The time has come for me to bid a fond adieu to everyone's favorite online shopping destination.
April is going to be a fairly expensive month, so every penny I spend will be getting scrutinized to within an nth degree. If I can cut back on my spending, I'm going to do it.
I looked over April 2015 spending and was slightly horrified. Two things immediately jumped off the page at me. One, what format did I use for the spending reports back then? And, two, holy crap was my spending outrageous! I did come in under budget on my normal expenses, but to spend twice that on other stuff? YIKES! I'd like to avoid that this year. It should be fairly easy to do considering I'm not paying for the Ecuador trip this year and I don't have to prep for a move and a new office culture.
However, I will have some other travel expenses pop up. At the end of the month, I'll be spending a few days in Omaha with Mr. 1500 and the couple behind the Planting Our Pennies blog at the Berkshire Hathaway Annual Investors Meeting. We're going to have a few drinks, run a 5k and I'll need to grab a hotel room for Saturday night. Not to mention I'll need to drive there. I will also need to pay for my flight to Seattle so I can attend Camp Mustache. The best time to buy tickets is 42 days ahead of the flight, which puts me solidly in April.
$99 is going to be roughly half the cost of the flight. That just so happens to be the exact amount Amazon is going to charge me to continue my Amazon Prime membership. I just can't really justify paying for it anymore when I barely use it. How do I know I barely use it? Why, with a spreadsheet, of course!
One of my Twitter followers directed me to a pretty cool feature. Amazon offers a report for the orders you've put in for ‘X' amount of time. I downloaded a report for the last 12 months and started looking over it.
I built my computer from scratch last year and ordered most of my parts from Amazon. Free shipping on my heavy as computer case? Yes please! This contributed to the vast majority of the stuff I bought. Since I'm not building a computer this year, I see no reason to keep it.
The other non-computer stuff I bought was me being lazy. Almost everything I bought could've been purchased at the local Target. Especially as it's a Super Target and has way more stuff than a smaller Target.
Why did I decide to buy it online instead? The simple answer is…….. I'm lazy. All I had to do was open another tab, go to Amazon, search for the item I wanted and boom! It was delivered to my door roughly two days later. Much better than sitting in a car for 5 minutes and walking through a super store. (obviously that's not terrible either, but I did say I was lazy.)
Now there's a risk I'm taking by getting rid of Amazon Prime. Say I do get this duplex……… I'll need a whole variety of items, from curtains to a shovel to a ladder. It would be a lot easier to keep my membership and just buy things as I discover I need them. The problem with that leads me to mindless spending. I want it, and a few clicks later I get it. Not the best for someone who's trying not to spend a whole lot. By forcing myself to go to the store, I'll force myself to think about what I'm buying. Chances are high I'll decide I actually don't need whatever item I think I do and won't buy it, thereby saving myself money. Woo!
My membership doesn't expire until next month, so I'll be interested to see how I manage without it! Wish me luck!