One-click shopping. Prime delivery. Millions of products. Is there anything not to love about Amazon?
But with this easy customer experience and vast selection, it can be tempting to make purchases on Amazon daily. And those purchases can seriously add up, especially for families. A 2019 survey showed a family using Amazon Prime will spend about $1,400 a year on average (nonmembers spend around $600). But that number has likely grown significantly in light of the pandemic and the shift to buying everyday essentials online. So how exactly do you know if you’ve crossed the threshold from leveraging Amazon as a time saver for goods to full blown addiction? And if you feel that you are addicted to Amazon, what can you do about it?
Amazon Addiction: Symptoms and Diagnosis
You might be an Amazon addict if:
- Prime boxes are so readily available you use them to wrap presents and store household items, not to mention they make up the majority of your children’s toys.
- The Amazon delivery driver knows you by name…and your dog…and your kids (yes, all of them).
- You go to put a single item like shampoo in your cart and end up down the “recommended products” rabbit hole. Suddenly your purchase is well over $100, what with the cute hair accessories and new blow dryer you really need.
- Your spouse or partner doesn’t know exactly how frequently you’re receiving Amazon deliveries or exactly what items in your household are from the retail behemoth.
If these sound like you, it might be time to take a strategic look at your Amazon spending and make some tweaks to minimize the damage before it becomes a major financial burden.
How Do I Break My Addiction to Amazon?
Here are a few quick, actionable steps to help you curb your shopping habit once and for all.
- Delete the app: Yes, it may seem drastic. But you will need to go to the actual website and enter your username and password to log in. Putting up a barrier like having to log on to the site can sometimes be enough to deter you from mindlessly scrolling through and making spur of the moment purchases. Plus, once you delete the app, you’ll fill your mindless scroll time with other available apps instead, meaning less time for shopping out of boredom.
- Remove your saved credit cards from the website. It’s incredible what the minor inconvenience of going to your wallet to get your credit card can prevent you from buying. Saying goodbye to one click purchasing will probably end up saving you a few bucks over time.
- Wait 24 hours on purchases. If you put something you want but don’t need in your cart, wait 24 hours before hitting checkout. Taking time to sleep on it allows you to assess and see if you really want the item or if it was just a wine induced impulse buy you can live without.
- Make a list. Instead of piling items in to your Amazon cart, try making a physical list (pen and paper for the win!). Then, commit to scaling back purchases to one day a week and only purchasing the items on your list.
Curbing an addiction to Amazon can be a struggle. But the savings can be huge. The small daily purchases you’re making on Amazon can be adding up to hundreds of dollars each month. And there’s probably some other area of your financial life that could use that money, like debt repayment, emergency savings, or investing.