For a few years now, I have been the biggest cheerleader for the ‘shop now, pay later’ scheme, Afterpay.
If you know me personally, you would know that I have used and loved this notion of ‘responsible spending’ since the launch of the business in 2015.
Quite frankly I don’t even remember a time without it… and that’s the problem.
Watch: Simple budgeting with a banana. Post continues below.
I will never forget when I discovered its existence, and thinking about what an amazing idea it was (but also annoyed that I didn’t think of the idea first).
It was exactly what I needed; a guilt-free way of spreading out my purchases over a period of time to make it more financially manageable. The world was my spending oyster as far as I was concerned.
I could never understand why people were so against the business because it just made SO much sense to me, and to an extent, still does!
My advocacy for the fortnightly scheduled payments never wavered. It became annoying to me when people would question my spending habits, tell me I didn’t need to purchase what I had, or laugh at my constant use of the app.
‘They just don’t understand,’ I used to say to myself. ‘If I was earning as much as they were, I wouldn’t need to use this!’
There was not a single doubt in my mind about my use or dependency on this app, whatsoever.
That was, until the weeks that would roll by where I would be left with nothing. Absolutely nothing. Not a single cent. Not even enough to buy myself a coffee in the morning with a staff discount (that’s $3).
That’s when it hit me – that I physically could not spend money normally anymore; everything I was purchasing was being divided into four payments in my mind. I was totally incapable of spending my money responsibly.
I was an addict. I was completely addicted to spending money and engulfed in the feeling of having everything I wanted. If you search the definition of being an addict, it characterises it as an ‘enthusiastic devotee’, but I knew that it was more than that.
Growing up, I never wanted to miss out on anything, no matter what it was. I always wanted to be included in plans, invited to birthdays and buy into trends that everyone else was wearing or doing.