Adding Things Up

So last night I sat down and opened my paypal account and went through every transaction to figure out how much I'd spent at Amazon over the course of 3/11/14-3/11/15. And after I'd added it all up, I goggled at the amount, because... while some of that total was actually bulk grocery stuff I can't buy anywhere nearby, the vast majority of it was impulse purchases (and there were planned purchases, as well, like a new vacuum cleaner) and when I averaged it out per month, my mouth dropped open in shock.

So far this year, I've spent $228.99 at Amazon, the last purchase on Feb. 27 for a $.99 Kindle book. And not all of that was for groceries. In fact, only $75 was for actual consumables.

Clearly, if I'm going to succeed in my savings plan, I need to cut back, and this is somewhere I can cut back with abandon. Most books I have in my cart are available from the library first--and if I find that I want to reread that book forever, then I can allow myself to buy it--at certain times of the year, like for my birthday or some other special occasion. I can keep as many books as I want in my cart (because the impulse buys are mostly books) but that doesn't mean I have to buy them. Alternately, if I really and truly want to buy them, then I'd better make darned sure they aren't available cheaply used first.

Earlier this month, I signed up for an Amazon Rewards credit card (mostly to help rebuild my credit, but the $70 in Amazon credit did not hurt, either) which will only be used at Amazon and for emergencies. I'm hoping that by using the card, and knowing I have to pay it in full every month (my rule), I will be more cautious with my purchases.

For the past few years, I've had a portion of my tax return given to me in Amazon store credit. It usually ends up being around $110. I'm not planning to do that this year, because while I have some specific items that I want to buy with that "free" $70 (a new water filter thingy for my kitchen; a shower caddy for the bathroom), that money can now go directly into my savings account instead.


Grey Walker said…
Amazon is a nemesis for me, too. So many things are only a click away...
Jennifer said…
It's just too easy! And most of the time, with a little work, I could find the bookss I've bought at the library, or get it via interlibrary loan.

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