Anyone with an Amazon account can attest that they’ve likely ended up purchasing more items than they originally intended when they started scrolling. You check out Amazon because you’re bored or just want to pick up one time. Next thing you know, you have a cart full of items on the way to your doorstep. You originally wanted to pick up a book that a friend recommended, and suddenly, you have a new wardrobe arriving.
If you want to save money or pay off your debt, you will have to find ways to limit your spending on Amazon. We’re going to look at how you can limit your impulse spending on Amazon so that you can start to save money and get control of your finances.
Understand How Amazon Works
Before you can start to fix your spending problem, it’s essential to look at how the Amazon algorithm works. Amazon heavily values the customer experience, so they rely on reviews to ensure that they’re sharing recommendations that you’ll enjoy. You’re likely to see products that others have recommended based on your search history. It’s not a coincidence that you sometimes log on to purchase one item but end up with a full cart.
Amazon’s complex machine learning system has been optimized to give every user a unique shopping experience. Once Amazon figures out what kind of items you like to purchase, the website is going to recommend other products based on your preferences. You may have also noticed that when you look up one item, the platform will show you another thing that may interest you.
It’s also worth mentioning that Amazon stores your financial information and makes it easy to purchase anything with just one click so that you don’t even have time to analyze your purchase. If you’re scrolling on the couch, you may not even realize that you’ve filled up a cart with random impulse items that caught your attention in the moment.
How To Limit Impulse Spending On Amazon
We spoke with Vee Weir, founder and owner of Vee Frugal Fox, where she shares award-winning content while helping people with their spending to obtain advice for those struggling with impulse spending on Amazon.
How do you limit your impulse spending on Amazon?
Setup Your Finances Outside of Amazon
“Placing barriers in front of yourself will save you money and force you to spend more intentionally,” shared Weir on the importance of creating limits for yourself. Many financial experts have stressed the importance of creating a budget and paying yourself first so that you’re limited regarding how much you can spend.
The first step is to create a financial system that works with your habits so you don’t have to rely on willpower. You can use a budgeting system or set a limit for how much money you spend on online shopping. The goal is to have any self-imposed barriers that will help you limit spending.
“The best way to stop impulse shopping (on Amazon or anywhere else) is to avoid the website altogether,” said Weir about the reality of the e-commerce platform. One of the biggest issues with the Amazon algorithm is that it will show you content that may interest you, which will make it tempting to want to spend money. You may initially check out the website to buy food for your pet, but somehow, you end up with a new tablet. Until you get your spending in control, you may want to avoid Amazon altogether.
Here are a few practical ways that you can avoid Amazon:
- Only go on the platform when you absolutely need something.
- Avoid scrolling before bed when your willpower has been depleted throughout the day.
- Make a shopping list before doing any browsing.
Don’t Save Your Financial Information.
“You have to disable payment auto-fill on your computer,” according to Weir. Impulse purchases happen quickly on platforms like Amazon because they store your payment information so that you don’t have any barriers when making a purchase. Since you don’t have to wait in line or even walk to your wallet to get your credit card, making an impulse purchase can happen in seconds. This is why it’s critical that you don’t save your financial information with Amazon.
Create a Waiting Period
“You need to have a self-imposed waiting period before you buy anything,” Weir told us. Since Amazon makes it so simple to purchase anything that you desire, you have to find ways to limit yourself. One of the best strategies is to have a waiting period. Some experts will suggest that you sleep on it, while others will say that you should wait 30 days if it’s a major purchase.
The trick to limiting impulse spending on Amazon is to give yourself any kind of waiting period. You’re not saying you’ll never make this purchase, but you’re just giving yourself a timeline. What ends up happening is that you may forget about this purchase after sleeping on it.
Make a Wish List
Instead of adding items to your cart, try placing them on your wish list. Weir and other financial experts have shared the importance of sitting on your purchases. By deleting your financial information and even removing one-click purchasing, you force yourself to think about this expense. To add an additional barrier, you can create a wish list so that you have time to reflect on these purchases.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself after placing something on your wish list:
- Do I really need this right now?
- Can I wait a month to make this purchase?
By forcing yourself to stop and reflect on every purchase, you may realize that you didn’t even need this item in the first
Impulse spending on Amazon happens to the best of us, and it’s important to remember that these online retailers have made it easier than ever to spend money. It’s on us to find ways to avoid impulse purchases that could hurt our finances. If you find yourself struggling with your impulse shopping, it’s critical that you reach out for help because you’re not alone in this battle.
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