Woman reveals how she escaped from a mountain of debt after becoming addicted to Afterpay

Office worker reveals her five-step plan to escape debt after becoming addicted to Afterpay – and now she is set on building an enviable investment portfolio

  •  Annabelle Cannon, 27, reveals how she overcame her post-pay addiction
  • The Melbourne office worker became obsessed with platforms like Afterpay
  • She quit after realising she had been paying money off for 18 months straight

Melbourne woman, Annabelle Cannon once had an Afterpay addiction

Melbourne woman, Annabelle Cannon once had an Afterpay addiction

A young office worker has revealed how she went from Afterpay obsessed to building an impressive investment portfolio in just nine months. 

Annabelle Cannon, 27, once happily charged everything back to post-pay services – from emergency flights, to theme park tickets and even shampoo.

But it wasn’t until July last year the Melbourne woman realised her debts were catching up with her.

‘I looked at my statements and saw I had been paying money back every fortnight for over 18 months,’ she said.

‘It became such a bad habit, instead of waiting a day or two for payday or thinking about if I really needed something I would charge it back to Afterpay,’ she said.

She often had good intentions of ‘paying it back early’, especially when she bought things like hair care using the platform, but she would rarely stick to the plan.

‘I would forget and all of a sudden I would be paying it back in four instalments,’ she said,

‘Sometimes I would be paying for things, months later, I didn’t even have anymore.’

She would happily pile new clothes, outings and even hair products on her Afterpay accounts

She would happily pile new clothes, outings and even hair products on her Afterpay accounts

She even put this trip to Dreamworld on Afterpay after initially setting up an account for necessities

She even put this trip to Dreamworld on Afterpay after initially setting up an account for necessities 

The realisation she had a problem was sobering for Annabelle who paid off her debts and deleted the app.

She then assessed her budget, built up an emergency savings account and began investing, using Sharesies, a platform which helped educate her on her financial decisions.

She and her partner spoke about their long term financial goals, which are centred around travelling the world and retiring well, and ‘everything was good’.

She continued to pour her extra money into super and investments and savings and it appeared she had salvaged a healthy financial foundation.

But then early this year Annabelle was faced with a string of heavy, unavoidable expenses which culminated in her vacuum breaking.

‘It was the final thing to go wrong, and we weighed up buying a cheap one and saving for a good one but then decided to put it on After-Pay.’

The decision was a sound financial one, she believes, but admits what came next was not.

‘I fell down the rabbit hole and before I knew it I was paying off over $300 every week,’ she said.

 At one point things got so bad Annabelle couldn’t pay her rent.

‘I have never been in a financial situation before where I have not been able to cover my core living expenses,’ she said.

This was a wake-up call for the young woman who freely admits she is a spender, rather than a saver.

She quit the platform and was off it for nine months until she relapsed  - and got into so much debt she struggled to pay her rent

She quit the platform and was off it for nine months until she relapsed  – and got into so much debt she struggled to pay her rent

‘I told my friends and family my situation and told them I couldn’t do anything fun for eight weeks,’ she said.

‘My last repayment comes out this week – then I am deleting the app forever,’ she added.

What shock’s Annabelle most about things like Afterpay is how quickly the total costs and borrowing limits can add up.

‘Because I paid everything off they were happy to automatically increase my limits, it got to $2,500 at one point,’ she said.

Annabelle is continuing to add to her investment portfolio, and savings minimally until she deletes the Afterpay app again.

‘I have been bad, but I am back,’ she said.

‘For me spending is like the toxic friend – begging to do something you will regret later,’ she said.

Annabelle said being open and honest with friends and family is the best way to ensure you don’t overspend.

She advises people to explain their budgets to their friends, so they can do things everyone can afford. 

How did Annabelle overcome her mountain of debt?

Despite the recent relapse Annabelle has managed to get out from under crippling post-pay debt.

She says people should consider the following steps to get ahead of their debt.

1 – Have a thorough look at your spending habits, try to improve these and scrap anything you don’t need – including post-pay services and food delivery apps

2 – Reach out to companies for extensions on bill before they are due – this helps to minimise the risk of further fees as well as stress  

3 – Research discounts and government grants you are entitled to and apply for them – this could include energy subsidies  

4 – Speak to a financial counsellor – they can help work out the core of the problem

5 – Don’t be afraid to tell friends and family about your financial situation – and ask to do things that are more reflective of your budget 

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