I have Amazon’s Prime subscription and I maximise using it. For my life stage and lifestyle, it is a welcome relief to help me get through the long days. I know Amazon gets a bad rep and I want to support the small stores but working a 9 to 5 with an active toddler plus trying to get out of the rat race gives me very little time for anything else. The extra time I have is family focused, invested in working on my path to work optionality or deep resting if I’m not mindlessly scrolling or watching a no brain cell needed TV show.
This year’s Prime Day felt like the FIRE community was executing a paid anti Prime Day plan. I get it as there is a risk of getting into debt buying what you don’t need. There is also another flip to the coin which is you can buy the things you need and save some money at the same time. Have I bought things on prime day just because of the discount in the past? Yes, my overflowing beddings cupboard is proof of this.
What changed how I shop prime is mainly my mindset and my overall objective of becoming work optional in 5 years. I no longer approach Prime Day like a grabfest but rather use it as a way to get what I need for cheaper than the regular price. I also have a maximum spend limit on Prime items. I am not allowed to spend more than €240 no matter how attractive the offers are. Why €240? I have a Prime day sinking fund that gets €20 every month so it adds up to €240 yearly. I also have things I shop annually every year on Prime if the offer is better than a regular offer I can get any time of year. For these items, I know the standard price and I have them in my cart year round and monitor the price changes.
For 2023 Prime Day, I shopped 2 need items and 1 want item. They all give me joy and I spent less than my spend limit. The 2 need items was my perfume and power brush heads which had the best discounts so far this year and was lower than last year’s Prime Day prices. The want item was a Piano set for my Child who is currently obsessed with classical music. I had the Piano set in my cart for some weeks with zero price movement and on Prime Day there was a 17% discount so I scored it.
Total spend was €145.34, leaving me with a €94.66 balance unspent. I moved the balance to my brokerage and will continue adding €20 to the sinking fund every month for 2024 Prime Day shopping.
My Prime Day shopping is for items I already selected. I don’t scroll to see what’s on offer or what else I can get because if it’s not already in my cart then I don’t need or want it.
Every shopping event is a risk to our financial goals so it’s important to know yourself and apply safeguards that will work for you. Setting a Prime Day maximum spend, having a sinking fund and sticking to my preselection works for me. For someone else, it may be totally abstaining and that’s also okay.
The next major shopping event is Black Friday which is 19 weeks away. If you plan to participate, you can start a sinking fund with as low as €5 per week which gives you a max spend of €95. If you are able to do €10 per week into your sinking fund, you get to have €190 to spend.
Planning ahead with a sinking fund works great in controlling my impulse buying. I can recommend it until you find what works best for you.