I am not sure if you have noticed but everywhere you look these days there is an advert for either “Afterpay” or “Zip Pay” and what they are offering is that you can have what you are wanting today and pay for it in 3 easy payments!!!

I have been horrified for some time now how easy it is to just buy whatever we want without checking that we can afford it and I am especially concerned for our young people and the pressures they face to look good and to fit in – this could well be a means to ensnare them into a world of debt.

So I really would like to issue a warning about this as I think that it could 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 cyber space and our money passes seamlessly between those we choose to buy from and our ever depleting bank accounts thereby becoming less and less physical and becoming more and more fictitious. I believe that facilities like Zip pay and Afterpay are one more thing that have the potential to lure us into buying something extra that we really couldn’t afford to buy simply because we are given the opportunity to “pay for it later”.

We have discussed in the past the dangers of interest free as opposed to saving for an item. The reason I believe it is better to save is because we will often make a decision to commit to a set payment plan based on what we know of our financial position today. 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.

Times have changed though, in the past when we spoke of those things 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. I am just concerned that it is one more thing that will cause both young and old to over commit and get themselves into a mess financially.

So I am asking that we all 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.

Until next time – stay in control!!