Payment is either immediate, known as "spot cash," or deferred. If deferred, the articles purchased are charged by the dealer, and a bill rendered the first of each month. When a charge account is opened, a good business reference must be given. According to another system, articles may be paid for in installments, - that is, so much each month, according to some agreement. Of this method it may be said that it is unsafe, or at least unwise, always. Remember that more is always paid in the end.
In either case the payment may be made in bills, specie, or by checks; although in ordinary shopping immediate payment is usually made in bills and specie.
The advantage of immediate payment is that the buyer spends only what she has, and does not count on future money. This method of payment enables one to keep the balance well in hand. It necessitates, however, keeping bills and specie in the house, and in one's pocketbook, with the possibility of theft or loss; and cash payment takes more time in the shop, with the long wait for change. Sending "collect on delivery" (C.O.D.) is a way of making cash payment and saving time at the shop. Be sure that in this case there is the exact change at home, and some one ready to receive the goods.
Charging goods makes for economy of time. If you can remember that an article charged means money spent, this is a safe plan. One careful buyer says that she is too optimistic to have a charge account; too sure that while she has not cash enough to-day for something that she wants, she will surely have it by the first of next month.
There is another method of payment introduced by a few large department stores. The firm requires a monthly deposit at the first of each month and charges up purchases against this. This is good in so far that the customer is spending money that he really has, but it restricts purchases to that one shop, and this is inadvisable in the case of a small income.