finance

"I've just discovered AfterPay, and it's ruining my life."

Guys, AfterPay is ruining my life.

Sorry for the dramatics, but it’s true. Four days ago, I made my first AfterPay purchase. And in one click, my well-meaning financial intentions have gone down the drain.

For those who don’t know, allow me to give you a quick crash course on AfterPay. Available at most online retailers, it’s like the modern lay-by — but instead of having to wait for your purchase, returning to the counter with your $20 of pocket money once a fortnight, it’s delivered to your door straight away.

And there’s basically no catch. Just the total amount of your purchase divided into four even, fortnightly payments scheduled to come out of your bank account. No interest, no waiting. It’s a perfect example of society’s need for instant gratification — get it now, pay the price later.

Listen: Mamamia Out Loud discuss how your lavish lifestyle of daily brunches is stopping you from buying a house (post continues after audio…)

I know what you’re thinking: AfterPay isn’t new. Sure, I’ll admit I’m a poor excuse for a millennial, but don’t lump me in with the baby boomers. I do know this fancy techy stuff exists.

The thing is, until four days ago, there was an irksome, ominous feeling in the pit of my stomach that prevented me from using the feature. My gut told me it was bad news, and I should’ve listened.

For starters, the whole idea just seemed too good to be true. Too… nice. I had so many questions. Is there a catch? Do I really get my shoes straight away? WHY AREN’T YOU CHARGING ME INTEREST?!

She speaks the truth. (Image: Giphy)
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Layby without the wait and no strings attached? 'Yeah nah', I thought pessimistically. And rightly so, considering the number of ads Facebook force feeds me on blogging masterclasses and teeth whitening.

So I continued my considered online shopping routine: browse items, place said items into my cart, then exit browser. The great thing about this is there's a very small chance you'll receive a friendly 10 per cent off on your items 'left behind'.

Failing this, the method gives me time to think about how badly I really need those boots AND that bag. There's nothing quite like the adrenaline rush of an impulse purchase. We've all learnt that lesson the hard way, which is why it's generally best to sleep on it.

But four days ago, after returning from a particularly busy day at work, I needed a boost. Something to lift my spirits. So I logged onto The Iconic, selected a modestly-priced pair of heels, and proceeded to the checkout. This is where it all went wrong, because this is where AfterPay reeled me in from the realm of rational decisions.

Once you've selected AfterPay, there's no going back. (Image: Supplied)
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'What's the harm?' I thought. 'It's only four fortnightly payments of $20, right? It's fine, two of the payments won't even come out until next week's pay, so that's Future Me's problem, right?'

WRONG.

Because, two days later, it happened again. Except this time, it was four equal payments of $80. So now I'm up to my eyeballs in repayments for items I couldn't afford in the first place, and it's all because of AfterPay.

How will I buy food? What about a social life? To be frank, things have escalated real quick, and this pickle I've found myself in is now well and truly Present Me's problem, and I'm having a bit of trouble dealing with it.

Things have... escalated. (Image: Supplied)

Thanks to you, AfterPay, I'll be spending the rest of the month in a 'me' shaped indent on the couch watching Netflix and eating batch-cooked frozen meals.

And you can be damn sure I'll be wearing the shoes you helped me buy, because they're fabulous.

*And no, this isn't a some kind of sick, twisted AfterPay advertorial. It's a cautionary tale.

Do use AfterPay? Have you had any regrettable purchases?

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