Help! Anyone! Everyone! I think I may be addicted to Afterpay.

I shop for things on sale which I don’t necessarily need, with money that isn’t mine because when I see that one massive payment broken down into four equal and far smaller amounts it just seems so much more achievable!

The problem

Here’s the problem though – when you’re shopping with funds you don’t currently have, what guarantee is there that the money will make itself available in the near future?

Am I planning on winning the lotto? Or spending less on things like essentials? How exactly is that extra fortnightly repayment going to magically appear? Where does it come from – especially when you work off a specific budget?

Is there even a plan at all?

Addicted to Afterpay or just obsessed?

I have been trying for MONTHS to break my Afterpay addiction. Which is a huge indication to me that it is more of an ‘addiction’ than simply an obsession, otherwise I would have succeeded by now- although I prefer to tell myself that it’s just a ‘convenience’.

The cycle is incredibly simple- I visit my favourite websites regularly, browse their ‘sales’ section, and then convince myself that I am about to embark on the greatest purchase, one which will actually somehow be SAVING me money- especially if the items that are on sale are items on my wish list!

“85% off, PLUS use the code word to save an ADDITIONAL 15% AND if you’re one of the FIRST 50 customers you will receive a BONUS FREE gift with purchase! Spend $100 to receive FREE shipping!”… sound familiar? These are my all time favourite sales pitches.

It’s the Free Shipping!

‘Free shipping’ gets me every time! After I’ve added all the items to my cart from my wish list that are on sale, I will search for more sale items to make up the amount required to receive free shipping- sometimes it’s a matter of a $10 product vs. $10 on postage.

I usually create a ‘Wishlist’ on each of my favourite websites with all the full priced products I think I need in my life- then as soon as they go on clearance my mind tells me it’s the opportune moment to buy these things, before they SELL OUT!

Sometimes I tell myself that for the price it’s been reduced to I wouldn’t be able to even purchase the fabric that it’s made out of.

It HAS To Be On Sale

I don’t Afterpay anything that isn’t on sale- I’m one of those people that actually feels sad to see the price I could have bought something for if only I had waited. And I don’t really mind about whether a colour or style is in season or not- if I love how it looks then I’m more than happy to wait for it to be heavily reduced in price even if it’s not ‘in season’ or ‘on trend’ when I buy it. And it has to be significantly discounted as well, not merely 20% off.

I mean if I didn’t want items at sale prices I’d only shop the brands who never reduce the price of their products… like Louis Vuitton… in my dreams!

So Sneaky

To make matters worse, the words “Sorry, we’re unable to approve your order” doesn’t deter me from using Afterpay. No, I’ve developed a ‘system’, I simply make a couple of early repayments and then go back to the online store and successfully checkout with Afterpay anyway.

I figured that by doing this, opposed to checking out with a different form of payment, I am still ‘keeping on top’ of my Afterpay repayment schedule- even though technically I am still increasing my spending.

It’s such a vicious cycle!

To help me to try and slow down, I started showing my husband my online shopping carts before checking out. He was mind blown at the savings which didn’t help me whatsoever!

I’m A Savvy Buyer

In fact, I’d say he made matters worse! He calls me a ‘savvy buyer’, which is true I guess, but is it honestly still ‘savvy’ if you’re using a payment method other than the finances you already have in your bank account?

I once asked him what items he felt I should remove from a cart with fifty items in it- and he struggled to even pick three!

Admittedly I am really fortunate to somehow always find the greatest of sales. Gorgeous girls dresses reduced from $30 to $5 for example. School clothing reduced to $4. King-sized pure wool mattress toppers reduced to $25. Savvy shopping in some ways is both a blessing as well as a curse… but I choose to focus on the benefits!

The catch with these sales is that you actually do have to be quick – often as soon as something is marked as clearance it’s removed from the website, so if you want it, you have to act fast and remember you can always get a refund once it arrives.

We Need It All…..Mostly

Realistically all the items I end up purchasing are ones we would need… except for that four bedroom double walled tent that I purchased for $30… I still don’t know what I was thinking when I purchased that and my hubby figured we should keep it opposed to returning it and go camping in the garden- seriously that man is nothing but a bad influence!

When are you officially addicted to Afterpay?

Is Afterpay only considered an addiction once you fail to meet any of your repayments? Or is it a problem from the moment you realise that it’s something you struggle to stop using?

One time I even made a ‘Don’t break the chain’ chart, where I coloured in the date for every day that I didn’t use Afterpay. The idea being that you don’t miss a day in the ‘chain’. Once I got to the two week mark however it all went pear shaped again.


So then I unsubscribed from all my favourite brand’s mailing lists. Stopped visiting the sales sections and viewing my wish list… but inevitably a birthday would pop up or something would break and need replacing… and then there I’d be back online searching for the best deals.

Really it makes me feel happy in a way keeping up to date with prices and special offers.

Certain ‘cash back’ deals only happen every so often so it’s good to be aware of when they’re on and how long for- especially if you have an appliance on the way out.

Recently eBay partnered with Afterpay and I must admit I’ve been avoiding finding bargains on their site ever since – I mean eBay is LOADED with never ending deals!

I’ve even opened a new savings account and named it ‘Afterpay’ just so that I know the repayments are available for when the time comes- I mean I wouldn’t really be “saving” anything during sales if I had to cough up late payment fees.

It’s So Handy!

Admittedly it does come in handy for unexpected expenses, things that need replacing around the home that just die on you. And occasionally it even helps make ends meet, especially if you have several excursion notes come in all at once requiring payment and you just need to balance your finances for a couple of weeks.

Perhaps Afterpay isn’t so bad after all, it does help me to me buy things at awesome prices… words of a true addict? Fact? Or possibly a bit of both?

Are you also addicted to Afterpay? Tell us in the comments below!

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  • Super handy but can also be a risky financial trap


  • I haven’t used it but fear it could be a problem for some.


  • Convenient to start but not so convenient when your paying it all off


  • This is exactly why I refuse to use AfterPay. I would say you need to stop using it altogether, remove that temptation completely


  • A friend of mine is a mortgage advisor and she says that many lenders frown upon potential borrowers who use buy-now-pay-later services a lot, as it is basically a sign that they are buying things that they cannot afford at the time. She said that people need to think what the true cost would be if they couldn’t get a loan in future that they might need. E.g. if they couldn’t get a home-loan or could only get one through a lender with higher interest rates due the perceived risk. This could end up costing you tens of thousands of dollars in the long run. So buy-now-pay-later services may be great in the short-term, but may seriously impact your future bigger purchases like a home.


  • I’m avoiding using afterpay, it sounds like you can get yourself into trouble that you don’t want.


  • I was addicted to afterpay. Buying stuff with money I don’t actually have made me realise I needed to stop especially with the impulse buying. I don’t regret closing my account at all.


  • Definitely not an addiction l want!


  • I have used it a few times. Not addicted.


  • I have used it once or twice and the thought of not having the money caused me great anxiety. I can see how it could become a problem, just like a CC.


  • I’ve never used afterpay. I have an addictive personality and I find it best to stay away from certain things.


  • It sounds as though you do have a problem.


  • That’s a problem. You have to pay for your purchases eventually.


  • Never used this and never will. Unless I have the cash to pay for something, I won’t buy it.


  • Never used it and wouldn’t if no cash upfront no payment plan is how I budget


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