In recent years, Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) services such as Klarna, Afterpay, Affirm, Sezzle, and Zip have gained significant popularity, revolutionizing the way we shop and pay for our purchases. With the allure of deferred payments and hassle-free installment plans, these services offer convenience and flexibility. However, it’s essential to navigate the world of BNPL wisely to prevent falling into the trap of overspending.

Let’s dive in and discover how to master the art of responsible spending in the world of Buy Now Pay Later.

How to avoid overspending with Buy Now Pay Later

Set a Budget and Stick to It

Before diving into the world of BNPL, establish a realistic budget for your shopping needs. Consider your monthly income, expenses, and financial goals. Having a budget in place will help you determine how much you can comfortably afford to spend without straining your finances.

Assess Your Needs vs. Wants

Before making a BNPL purchase, ask yourself if it’s a genuine need or merely a want. Impulse buying can lead to overspending and unnecessary debt. Take a moment to evaluate the importance and value of the item you’re considering, ensuring it aligns with your priorities and budget.

Create a Waiting Period

Implement a waiting period before finalizing any BNPL purchase. This allows you time to consider the necessity of the item and assess its impact on your budget. Give yourself at least 24 hours to reflect on the purchase, helping to avoid impulsive decisions and regretful overspending.

Track Your BNPL Expenses

Maintaining a clear record of your BNPL purchases is crucial for financial accountability. It’s hard to create and stick to a budget if you can’t keep tabs on how much you’re spending. You could do this the old-fashioned way by manually updating your payments in a spreadsheet. Alternatively, you can use Cushion to keep track of all of your payment plans across Klarna, Afterpay, Sezzle, Affirm, Zip, and more. This way, you’ll have a comprehensive overview of your spending on BNPL and can plan your payments accordingly.

Manage Multiple Simultaneous BNPL Purchases

Having multiple ongoing BNPL agreements can quickly lead to financial strain. Limit the number of active BNPL purchases to a manageable level, ensuring you can comfortably meet your payment obligations. Focus on paying off existing purchases before taking on additional ones. Get full visibility of your due dates across all BNPL providers in the Cushion app.

Be Aware of Payment Due Dates

Missing payment due dates can result in late fees or penalties, negatively impacting your finances. Stay organized by setting reminders or utilizing financial apps that provide notifications for upcoming payments. Timely payments not only avoid unnecessary fees but also contribute to maintaining a positive credit history.

Consider Lower Installment Amounts

While BNPL services may offer the option to split payments over an extended period, it’s advisable to opt for shorter installment terms whenever possible. Although longer terms may seem more affordable in the short term, they can result in higher overall costs due to potential interest or fees.

Regularly Review Your Finances

Make it a habit to regularly review your financial situation, including your BNPL commitments. Take stock of your outstanding balances, payments made, and upcoming expenses. This practice allows you to adjust your budget and make informed decisions about future purchases.


Buy Now Pay Later can be a great option for those looking for flexibility, but often leads to unintended overspending. It’s all too easy to let multiple payment plans stack up, lose track of what’s due and when, and negatively impact your overall financial situation. But by following these strategies and practicing responsible spending habits, you can get the benefits of BNPL while maintaining control over your finances.

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Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is for educational purposes only and should not be considered as financial advice. Consult with a financial professional for personalized guidance regarding your specific situation.

Last Updated on September 11, 2023