Save Now, Play Later: Adopting a ‘save up for it’ philosophy vs. BNPL

Women Who Money
5 min readSep 12, 2022

(This page may contain affiliate links and we may earn fees from qualifying purchases at no additional cost to you. See our Disclosure for more info.)

Buying now and paying later when shopping online has become America’s new way to pay-a natural progression for a country that runs on credit.

In fact, 60% of consumers use or have used the buy now pay later (BNPL) services for purchases, while 50% are currently making payments to pay off items bought through these services.

It’s easier than ever for shoppers to spend above their means and pay with money they don’t have at the time of purchase.

With Affirm, Afterpay, Klarna, and Uplift-among dozens of other platforms-consumers can pay in segments for anything from clothes to food to flights.

But it’s no coincidence that even experts at Forbes, BuisinessInsider, and CNN have warned people of the dangers of relying on BNPL services to finance their shopping habits.

Just because it’s as easy as a click of a button to purchase today and pay for it later doesn’t mean it’s good for your finances-here’s why:

Racking up Debt

When you borrow through various BNPL apps, it’s easy to read the debt as “upcoming payments,” and those $25 payments can be deceiving. You may not realize how much you really owe.

When you combine all the “upcoming payments” on all of the BNPL apps, your outstanding debt can be much more than you think.

You can further dig yourself into a hole when you see money in your bank account and think that you have a certain amount available to spend, but you aren’t taking into account all of the automatic payments that will go through every two weeks to BNPL apps.

According to a 2021 study by C+R Research, BNPL users owe an average of $883.

And when it comes to credit cards, if you already struggle to stay below your credit limit, paying with your credit card on BNPL apps can rack up a lot more debt than intended and cause you to hit your credit card limit faster, sometimes without even noticing.

Fees and Interest Rates that Add Up

Women Who Money

We're working hard to get money questions answered so you don't have to spend hours searching. Find more money answers at