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.
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.