“Latte Expenses” are often discussed in personal finance as an easy way to meet your budgeting goals.  By identifying and cutting small every day expenses, real savings can add up over time.

For example, a $4 per work day latte habit adds up to $1,040 per year.  By making coffee at home, you can dramatically cut your spending and use the unspent funds to reduce debt or increase your rate of savings.  Coffee is just one example, other easy targets could include dining out for lunch, drinking wine daily, smoking, etc.

One issue I identified for my family is Amazon.  While I love the convenience Amazon offers me, I have noticed it is really easy to over spend.  This is because Amazon has done such a great job making it easy to purchase items.  I can open the App on my phone, do a search, and swipe my finger to make a purchase.  Compounding the issue, Amazon can add up to a lot more than $4 per day.

How I got Amazon spending under control:

  •  I signed up for the Amazon credit card
  • The card offers an attractive cash back reward program for Amazon purchases – a discount on purchases I didn’t have before
  • I only use this card for Amazon purchases
  • I ensure the statement balance is paid in full monthly.

I was already using an accounting software to track my family’s income and expenses, the Amazon bill was blended in with my every day spending.  By moving these expenses to one credit card I was able to highlight my Amazon spending.  This enabled me to quickly see if I overspent during the month. This provided the opportunity to review purchases and make changes going forward.

There is definitely a place for Amazon in my life, but as with all things, it must fit within my budget.

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