4 Ways to Make the Most of Amazon Prime Day

by Maurie Backman | Updated July 21, 2021 - First published on June 14, 2021

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One of the biggest online shopping events of the year is coming. Here's your game plan.

Whether you're the type of person who naturally enjoys shopping or not, it's hard not to be tempted by Amazon Prime Day. The online shopping event, which is slated to take place on June 21-22, is apt to be loaded with deals on a wide range of products.

But there's a danger associated with Prime Day -- overspending and having to find ways to pay off debt. And that's really not what you want.

With that in mind, here are a few ways to make the most of Prime Day without going overboard.

1. Make a wish list in advance

The number of discounted items available on Prime Day can be overwhelming, and so it's important to approach things in an organized fashion. Before Prime Day arrives, make a list of the items you're looking to buy. You can either make a general list (such as "workout gear") or jot down specific brands or model numbers you want to purchase. Then, you'll be able to look for those items specifically on Prime Day rather than browse the site and be tempted by things that aren't on your list.

2. Set a spending budget

Your goal on Prime Day should be to snag the items you want for less without racking up a balance on your credit card that you can't pay off right away. And if you set a spending limit and stick to it, that shouldn't happen.

Figure out how much extra spending your paycheck can cover, and then keep a running tab of your Prime Day orders to ensure that you're not going overboard. You may also decide to dip into your savings to make some Prime Day purchases, and that's okay. Just make sure not to raid your emergency fund -- that money should be reserved for unplanned bills only.

3. Be on the lookout for lightning deals

While there are plenty of discounts to be had in the course of Prime Day, the biggest ones may come in the form of Lightning Deals.

These deals only last a certain amount of time and the items in question can sell out quickly. Think of them the same way you would Black Friday doorbusters -- if you're not lined up at the store when it opens, you probably won't snag the items you really want.

As such, if your schedule allows for it, keep checking Amazon to see when those Lightning Deals will drop. Some deals give you advanced notice so you can plan to be online at the right time. Keep in mind that Amazon generally allows you to join a Lightning Deal waitlist so that if you don't snag a deal right away, you may still have a shot at it.

4. Use a credit card that gives you great rewards

If you're going to be spending a fair amount of money in the course of Prime Day, make sure you're using a rewards credit card. Some credit cards might offer a quarterly bonus for Amazon purchases, so it pays to see what options are available to you.

It's easy to get excited about Prime Day, but having a game plan is a good way to help ensure that you don't run into financial trouble in the course of your shopping.

Of course, if you're not yet a member of Amazon Prime, you'll need to sign up in time for Prime Day to take advantage of those bargains. The good news is that if you haven't been a Prime member over the past 12 months, you can sign up for a free trial. Otherwise, make sure to renew your membership to avoid missing out.

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