Spending beyond our means is easy to do with the lures of seductive advertising and offers of easy credit. Many of us are juggling our finances and only just able to keep up with payments ...until something unexpected happens like an unplanned expense or a drop in income.
Buy-now-pay-later options are being promoted as a new upbeat alternative to credit cards and credit contracts. And is offered in an instant without interest or paperwork.
No fees, no interest, no cost …right?
And it’s not like…debt...is it??
Spreading the cost of an item over a few weeks can be convenient. But, Yes, buy-now-pay-later contracts are debt, and you are locked into the payment plan that you accept at the point of sale. If you miss a payment or pay late there are default fees that are added to your balance owed and it goes against your credit score.
'Debt is dumb. Cash is king.' - Quote Dave Ramsey
Buy-now-pay-later options are a marketing strategy used to lure people into making purchases. They tempt us with low payment options to buy things that we might otherwise consider unaffordable. It's a trap... just one purchase activates an onslaught of sweet deals and offers that are designed to wear down buyer resistance and if we’re not careful before we know it, we've booked up a debt storm.
“In the days where we just had cash in our wallets, we'd spend it and it was gone, so we would stop spending. Now through clever marketing, we are encouraged to keep spending by booking up on credit cards, overdrafts, credit contracts, and using Buy-Now-Pay-Later options." - Lynda, Moni Ora
The principles of budgeting haven’t changed. It’s still a ‘money in, money out’ calculation with the golden rule of ‘spend less than you earn’. But the way we spend has changed dramatically over a few short years.
At Moni Ora, we have noticed that buy-now-pay-later has become a popular option and many people are now juggling these extra payments and struggling to make ends meet. People can feel that they are managing their money by juggling payments but it is just an illusion.
Jolleen* was not bothered by her after-pays because the things she bought weren't expensive and they will be paid off in a few weeks. So, no big deal.
After working through the budgeting process with her financial mentor Jolleen was shocked at just how much she had booked up. A few dollars here and a few dollars there soon added up to a heap of debt that could have been avoided with a little planning. Jolleen will be feeling cash-strapped until she clears all of her after-pays. *not real name
By setting aside an affordable amount regularly we can pay for the things we want without the stress of juggling. Having money set aside gives us more options and resilience for when life throws the unexpected at us.
Knowing what our goals are and having a clear understanding of the difference between needs and wants can help us to make better choices when we are under pressure, or tempted by sweet deals.
Financial mentors support people to make personalised plans that prioritise what is important for them. It's about getting what we want without sacrificing what we need.
Being tied to debt payments depletes our independence and our choices.
Whānau are the experts in their own lives and maintain tino rangatiratanga,
self-determination, by leading their own journey – Moni Ora Code of Ethics
Find downloadable budgeting tools here
The Moni Ora spending planner is great for keeping track of any Buy-Now-Pay-Later purchases along with your usual weekly expenses and commitments.
See the Gisborne Herald article, Afterpay Pitfalls; Aug-2021
Plan better Live Better
Clear debt and take control of your money!