There are two things that no one tells you before signing up for Amazon Prime.
The first is that you have to fight against the urge to buy everything each time you scroll through your favorite Amazon listings. The second is that it’s very easy to go broke buying must-have items on Amazon.This urge to spend was compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic and the fact that we all had to stay home for a large part of the year.
I’m in good company as it’s reported that there are over 126 million Prime subscription holders in the United States. And, let’s face it, the use of online delivery services ranging from groceries, clothing and food has understandably increased during the past year, out of necessity.
For me, having Amazon Prime during the past year was both a blessing and a curse.
The blessing? There were moments when I was able to treat myself, and other moments when I just needed to buy toilet paper and wanted to avoid being around tons of people.
The curse? I also have a Kindle Unlimited subscription. I will admit it: I have a romance novel addiction. For the past dateless year, I’ve read a ridiculous number of books. But what Amazon doesn’t tell you is that you still end up buying books outside of your subscription.
How I Use Qube with Amazon
When Qube created a way for users to make Amazon purchases via the app, I was absolutely thrilled. First, I added my Qube Visa debit card to my Amazon account and made it my default payment option. Then, I spent some time looking at my past spending to see which qubes I should fund and by how much.
Now, before I check out, I select the qube that relates to the Amazon purchase. The behavior of looking at my qube balance before I spend has helped me make better spending decisions. I then select “Amazon Purchase” from the drop down menu and input the total transaction amount. My part is done!
Qube then transfers that money to my Amazon Orders qube, and the money is available to automatically process payments as items are shipped. Qube sends me notifications each time a payment is processed. (Note: the first time you make an Amazon purchase, Qube creates a special Amazon Orders Bill Qube for all future Amazon purchases)
The Importance of Budget Clarity
My Amazon spending initially felt a little random, but I did begin to notice a clear pattern. Currently, my top tier of spending is on items for my home. I’m in the middle of several DIY projects that include updating my bathroom, kitchen and bedroom.
My next tier of spending is on personal items such as books, clothing or products such as shampoo. I also purchase difficult-to-find food items via Amazon.
Once I had clarity on the tiers of my spending on Amazon, I more clearly defined my budgets for each qube. This was a useful practice because it gave me the structure I needed to be more intentional about my spending BEFORE it happened. I could browse through Amazon and pick the different products that I planned on purchasing. Taking the time to create my spending budget also helped me to decide what my financial priorities are.
This step also forced me to embrace delayed gratification, especially if I didn’t have enough money set aside in my qubes. I had to figure out my budget and then create a deposit. It takes a few days for deposit transactions to clear, so I have to wait before spending my money.
That delay also allowed me to spend a little more time evaluating the different items I planned to purchase. I’m also better able to avoid the pitfalls of online spending, such as upsells where I’m enticed to buy an additional item, unnecessary warranties, or the fear of missing out on a short-term sale.
Currently, I’m pricing bathroom fixtures, and I’ll admit that I’m having a hard time deciding on the color and the type of fixtures. Delaying my purchases makes it easier for me to make the right decision before buying.
Using Qube for Online Spending
I’ve been a longtime fan of the cash envelope system, but it was so awkward and a little bit scary to use. I still have my actual cash envelopes sitting in a drawer in my house. They’re huge. It was an excellent tool, but I was often afraid of losing an envelope, and I hate to admit that I would often shuffle the cash around. This was easy to do because there was no record of moving my funds from one envelope to another.
Using Qube Money for online spending has been extremely helpful in managing my spending impulses. Before I make purchases, I see my qube balance. I tap to spend, and I’m done! Qube sends me a notification when the transaction is complete.
I’m so excited to continue using Qube for my Amazon spending. It truly does help me make better spending decisions.