New pay system threatening Christmas

There’s a new trendy payment service that could not only rob you of a cheerful Christmas, it could rob your bank account too.

As we head towards the festive end of year, it can get pretty expensive and hard to stick to a budget. 

Between parties and presents, it’s tempting to put your Christmas expenses on credit or buy-now, pay-later schemes.

But there’s a new player in the market being pushed by social media influencers that will leave you with Christmas debt, rather than Christmas cheer – it’s called an early pay access scheme. 

These schemes, such as InstaPay, PayActive and MyPayNow, work on providing you a sum of your regular income “early”.

You can use this money as you wish but you have to pay it back as soon as you receive your next pay. 

While this isn’t classed as a loan or debt, if you don’t pay it back on time you could be left with some seriously expensive fees. It will also start you off on a journey of needing to borrow to buy, rather than being able to afford what you need to buy.

We all know Instagram shows us the “highlight reel” but don’t let someone else’s highlight reel convince you to spend more than you have saved. No one wants to wake up on Christmas Day to an empty bank account and a bill for overdue fees. 

If you’re tempted to use an early pay access scheme, try our top tips for having a trendy Christmas on a budget:

  1. It’s the thought that counts: Give your friends gifts made from the heart. Whether it’s a re-potted plant cutting from your indoor garden, homemade Christmas biscuits or a book swap – there’s plenty of ways you can be thoughtful without trashing your bank account.
  2. Everyone bring your own: Instead of going out to an expensive restaurant or swapping big gifts, invite your friends out for a picnic and encourage them to bring their own food and drink. You can all share a few plates around and enjoy spending time with each other.
  3. Experiences, not expenses: Instead of gifting something your friend or family member might use once or twice, take them out for a day trip. Head to the beach, the bush or out for a nice walk – it can be a low-cost way to share your gratitude for their friendship throughout this tough year.

STORY: CLAIRE BANFIELD

The information in this article has been prepared for general information purposes only and not as specific advice to any particular person. Any advice contained in the document is general advice and does not take into account any person's particular investment objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on anything based on this advice you should consider its appropriateness to you, having regard to your objectives, financial situations and needs.