“Buy Now, Pay Later” is a concept promoted to all consumers, and it is a temptation worth contemplating on before actually leaping on it.
What is Buy Now, Pay Later?
The concept premises itself on our shopping habits and our tendency to shop as therapy, or for pleasure. Creating a habit of spending spontaneously and emotionally, rather than structured or purposeful.
Paying later for something that we can own immediately, teases us to buy knowing that we don’t have the money available to pay for it on purchase. We are using someone else’s money to pay for things we want to own, but can’t afford to own.
Reflecting on our Spending Habits
What could this mean?
- That we are buying irrespective of considering the impact on our budget
- That shopping is a habit we can’t resist, that we don’t have control over our behaviour to own more things
- Have we considered how much the purchase would cost if we are incurring additional charges for “paying later”, that is using someone else’s money to shop?
- How big of a hole would it create in our cash flow when it is time to pay for it?
We can minimise the impact of these temptations to buy now, pay later only when:
- We are in control of our budget and we have a good idea of our cash flow position when it is time to pay for buying now
- If we know we are spontaneous shoppers then there is a buffer amount in our monthly cash flow that can take shopping urges or shocks
- That we take a pause to consider the purchase (do we really need to buy), before we press the button to buy
- Should we spend less time on online shopping sites, and instead direct our time to something productive or constructive?
Shopping is great when it is done consciously, with a plan and a budget, so that after the sweet joy of it, it does not cause more anxiety or stress on us, our relationships and commitments.
Building Better Money Habits
Look into where and how time is spent, and if any of the habits set you up to be vulnerable to shopping temptations. It would be wonderful if you go into temptations with eyes wide open, knowingly, enjoying it.
What we want to say is, the concept of “buy now, pay later” is the antithesis of being in control of the financial aspect of your life. It enables consumers to be a slave to their urges and their wants.
It isn’t a matter of having nice things; it’s a matter of being responsible for yourself and your security. If you don’t have the money for something that you want, allow that to fuel your drive to attain it.
What’s truly cool about someone is their authenticity, their awareness of themselves and their behaviour, and their resourcefulness. Be that person. Be authentic, aware, and resourceful. Identify and tackle the times when our brains are tricked to do something that will ultimately cost us more emotionally and financially.