Have you noticed that everywhere you look these days, there is an advert for either “Afterpay” or “Zip Pay”?
They’re offering you the chance to have what you want today, and pay for it later in “four easy payments”.
It has been horrifying to me, just how easy it is to buy whatever we want without checking that we can afford it, especially for our young people. They face enormous pressure to look good and to fit in. This could well be a means to ensnare them into a world of debt.
Be careful! Afterpay can produce some serious problems. We live in a world filled with credit. No longer are we using cash and know exactly how much we have and its limits. Instead, we are operating more and more within cyberspace, and our money passes seamlessly between those we choose to buy from and our ever-depleting bank accounts.
What this means is that our money and payments are becoming less and less physical – and more and more fictitious. Facilities like Zip Pay and Afterpay are yet another obstacle luring us into buying something extra that we really couldn’t afford, simply because we are given the opportunity to “pay for it later”.
Interest Free or Saving Up – Which is Better?
When it comes to interest-free vs saving for an item, I believe it is better to save – because we will often commit to a payment plan based on what we know of our financial position today. But things can change overnight, and what we could afford when we made the decision can quickly turn into a burden – because the income we relied on has reduced or even dried up totally.
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Times have changed, too. In the past when we spoke of interest free loans, we were talking about fridges and cookers and couches…things that are expected to last for a few years. Now we have the ability to use such schemes to buy clothing, which in some people’s hands is an item that is worn once or twice and then discarded: in fashion this week, out of fashion the next.
This could be one more thing that will cause both young and old to overcommit and get themselves into a mess financially.
Think very carefully before taking advantage of this type of payment arrangement, and if you have young people in your household, maybe take the time to discuss it with them. If you personally have used it – stop and think twice before falling prey to what could be a financial trap.
Article supplied with thanks to Coach Chris. About the Author: Chris is a financial coach with a vision for helping people “get their money into great shape” no matter what their income.