Friday, May 6, 2011

Addicted to Amazon

This is a confession post.  After reviewing my budget today, I try and update quarterly but simply got a little behind, I noticed a frequent trend.  Amazon purchases galore!  I am addicted to Amazon!  I'm not talking about the Amazon Rainforest here, I'm talking about one of the most addicting (at least for me) websites there is., where you can buy almost anything - all from the comfort of your home.  Ahhh. Not to mention they send your purchases to your house where it's like Christmas every time you receive a package.

A little background.  My husband and I have an allowance each month.  We both get a certain amount of money to spend however we choose.  In all honestly, I sadly have gone WAY over mine!  You see, I am actually a very frugal person, but lately with the US Dollar declining and the Euro rising, a simple meal out can cost anywhere from $35-$50 after the conversion.  When we lived in America anything over $20 was a luxury to us.  Now we sometimes put it in the back of our head as just an additional expense to living overseas and so we raised our food budget, for example at the beginning of the year.  Anyway, after making some investments last week and realizing that our savings is not as high as I had hoped and predicted, I decided I needed to sit down and see how I could cut back.  Food is really not an option for us, as we tend to buy organic when we can and we don't have the luxury of coupons like people do in the States.  Also food in general is just more expensive here.  We can eat out less, which is a new goal for us.  Maybe just once or twice a week rather than three to four (sometimes more) times. I say less because honestly we enjoy eating out and right now I don't see us cutting that out completely.  We've been there and have done that.  We both took our lunches almost everyday for 2 years, shared one car, and did a lot of other crazy things to get out of debt several years ago. 

Now back to my point about Amazon.  As I'm trying to reground myself and focus on what my goals truly are (i.e. a nice 4-5 bedroom, 3 bath home when we move back to the States), I am looking for corners to cut.  That is why when I started categorizing each expense and saw 40 purchases from Amazon since December 21st, yes, 40, I kind of freaked out.  Granted many of these purchases are not just for me but are for my son, a few for my husband, and some gifts.  From clothes, to dozens of books, to educational materials, I am truly addicted.  I never thought of myself as an addict before.  But I truly am.  I had over 100 items in the "save for later" section of the shopping cart.  I even made a $30 purchase last night.  Because you know once you spend money there you have to spend enough to get free shipping.  To break my addition I deleted all but 4 items in the save for later cart.  One is a book for my mother-in-law, one is a cookbook for me (I'm waiting on this purchase since I recently bought a few cookbooks), and the other two are early to read books for my almost 2 year old, which I'm holding off on since he's just now starting to read a few words and will probably wait until Christmas to get those for him.

So here is my plan, I am going to closely monitor my purchases from Amazon. I will try not to spend free time browsing the website looking at possible buys.  And I am going to ask my husband to hold me more accountable.  He is the nicest man alive and never gives me grief about anything I buy.  But like I said, for the most part I am pretty frugal and try and save when possible, and am pretty good at managing money.  Which is why I caught this problem now and not 6 months from now.  But I also need support from my friends and readers.  I want to know, is anyone else addicted or has been addicted to Amazon or another shopping website?  If so, how are you dealing with it?  I'd like to think I'm not alone.  =)

1 comment:

  1. When I was living in Germany, I relied heavily on Amazon for all sorts of things. Since I had a prime membership and an APO to ship to, it was so easy, I can see how it could become an addiction. Plus, the prices for home goods in Germany were really high, so I definitely felt like I was actually saving money... I used to go shopping all of the time on, I'd fill my online basket, but just never go through checkout... Fantasy shopping!


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