Skip to main content

Is Amazon Prime necessary if you are really trying to save money?

I do not have Amazon Prime

At the same time, I opened my Amazon account in 1999 and have been shopping regularly since then.  The reason I do not have Prime membership -- call me a cheapo if you wish but I would rather be a millionaire -- is that it is one recurring expense each month and I hate to pay for things that I can do without.  Imagine paying $14.99 (October 2022 pricing) or $139 per year, which you could invest in the stock market instead?

I am being told that I am an exception.There are as many as 165 million Americans with Amazon Prime accounts -- it means that once we exclude children, almost everyone who shops online already has this fixed expense.

How do I manage without Amazon Prime?

Easy.  Plan ahead.  Remember that prior to 2005, Amazon Prime did not exist.  So people like us simply shopped in such a way that we waited till the order was large enough to be eligible for free shipping.  For us, the habit has simply continued.  I still wait for my order to exceed $25 and I get free shipping.

Remember, it is only because of my obsession with controlling unnecessary expenses that I have become a millionaire: be it because of just one car in our householdkeeping our cell phones till they die, we avoided having a wedding, etc.

Why do people insist that they need Amazon Prime?

Look, you can create an argument to have any expense you want.  Prime members have other benefits, including data storage, music, books, etc. and if you are enjoying all those benefits and getting value for the membership, may be you can justify it, but I never pay for any subscriptions because these expenses add up even when you are not using them.  I listen to free music on YouTube so I do not pay for Spotify.  The only reason I have Netflix is that it is free for me as part of my cable package with Xfinity.  

Advice on subscriptions

  1. Be very mindful about signing up since cancelling them can be hard.
  2. Always look for ways to not pay for a monthly subscription.  With just a bit of planning, I get free shipping from Amazon.  While I have never paid for it, if I absolutely must have something right away, I will pay for shipping but that would be a one-time expense rather than a recurring expense.
  3. Keep your wants to a minimum.  You, of course, will have needs, the way I do.  After I pay my Xfinity, electricity, and water bills each month but they are needs not want.  Maybe I will need to wait an extra few days to get my order shipped or I will never be able to watch a show on Amazon Prime, but I am happy to save some money each month.