Goodbye, Amazon!

I put myself on an Amazon fast last month.  The deal I made with myself was that anything I thought I wanted, I could put on my wish list instead of in my cart.  Then, during the last week of the month, I could spend a set dollar amount from items on my list.  Anything that didn’t get purchased had to get deleted, thereby requiring me to want it again in order to get back on the wish list.  At the end of the month, I had three items on my list, and I didn’t really want any of them, so I didn’t make a purchase.  I had a lot of extra money in October.  In November, I’ve done a bit of Christmas shopping (with money I have saved just for Christmas all year), but I haven’t put anything else on my wish list or in my cart.  There was an unexpected used car purchase, but I will still have a lot of extra money in November.

Back when I was younger, we used to go shopping just for fun.  It was something to do.  Hanging out at the mall was a thing.  I used to meet friends there for lunch, and then we’d browse the stores, without any particular purpose in mind, but always leaving with some must-have item.  That’s a pretty expensive pastime, yes?  Later, when David and I were killing our debt monster, recreational shopping was obviously something that needed to go, and we made a new rule for ourselves: If we were out and saw a thing we just had to have, we had to go home and write it on the index card on the fridge.  Every purchase had to be written on the list.  If we were motivated enough, we could go right back out and get it, but more often than not, we never made the purchase at all.  Amazon is my new mall, and the wish list is my new index card.

See, when you’re in debt, your future is held hostage by past spending, but the same is true if you are spending all you earn – you’re sacrificing your future security and your ability to pursue dreams and opportunities for the short term pleasure of stuff you won’t even really want after a while, if it’s even still working.  Shopping isn’t recreation.

I’m saving for a kitchen remodel right now.  I’m eyeing a $10,000 range (probably won’t hit that mark) and planning the space and reallocating all available funds to my kitchen category.  I’m hoping to have the desired monies gathered by May, and Amazon just isn’t my friend any more.  Actually, they never were.  In another week, we’re giving up our Prime membership.  Back we go to Super Saver shipping!  We don’t stream many videos and a pay-per-view plan is more sensible for us; we’ve also been using the library a lot more, especially since I can order stuff online and my favorite librarian delivers it that evening. 😉 We don’t use their cloud storage services, the music streaming service, or the kindle unlimited service.  It just doesn’t make sense for us anymore.

After I’m done saving for my kitchen (which is really in desperate need of attention) I’ve got big plans for an investment account.  It’s never too late, right?

Do you have a spending weakness?  How do you manage it?

 

4 Comment

  1. My spending weakness is books, for sure. I hear of so many great books that sound so interesting that it can be hard to resist. Our library isn’t always a very practical option with lengthly and unpredictable wait times. Just this week I had four books that I’d had on hold for varying lengths of time show up all at once! It seems easier to buy a used copy for my To Be Read basket and pick it up at my leisure. But it does add up.

    1. Oh, gosh, I can totally relate to this. I don’t have time to read on the library’s schedule, so it’s way better to pick up my own copy, unless I suspect that it’ll be of only marginal value. I’m reading a book right now called “Deep Work” and I only expect to gain a small amount of insight from it, not enough value to add it to my book collection, so I borrowed it and bumped it up to the top of my reading list to knock it out. But I generally purchase the books I want to read, because the library doesn’t cater to my niches, and because of time constraints.

  2. A few years ago, we got into a bad habit of visiting the mall after church, which not only meant recreational shopping, but a fast food lunch for a family of 6. Geez, the money we were wasting! Then we “fasted” from the mall during Lent and haven’t really gone back except to pick up site-to-store (necessary) purchases. I’ve also found that using the Amazon Wish List helps me throughout the year pile in ideas for Christmas and birthdays. Many bloggers will give links to some of their best gift ideas and I steal them 🙂

    1. Yes about those gift ideas! Except I write them on a per person list in the back of my planner. 🙂

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