A Financial Planner’s Guide to Amazon Prime Day

I’ll let you in on a secret.  Even though I’m on a year long shopping ban I’ve had a $50 Amazon gift card burning a hole in my wallet for months. Maybe I’m afraid to use it the way someone who hit their goal weight would avoid free cake in the break room.  I’m feeling brave and will use it on Prime Day to get some great deals.  According to a Yahoo survey at least 50% of Amazon Prime members are planning to spend $100 within the next 36 hours.  Most of these people probably will buy things they don’t need – but not us.  As a Certified Financial Planner here are some of my shopping tips you can use on Prime Day or any other day you are face to face with a great deal.

Prime Question #1: Will it make you healthier?

Health is one area where you pay for it now or pay for it later.  I have supported my clients when they confess they have a personal trainer or spend money on race entries and gyms.  Look, if a yoga class keeps you from telling off your boss I consider it a good financial investment.

If some new gear makes you more inclined to get off the couch by all means buy it  –  but get a deal!

There are great prices on Prime day for fitness gear and apparel.  Keep in mind, the deals are going to be better on products that aren’t made by a competitor (like Apple) so wait for Black Friday for those items.

Working out isn’t the only area that can help you get healthy on Prime Day.  Abs (of all sizes) are made in the kitchen!  Amazon’s Prime Pantry allows prime members to shop for everyday items like groceries and housekeeping supplies in usable sizes.  This is great since buying in bulk doesn’t work for everyone or every living space.  Shopping for groceries online can help prevent you from impulse buying things you don’t need which could save you money (and calories).  If you want to give it a try you can get $10 off your first order with their Prime Day deal.

Prime Question #2: Will it save you time?

My prime membership started when I had my first child and signed up through Amazon Moms.  I was ordering things left and right because newborns go through diapers faster than I thought.  Also, I bought every item anyone told me would make him sleep better.   I didn’t have time to go to the store everyday. The ease of shopping online and free 2 day delivery saved me time.  Sold.

I like to see my clients spending money on things that save them time.  It makes them happier and more productive.  You can’t buy more time on this earth no matter how rich you are!

I would gladly trade spending money on clothes to pay for someone to clean my house because it would save me time.  Time I can spend with my kids (or without my kids) depending on the day.  If you have considered Amazon Prime membership before now is the time to try it.  You have to be a member to take advantage of the deals.


Prime Question #3: Will it make you smarter?

Attention bookworms!  Today is our day.  When I work in the city I have about 50 minutes each way on the train where I get to escape into a book.  I read books about parenting, fiction, non-fiction, you name it.  I love the feeling I get when an author completely nails something I’ve been struggling with at work or home.  Books have also helped me invest in myself.

If you want to protect yourself from becoming obsolete at work you need to constantly be learning.

My reading habit can get expensive though so one deal I am definitely taking advantage of with my gift card is Kindle Unlimited.  This deal gets you 3 months of unlimited reading for $0.99 (regular price $29.97)!  If you don’t have a Kindle you can download the app on your phone or iPad and get started.  If you prefer to listen and learn there is a good Audible deal with two free audio books!

Limiting screen time for our kids is important.  I realized this today when my 4 year old daughter tried to tie me to a chair to steal my phone.  However, as I learned from my son’s pre-k technology teacher (yes you read that right) the right app can be a powerful learning tool. If you are thinking about how to introduce tech in a safe way you might like this deal.  On Prime Day you can get 3 months of  Amazon Free Time for $2.99 (regularly $29.99).  This gives you access to thousands of children’s books, movies, TV shows and games.  Hello drinking my coffee (while it’s hot) as they learn Spanish and Math!  Parenting win.

Prime Question #4:  Will it keep you safer?

One of the best deals on Prime Day is rumored to be on the Cloud Cam Security camera that works with Alexa.  While I have a 100 lb Rottweiler she doesn’t do the best job protecting the house if an intruder happens to have a biscuit on them. I am considering this deal because we have talked about security systems and we already have Alexa.  If you keep getting packages swiped off of your doorstep or feel a little better knowing when the kids get home from school it might be a good purchase because of the deep discount.

The deepest discounts (as expected) will be on Amazon’s own products.  They are going to be $100 off in some cases.  I’ve become a bit of a sap now that I’m a parent.  The latest Alexa Show commercial got me where Grandma is sad because her grandkids left.  She unwraps some crazy gadget they gave her and says “call family” into it.  Boom!  She sees them on the screen and is happy and I’m crying.  If your loved ones aren’t tech-savvy this it is a great gift and probably the best price they will offer all year.  It is always good to see people faces when distance keeps you apart.  I like seeing my parents when we call so I know they look healthy and are doing well.  Worrying about people is in my DNA and video helps calm those nerves.

If you are one of the many who plan to spend $100 or more on Prime Day be smart about what you buy.  Spending money for the sake of a deal can often leave people feeling guilty and upset.  Spend, rinse, repeat… It is great to get a deal but make sure it is worth it for your mind, body or sanity. 

If it makes you healthier, safer, smarter or saves time than it may be worth it. What are you looking for this Prime Day?  If you find a great deal please share it in the comments!

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