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Discretionary Spending/Amazon Returns

January 12th, 2021 at 04:58 pm

I don't think I went into too much detail on this in previous posts, but for the next few months, I've put myself into a discretionary spending timeout.  The only thing I can spend money on out of "real money" are groceries, and replacement of household essentials (mostly cleaning supplies, etc).  

I mention "real money" because I left myself a small loophole so I don't feel like I am completely depriving myself of the shopping dopamine hit haha.  Any store credits (ie, returns that could not be given as a refund, and can only be spent at that store) can be used for "fun" spending.  My cousin and I joke all the time that it's not like spending real money, because in my opinion, I've already spent it.  She disagrees lol.  

I'm currently waiting on a bunch of returns from Amazon to be processed.  All but one have been dropped at the UPS Store, but I think they're majorly backed up.  Usually when I do an Amazon return this way, by the end of the day, I've gotten an email confirming receipt of the return, and the refund is processed.  I dropped some returns off last week, and they have not been processed yet.  Dropped three more off today, so not sure what to expect timing wise.  I have one more to drop off, but I am going to drop that one off at Kohl's to see if that happens faster.

Of those returns, 3 were Christmas gifts that I ended up deciding against.  Those will be credited to my Amazon account as a gift card balance.  This should be somewhere around $95....based on the rules I've set for myself, I get to spend this on whatever I want, not just necessities.  There were a few things on my Amazon wish list that I did not get for Christmas, so I'll have to decide what of those I want.  Two of the returns were purchased with my credit card, so the refund will just go back to it, and I don't get to play with those funds lol.  And finally, one was something I purchased for my mother.  I transferred the money for that purchase from her bank account  to mine to reimburse myself.  So once I get the refund, I'll transfer it back to her, as the correct item has already been purchased.  

I'm playing with the idea of giving myself a small "play money" allowance every paycheck in a few months once I've caught up a little more.  I've seen a lot of people do this via these blogs and have always been intrigued.  Not sure what amount is appropriate - it'll depend on how much is leftover after all budget line items are satisfied.  But I do think that it would help with my impulsive spending.  If I set boundaries that I can buy things for myself, but it has to come out of this bucket of money - if I want something more expensive that can't be funded from one month's allowance, then I need to save up for it.  Obviously much larger purchases would have to be considered separately, but I can't think of anything that would meet that defnition that I want soon, so I can hold off on figuring that out for now.


2 Responses to “Discretionary Spending/Amazon Returns”

  1. Wink Says:

    I would be sure to have a $1000.00 emergency fund in place before I would give myself any fun money. I agree that complete spending deprivation doesn't work in the long run, but it's really important that you have at least a small cushion for emergencies first.

  2. FocusedinmyForties Says:

    late.start - thanks, I agree. I've definitely spoken to my therapist about these things, and there are multiple reasons. The biggest I think can be attributed to what's been happening the past year in our country and in my personal life as well. Not a whole lot of things to stimulate happiness, so I've been looking for ways to manufacture it. I've come to a place of reckoning, so I am confident/hopeful that I can more honestly assess whether I am looking for something to make me happy, or if I actually need something.

    Wink - yes, the EF is something I am working to establish. To clarify, when I say "fun money", I'm talking about $25-$50 per paycheck. And I am not planning to put this into place for another few months. Hopefully by then, I will have received my tax refund, and that can be directed to fund the first $1k of my EF. I am expecting the refund to be greater than that amount.

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