Old new, layaway online at Kmart

It's not quite an official holiday -- heck, it's not even a Hallmark holiday -- but Kmart has declared this National Layaway Week. And while layaway can make a meaningful difference, particularly when budgeting for holiday gifts, don't forget you'll be paying for the privilege.

Kmart made news last year when it revived its layaway program and sister store, Sears, quickly followed suit. Now, both Kmart and Sears are extending the program to online shoppers, bringing a decidedly old practice to the newer medium.

The whole process is really pretty simple. Plug in your zip code to find a store near you offering the program (not all are) and select your items. Once you've registered and selected payment type, that store puts aside your items and online payments can be made every two weeks. Paid up items are then collected at the store.

But like many good things in life, layaway isn't free. Kmart and Sears charge a $5 fee for each item and requires a down payment of $15 or 10%, whichever is greater.