With the economy on the upswing national and local retailers alike are promoting layaway plans to help families buy something special for their loved ones without breaking the bank.

Identifying a safe and cost-effective layaway arrangement can be difficult.

First Fidelity Bank offers this tip for shoppers considering layaway this holiday season:

Keep records. Ask for a printed invoice of the entire payment schedule upon entering a layaway contract, and request a receipt each time you make a payment. This will avoid any confusion when the time comes to pick up your product.