When I first started thinking about how I was going to write this post, I started reading a lot of articles with a bunch of facts and figures about buy now, pay later (BNPL) companies like AfterPay. I got myself overwhelmed by crunching too many numbers to figure out why it is that I think companies like AfterPay are so bad, and then I started asking myself:
Is AfterPay really as shit as I keep making it out to be?
I stepped away from my laptop, took myself out for a walk and then thought about all of this as I sipped on some carrot cake tea with my housemates.
I realised that writing about facts and figures is not how I want to write my blog. I also realised that I don’t want to sit here and lecture you on why I think AfterPay is so shit. I want to write to you in a way that I would talk to my friends, and that means having an open and honest conversation with all of you about the best and worst things about AfterPay and what those things might mean for you. So, crack open a bottle of wine and let’s open up this conversation to hear what twenty-somethings really love/hate about AfterPay:
“Love that I don’t have to spend $300 on my hair at once” – @mymillenialmoneydiary
“I use it predominantly for online purchases that I’m not 100% sold on. So, instead of paying full price I pay only ¼ of the price until the item arrives and then I decide if I actually want to keep it or return it. In a lot of cases it doesn’t fit right or doesn’t look good and so I return it straight away. Then the money is returned back into my account and I haven’t gone without the full purchase price” – Jacob A (self-referred “savvy gal”)
“I love that I can budget for it. I’ve honestly never missed a payment and only have one purchase on at a time” – Sarah B
“I use it for bigger bills that I haven’t had the opportunity to save for because it’s a good back up plan” – Lizzi G
“Hate that it leads to impulse spending. I’m going to close my account” – @ju_de_d
“Hate how easy it is to spend. It feels like the cost is just the initial payment. Then…boom” – Anon
“I feel like it takes away the ‘excited feeling of achievement’ you experience when you can finally buy a particular item you’ve been saving for. You don’t get that same level of satisfaction you get after you’ve really hard to be able to afford something” – Sarah M
“Don’t love – it’s a trap. Bring back lay by – work hard for your purchase and then receive” – Courtney W
Everyone that shared their responses with me made some pretty valid points. So then, why is it that I hate BNPL services like After Pay so much? For me, there’s only one reason that I can give you to justify my dislike for them and that is that they give you an opportunity to get yourself into:
Debt, Debt & Even More Debt
If you haven’t read my article about Why You Need to Act Your Wage, then that is probably a good place for you to start before I get into my rant about how bad debt is for your savings. Being in debt stops you from saving money because it means that every time you get paid, some of that money is being wasted on paying off old purchases rather than being put towards your savings goals.
Sure, you might think that you’re fine to use AfterPay because you make sure you only have one purchase on there at a time or you only put small items on it, but it is a slippery slide. You might start by paying for one or two items using AfterPay, and then you just realllllyyy need a new pair of Lulu Lemon tights and then you’ve just gotta have a new pair of sneakers and before you know it you owe thousands of dollars. At that point, what happens to your savings goals? These goals get put on the back burner because you’re too busy paying off those tights that you haven’t seen since you did washing last week anyway.
Look, I get that our generation doesn’t want to wait two weeks to book a spontaneous trip to Melbourne when all of our friends are packing their bags and heading to the airport tonight. We don’t want to wait until our next pay cheque to order a new pair of jeans when, instead, we can have those jeans express shipped and delivered to us tomorrow, and we sure as hell don’t want to have to save up to be able to afford a trip to the Dentist when we have a toothache right now… BUT
If you can’t afford something right now, don’t buy it.
It’s as simple as that.
I called my Nan this afternoon to have our usual weekly yarn and she said something that really struck a nerve. The conversation went something like this:
“You know what’s wrong with your generation, Liv?”
“What’s that, Nan?”
“You’re all just so goddamn entitled.”
And you know what, as offensive as that might’ve been, I think she’s bloody right. Buying things that we can’t afford just shows how goddamn entitled we really are.
So, I’m preaching that we start proving these oldies wrong! Let’s stop buying useless shit that we don’t need when we can’t afford it. Let’s start actually working our asses off to save up for something before we buy it. Not only are we going to start to feel so much better about ourselves because we know we deserve every single thing that we’ve bought, but we’re also going to be able to save so much more now that AfterPay payments aren’t getting deducted from every single one of our pay cheques.
So, is it time for you to give up your AfterPay account?
Hell yes it is.
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The Stingy Bitch
Based in Sydney, Australia.
Created in 2020.
This site and all of it’s contents are provided for entertainment purposes only and do not constitute personal financial advice. All products that are mentioned are general product advice only, not personal product advice. Not all options are presented and my opinions are subject to change. All content and posts have been prepared as a general summary only and is not intended to be financial advice with respect to any particular matter. This post should not be relied on with respect to any particular matter. If you have questions about any aspect of the content or this site or otherwise require personal financial advice, you ought to seek financial advice. The author disclaims liability to any person who relies on this post.
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