest tech toys for kids without going into debt:

Layaway

Yep – that popular payment plan from the 80’s is back. When you’re looking at spending about $300 on tech toys for kids, it adds up really quickly. Fortunately, Walmart, Target and many other stores offer layaway plans. If you’ve never used this payment plan, here’s how it works: you pick out the gifts that you want to give your kids at the store. Then, you take them to a special counter where a cashier rings them all up together and gives you a total price. You have to pay a certain percentage down, usually 20%. Then, the cashier takes the total, subtracts that 20%, and breaks it up into payments. You can choose the number of payments. Then, you just keep making the payments until the items are completely paid off. That’s when you get to take your gifts home.

Avoid the Christmas shopping rush with layaway.

Putting items on layaway helps you avoid the Christmas shopping rush, too.

So for example, I went to Walmart in July and put all my kids’ Christmas presents on layaway. I made monthly payments on all of them until December. Then I made the final payment, brought them home, wrapped them, and put them under the tree. Layaway is great because I get to buy my kids the gifts they want without piling on a ton of credit card debt.

Shop For Refurbished Electronics

Refurbished electronics have been returned by other customers, then fixed up and put back up for sale. Often, these tech toys for kids are exactly the same as the brand new models. They just cost a lot less because they needed to be fixed. Many still come in the original packaging, so your kids will never know that it’s not a completely new item. If you’re shopping for gaming consoles, iPads, and TVs, you can save a lot of money by choosing refurbished items over new ones. Some of them still come with their original warranties, too. If anything goes wrong, you can get them fixed at no cost. I’ve bought lots of refurbished phones, iPads and gaming consoles for my kids and have never had a problem.

Categories: Shopping