Smart Money Podcast: Buy Now, Pay Later Loans and How to Start Building Wealth

Liz Weston, Sean PylesMay 24, 2021

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Welcome to NerdWallet’s Smart Money podcast, where we answer your real-world money questions.

This week’s episode starts with a discussion about buy now, pay later loans. These offers are common when shopping online, but they aren’t always a good option.

Then we pivot to this week’s question from Patricia, who left us a voicemail:

“Hi, my name is Patricia. I’m 23 years old. I’m about to graduate in a month and a half, so this semester, and I’m trying to figure out how to get my finances together. I don’t have that much money as of now ... and I want to know how do I go about building wealth. What steps do I have to take to then be financially stable without having to work like a dog?”

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can be a convenient way to break up an expensive purchase into more manageable payments. But be mindful of interest and late fees, which can make these a worse deal than they’re marketed to be. Sometimes saving up for a big purchase is the best route. That said, these offers can be useful in a pinch, such as if you need to buy an expensive flight on short notice and don’t want to or can't put it on a credit card.

As far as building wealth, the best way is to start with a strong foundation. to know where your money is going. Then give each dollar a job. Make specific and actionable goals for your money, such as setting some aside for emergencies or saving for vacations and retirement.

Realize that building wealth takes time. Consider setting up automatic monthly transfers into various savings or investing accounts to maintain gradual, steady growth. And to avoid working like a dog. If you’re making enough money to live comfortably, you can likely afford to save more money than you are right now.

Expect to make some mistakes along the way. Try not to beat yourself up over them. Instead, find the lesson in each setback.

Have a money question? Text or call us at 901-730-6373. Or you can email us at . To hear previous episodes, go to the

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