“Stretching the Dollar: Buy Now and Pay Later Vs. Tightening Budgets
Recently, money worries have been pushing some shoppers to tighten their budgets while others chooses to buy now and pay later due to the rising cost of living. The rise in unemployment due to the pandemic has given rise to insecurity, leading many to hold back on spending for fear of not having the money available when bills come due. On the other hand, Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) payments have seen a boom in popularity, and this is expected to increase even further. It's a form of payment plan in which consumers can buy goods or services now on credit and pay for them later, usually in multiple installments. This type of payment could be a lifeline to those struggling financially. A no-interest or low-interest loan can be a great help for those who are strapped for cash. Shoppers are using BNPL services for both everyday purchases and bigger ticket items. A survey conducted by a fintech provider suggested that BNPL was responsible for half of all online fashion purchases in the U.K. in the first three months of 2020, compared with 35% in 2019. Although many shoppers see BNPL as a viable way to budget, they need to be careful not to get in over their heads. Shoppers should make sure they have the funds available to pay off their balance on time or risk getting into debt. It's also important to note that shoppers should be aware of any fees associated with BNPL payments and be aware of the interest rate charged if the payment plan isn’t paid off on time. Overall, shoppers have to make the right decision for their current situation. With more and more retailers offering BNPL payment plans, shoppers should consider their options and weigh the risks and rewards of using BNPL services. Responsible use of this servcies can be a great way to manage money while still making purchases.