Chris Childs

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Afterpay… Harmless… Right?

I don’t think so… Afterpay is one of the fastest growing ‘get money quick’ financial taps that is literally leaking money from our wallets.

Millennials are not the only ones who use afterpay, so many people in their 40’s and 50’s are finding it easy to ease their weekly shortfalls without missing out on the extra (and usually unnecessary) luxuries they can’t actually afford. While it might make buying those little items easier, it certainly is ‘breaking the bank’ when it comes to common sense budgeting and money planning.

Ok, so I sound like an old person… ‘I remember when…’ comments are about to spew forth. Sounds like granddad hey!

Unfortunately, the very practice of using Afterpay can lead to that slippery slope of major consumer debt that leads so many young people today to bankruptcy.  It is crazy when you think about it.

While Afterpay today could be considered the old layby system of yesterday, the problem is it is so easy to get the instant gratification hit, by buying something now and paying later, but by the time you have paid for it, you may have already thrown it out.

Same can be said for credit cards, nimble loans and the dreaded GE – Interest free offered by many retailers. All of these options feed the need for now. The debts pile up and before you know it, most of the weekly income is going out on paying for the ‘stuff’ that you bought that you really didn’t need. The cost of the interest starts to be bigger and more expensive than the item itself, making life and budgeting for the essentials more and more difficult.

The negative effect of Afterpay

What most people don’t realise is that there is more negatives about this instant money than just poor money management. When it comes to getting finance, real finance for something important like a home or investment property, the banks look at your credit history. They can tell what sort of money person you are. 

Every lending transaction is registered on your credit rating, every application for a loan or money advance including Afterpay, nimble, credit cards and GE interest free. If there are numerous transactions you will ‘fail’ the money test.

Why? The bank will think you may have low self-control and may lack the discipline of being able to manage money responsibly – and may say no to your loan based on your spending history. The bank credit officer will, from previous experience with ‘spending addicts’ believe that you may default on this important loan because of your lack of discipline and spending habits.

Your credit history will look like you have instant gratification need, just like a drug problem, this type of spending can develop into a full-blown addiction, ruining lives and even relationships. Afterpay has been commented upon, tongue in cheek, to be the ‘pot’ of the money drug habits. While ‘pot’ may not be considered big and dangerous and often people smoking a joint or two get through without diving down the slippery slope to harder drugs, like heroine and ICE, or harder debt drugs like credit cards and nimble loans, however, some do.

Your credit history is a bit like a points system.

The lower your points are the more attractive you are to a lender. Every time you apply for finance, it goes on your credit history and amasses points. Too much activity means too many points, which can spell a big rubber NO stamp on your home loan application.

With consumer debt and bankruptcies in Australia at an all-time high, it is important to get some control over the ease of impulse buying. Start doing some money planning and if you are tempted with Afterpay, consider asking yourself these 3 questions:

  1. Do I NEED this or do I WANT this item?
  2. Why do I need to use Afterpay – what has happened to my cash?
  3. If I waited and saved my money to pay for it and it took me 2 weeks – would I still come back and buy this exact item?

Break the cycle. Get your money under control. Make a plan, set some goals.

If you NEED to use Afterpay, I can assure you, you NEED to make a money plan!

Ok, off my soapbox now! 

How do you break the cycle? Make the most of the information and systems Think Money has put in place to help people just like you get your money under control and secure a safer and happier future. Money control doesn’t have to be hard or painful, it doesn’t have to be a ‘diet’ for your money – let’s face it – diets don’t work! It just needs to be a ‘lifestyle change’.

My BIG Money Goal

MBMG Is a program I developed from my experience with weight loss. I realised that debt reduction was very similar to weight reduction. I found diets didn’t work. They may have worked for a little while, but they didn’t work for long. I was told it needed to be a lifestyle change… (eye roll!). In the end, it turned out to be true.  I have lost 60kg and tracking towards making it 100!

Dieting (going without the nice stuff to save ) doesn’t work for your money either – it needs to be a lifestyle change. I spent about 2 years putting together an easy to follow and fun lifestyle change program that has looked for and found the ‘leakage and wastage’ of our clients’ money, without taking away lifestyle. Our clients literally pay their mortgages off faster than ever before and increase their lifestyle along the way. They can even set themselves up for a comfortable retirement as well!

Jump onto mybigmoneygoal.com.au and check it out. You can make a time to come in and have a complementary chat or come to one of our free events where we cover information for every money life stage.

Money Talks

Don’t have a home or mortgage yet? This is a great place to start if you are trying to change your money habits and save for a worthwhile purpose like a first home, car or holiday or just to learn the 7 things they should have taught you at school that would have made you a millionaire by the time you were 25. It is good for young people just getting started, or for renters of any age trying to get out of debt or save for a home. For new starters, or for restarters, it is a great free event led by our money management team.

First Home Owners Academy

The name is self-explanatory, it is a great education seminar where we teach you all of the tricks and traps of getting into your own home. What the banks look at and for when assessing you, why using a mortgage broker gives you a huge edge on going to the bank direct, what the hidden or forgotten costs are in buying a home, and most importantly what to look for in a home, in the purchase contract and inclusions that most builders don’t include.

We teach you why you need a fixed price contract and what it needs to include to save you some major headaches during the process.  This is a MUST ATTEND event if you are considering (or your kids are considering) buying your first home. Our money management team, our finance brokers and our property team all give their time and their knowledge to assist first home buyers in their journey.

Wealthy ‘n’ Wise and Think Wealth for Women

These events are designed for people who already have a home and probably a mortgage to go with it! We cover everything from fast debt reduction – how to pay your home off in 3-5 years instead of 25 to how to get into the investment property market without losing your lifestyle. I normally present these great seminars that are packed full of information from my almost 30 years in the money and property industries and from my experiences good and bad with money and property along the way.

Book in for one of our free events

Personal Wealth Coaching Session

If you would like to make a time to come and see myself or Anita (our first home owner specialist and Debt reduction coach) don’t hesitate to call. We offer a free 2-hour session where we can assess where you are and where you want to be, and create your personal road map to achieve your goals.

There is no pressure or tricks, it is just a genuine offer to assist, I guarantee you will learn heaps, and something you didn’t know – and as the old saying goes ‘you don’t know what you don’t know’. The session is complimentary and we will tell you what Think Money does, the costs and how we can help…. And we have great coffee!

Think Money - Book a free Money Mastery Session

Look forward to hearing from you soon.