Think Before You Prime!

Posted By: Family Credit Management | Monday July 8, 2024

Next Tuesday marks the beginning of the two day consumer holiday known as Prime Day. Chances are you or someone in your family has purchased something during this massive sale. You may have even scored a truly deep discount that left you feeling a rush of satisfaction and pride, having saved so much money.

But after that smiling box arrives and your new possession is put away, ask yourself a question: Would I have paid full price for that? While it may seem counterintuitive for a company that encourages people to save whenever they can, we rarely suggest people shop during Prime Day sales and other similar events. Once you remove the excitement, you’re usually left with something you wouldn't have bought had you walked past it in a store. Even worse, you've lost the opportunity for the money you've spent to go towards something more valuable. A dollar can be applied to savings, debt repayment, or buying something you actually need or want. Once you've spent that money, it can never be recouped.

Woman thinking about spending money online

So is Prime Day terrible and a total waste of money? Not necessarily. Most people get caught up in buying something cheap, especially if there are limited quantities and a ticking clock. But you can use Prime Day to your advantage in very specific cases. So if you really want to partake, here’s how to make it work for you:

Prior to the beginning of the sale, add any items that your been meaning to purchase (whether it be for home, your kids, a gift, etc.) into your Amazon cart. These should only be items you truly need or want and would happily buy at full price. Bookmark your cart page (not Amazon’s home page) on your browser.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, periodically check your cart and see if any of the items have been reduced. Do not visit other Amazon pages. This will only lead to unneeded temptation.

If none of your items are part of the sale, reflect on your need for them and if you are still happy to pay full price.

If one or more of your items are part of the sale, reflect on your need for them, and make sure the sale isn't the only reason you're buying it. If you still need the item, then make your purchase and pat yourself on the back for saving money in a responsible way.

Remember, shopping (even online shopping) increases dopamine (a chemical in the brain that makes us feel warm and fuzzy inside) and buying during a sale like Prime day increases our adrenaline (Psychology Today, 2015.) Saving money is great, make sure you think before your Prime.

If you already have debt due to online shopping, overspending or life circumstances, our certified credit counselors are ready to help! We'll go over your credit report and budget, give you ideas for improving your finances and taking control of your debt for good!

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