Check out Amazon’s awesome frugality tool

You may not fully appreciate how frivolous your online spending can be.

Well, there’s a little-known reporting function in Amazon that’ll let you download your entire transaction history going back to 2006. It’s a great aid to frugality. Let me show you how it works.

Step one: Click here to sign in and directly access Amazon’s purchase reporting page. You’ll see:

Note: a few readers have reported that the above link doesn’t work and they have to access the report system manually. To do so, make sure you’re signed in and try this path.  Accounts and Lists (dropdown at upper right) > Your Account (an item in the dropdown) > Download order reports (located in the “Ordering and shopping preferences” box on the left.) That should do it.

Step two: Choose your timeframe. In this report I’m running my entire history. (Note that I’ve been an Amazon member since 1997, so technically this isn’t my entire history, but it’s good enough for my purposes.) You’ll see quick-report options on the right.

Step three: Hit “Request Report” and wait while it compiles, then download it. It’ll come as a CSV. Import it into your favorite spreadsheet app.

Step four: Use the “sum” function on the “Item Total” column. (This may require you to create a new row at the top or bottom of the purchase list.)

Voilà: there’s your total. We’re at 643 purchases totaling $17,832.63. Lot of purchases for us this month. When I consider what they were, I feel OK about them. I had to order some auto parts and our daughter just started back to school. We shopped around, too.

So it’s interesting to examine the list and consider the nature of what you bought. Was it frugal? Frivolous? Were you comfort shopping? Do you still use these items? How will seeing this list affect your shopping habits going forward?

Listen: I’d REALLY appreciate it if you’d run the report, think about these questions, and comment with your total and how you feel about it. I think comparing results would be a good learning experience for everybody.

Thanks!


Hey, if you haven’t linked Amazon Smile to your main account, you’re missing a chance to help out your favorite charity at no cost to you. It’s quick and easy to sign up. For more info,  here’s my full review.

Author: ER Dude

Sick of your job? After a thirteen-year career, Early Retirement Dude fled corporate America for good. You can do it too! Visit http://EarlyRetirementDude.com or email EarlyRetirementDude@gmail.com.

14 thoughts

    1. >This should help keep my spending in check on Amazon

      Right? Keeping spending in check for me has been more about getting the right stuff at the right price. I believe in buying nice tools, for example, and it’s interesting to look at that report and see what I’ve picked up and when I picked it up and think about whether it still works and if so, how well.

  1. $4,390.93 from 2008 till now. I was a bit surprised and expected it to be higher. I feel perfectly fine about our purchases. Mostly baby products (bulk diapers and wipes), groceries (Amazon Pantry), and some random electronics through the years (cell phone batteries, chargers, hard drive enclosures, etc.)

  2. Wow, that’s an awesome tool! Here is my info and some context:
    Overall: 687 orders, $22,794 (yow!)
    2014: 56 orders, $1,491
    2015: 87 orders, $2,964 (moved to a new household early in 2015)
    2016: 113 orders, $3,862 (started seriously embracing FI/RE in November)
    2017: 88 orders, $1825

    I have always lived below my means but I didn’t start working on FI/RE until late 2016 (around November).

    Looking back at what I purchased this year, about $600 of it was ‘fun’ stuff (board games, gifts, etc) which came from a budget category (I didn’t spend more per month than expected).

    The rest of my 2017 purchases have been normal household items (I moved to a solo household a bit over 2 years ago and occasionally find a kitchen doo-dad I am missing, especially now that I cook most of my meals at home) and expenses related to adopting a cat.

    In short, my Amazon purchases are already WAY down and I expect them to keep going down next year as I get even better at not buying crap I don’t need. 🙂

    1. >Looking back at what I purchased this year, about $600 of it was ‘fun’ stuff (board games, gifts, etc) which came from a budget category (I didn’t spend more per month than expected).

      Staying in budget is key, I think…takes the sting out of that $22,794, that’s for sure…

  3. $4863 since Jan 1 2013 to today, and $3,340 of which was spent since June 2016 when I got married! Turns out you spend a lot more money on amazon when you’re married! That was my big takeaway. Overall though, we typically don’t buy shiny new things on Amazon, only the things we need to “run the engine”, so to speak. I feel pretty good about this amount 🙂

  4. Wow, $20,484.93 from 01/01/06-09/17/17 . I don’t pay for Prime and didn’t think of my purchases as excessive, but I do buy many things via Amazon. I am unfamiliar with spreadsheet software, and found it unreadable in Open Office Calc, so I put it in Google Sheets on the web. It gave me the sum total at the bottom right. Useful in case there are others like me who don’t use that kind of software for finance. Thank you for the info; it is definitely a little-known Amazon tool and I’d not been aware of it.

    1. Sure thing. Glad you found it helpful.

      Did you look at any of the specifics? We had some good laughs. “We bought THAT?” and/or “Oh, wow…I still use that thing every day.” Entertaining and educational.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rockstar Finance

Important Disclaimers