Save Now Buy Later: What is it and How Does it Work?

Save now, buy later is an emerging shopping trend that involves putting money aside for future purchases. Here’s how it works and why it’s a good idea.
Amabel Polglase
June 19, 2023
min read

The Save Now Buy Later (SNBL) business model is the newest fintech craze, following on the heels of the Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) apps that have dominated over the last few years.

Unlike BNPL apps, Save Now Buy Later apps encourage users to avoid buying now and paying later. Instead, they incentivise saving consistently to purchase the things users want until they can afford to pay for an item outright, employing various features to help users accomplish this goal.

In this blog, we’ll discuss: what is Save Now Buy Later, how does Save Now Buy Later work, and what do Save Now Buy Later apps do?

What is Save Now, Buy Later?

Simply put, Save Now, Buy Later is saving until you have enough money to buy the things you want. Save Now Buy Later apps support users to do this.

The Save Now, Buy Later concept is hardly new. It’s how most of us intend to go about making big purchases. The Save Now Buy Later business model encourages app users to consistently progress towards their savings goals so that users can pay for the things they want quickly and more effectively without having to take on debt.

However, this is more easily said than done. Save Now Buy Later apps are built with this in mind and employ different features and functions to help users reach their savings goals more effectively.

How Does Save Now Buy Later Work?

Save Now Buy Later apps help users save consistently to obtain the things they want. How this is done varies between apps.

Many Save Now Buy Later apps encourage users to set a goal – often in the form of a product or big purchase, alongside the item’s value – and a deadline to reach it.

From here, Save Now Buy Later apps often break down a user’s savings schedule into equal parts until the deadline for the purchase. For example, if you want to buy a new laptop in six months, the app will help you create a savings schedule to reach your goal within this timeframe. You might plan to deposit equal amounts each month, or every fortnight, for example, until you achieve this goal.

Other times, a Save Now Buy Later feature might be part of a more comprehensive personal finance and budgeting app. These features make it easy for you to save by dividing your funds between different accounts or savings pots and have functions to discourage you from spending that money elsewhere.

With some Save Now Buy Later apps, the Save Now, Buy Later business model sometimes includes retailers. This means that when users of Save Now Buy Later apps save money in the app, their savings are directly linked to the retail store.

In return for sticking to their saving habits and meeting their targets, retailers might provide discounts or rewards, encouraging Save Now Buy Later apps users to save consistently to reach their goals.


Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) apps like Klarna and Afterpay have become increasingly popular over the last few years.

These apps allow you to buy the things you want – whether it’s an item of clothing, a piece of tech, or something else – sooner than you can afford it. BNPL apps make the payment on the user’s behalf, and, in return, you pay the BNPL provider back in instalments on a predetermined repayment schedule.

However, if you miss the repayment dates, you’re in for some hefty fees, which can quickly turn into a debt that is difficult to pay off, much like a credit card.

How does Save Now Buy Later work differently? Well, the Save Now Buy Later business model operates in the opposite direction. The purpose of these apps is to help users save up and only buy something when they have enough to pay for it with their own money. In this way, Save Now Buy Later apps help people avoid debt.

The Benefits of Save Now, Buy Later

Save Now Buy Later apps have many benefits, which can strengthen the financial position of app users and enhance their lives, unlike Buy Now, Pay Later apps.

So, how exactly does Save Now Buy Later work to benefit app users?

Here are the top four ways.

1. Avoiding debt

Sometimes debt is worth it, for example, getting a mortgage or acquiring student debt.

In most cases, however, it’s not. Debt weakens your financial position, damages your credit score, and makes you poorer in the long run.

Buy Now, Pay Later schemes encourage overspending and buying more than you can afford. Since you usually aren’t charged for paying BNPL loans back on time, these schemes bet on users being unable to stick to their repayment schedule. From here, debt can build and increase exponentially as BNPL app users take on more than they can repay.

In contrast, Save Now Buy Later apps root for users to save for the things they want before buying them and reward them for doing so. In other words, the Save Now Buy Later business model benefits from users sticking to their savings goals, so these apps encourage them to avoid accumulating debt.

2. No interest charges

When you use a credit card or a Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) app – or get a loan – to pay for the things you want and need, you’ll probably spend more than you bargained for in the form of interest on the debt you accumulate.

When you save with Save Now Buy Later apps, you might be able to avoid using these services altogether. This means you’ll never pay more for an item than it’s worth just because you weren’t patient enough to wait until you could buy it outright.

3. Flexibility

Unlike BNPL apps, credit cards, and loans, you won’t take a financial hit if you don’t stick to your SNBL payment schedule.

Sure, some Save Now Buy Later apps will reduce the rewards/discounts you receive if you don’t hit your savings targets, but you’ll never be charged for missing your goal, unlike with credit cards and BNPL apps.

This means that if unexpected expenses crop up, you can stop adding to your savings until you feel financially able without suffering any financial penalties.

What’s more, if you decide you no longer want the thing you’ve been saving for, that’s fine too. You can withdraw the money from your fund without consequences. All that happens is that you’ll lose the discounts or rewards that might come with your purchase.

4. Meet your financial goals

Today, it’s more difficult than ever to stay focused and make consistent progress towards our financial goals, with products being marketed to us every single day – often hundreds of times a day – among the many other financial burdens we have.

How does Save Now Buy Later work to help you meet your financial goals?

Well, it helps you prioritise what’s most important to you, keeps you accountable, and offers an incentive to stay on track, whether your goal is to save money for a house or travel.

As an app, these financial reminders are only a click away and achieving your savings targets each month motivates you to continue.

Start Saving Now with Jars

It is one of the smartest financial decisions you can make to save up for big purchases until you can buy them outright (instead of buying them before you can afford them with a credit card or through BNPL platforms).

The Save Now Buy Later business model works to help you avoid debt, be financially responsible, and stay accountable. With Save Now Buy Later apps, you can create plans to help you reach your financial goals, still buy the things you want, and feel motivated to do so.

How HyperJar can help you save now, buy later

The HyperJar prepaid card and app come with Save Now Buy Later features that help you to build a savings habit and buy the things you want.

With their Jars feature, you can allocate savings to jars for a particular purpose. What’s more, the HyperJar app has features to discourage you from spending your savings anywhere else, making sticking to your savings plan easier.

Amabel Polglase

Chief Marketing Officer

Amabel has diverse experience in business, marketing and entrepreneurship, including founding her own successful startup. She served in several senior leadership roles prior to joining HyperJar including Zilch and Curve Card where she led brand, marketing and communications. Before joining the fintech revolution, Amabel was a managing global client partner at Facebook and prior to that at McCann-Erickson, the world’s largest ad network. She volunteers at Girls Out Loud, a charity created to empower and inspire teenage girls, and is also a mentor at The Girls’ Network. She received her MA in history and international relations from the University of St Andrews.

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