Amazon Prime Day Is Coming. Here's How to Make the Most of It

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The two-day event will feature major sales -- but you don't want to go overboard.

Whether you use Amazon regularly or browse its selection occasionally, there are plenty of good reasons to get excited for Amazon Prime Day. The big sales event will actually take place over two days -- Oct. 13 and 14 -- and will feature thousands of deals, from electronics to household goods. Shopping on Prime Day can be overwhelming, but here are four ways to make the most of it.

1. Set a spending budget

Once Prime Day arrives, the temptation to spend will be huge. But the last thing you want to do is rack up a pile of debt taking advantage of great deals. That's why it's crucial to set a shopping budget for the two-day event. Take a look at your expenses and see how much money you can afford to part with. If you have savings beyond an emergency fund, there's also nothing wrong with dipping in and using some of that money to stock up on discounted goods. The key, however, is to set a spending limit so you don't go overboard.

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2. Prioritize the items on your wish list

Come Prime Day, there will be thousands of discounted items available -- so you'll need to narrow down your personal list ahead of time to ensure that your money goes toward the right things. Amazon already has a section on its site highlighting some Prime Day deals, so it pays to look through it and see which items catch your eye. But you should also make your own independent list of items you want or need.

Furthermore, Prime Day may provide a good opportunity to do holiday shopping in advance, so think about the gifts you'll need to buy this year and consider adding them to your list (and if you go this route, feel free to dip into your holiday budget, which may give you a little more room to spend). Finally, remember that while many items may be heavily discounted during the Prime Day event, if they're not things you really need or want, buying them won't constitute a good deal at all -- don't be lured by slashed prices alone.

3. Leave wiggle room for new deals

Plan as you may for Prime Day, you may find yourself staring down a set of bargains you didn't anticipate. That's why it's good to give yourself wiggle room for a few last-minute extras. In other words, if you budget $300 for Prime Day, try to compile a list of purchases that doesn't exceed $250. That way, if something catches your eye last-minute, you can jump on it without risking debt.

4. Maximize credit card rewards

Want to score great Prime Day deals without having to pay for everything out of pocket? Then it pays to apply for the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card right away. This no-annual-fee credit card gives you an instant $100 bonus you can then use to cover some of your Prime Day purchases. From there, you'll also earn 5% back on purchases made at Amazon, including Prime Day buys. You'll also get 5% back if you shop at Whole Foods, 2% back at restaurants, drug stores, and gas stations, and 1% back on all other purchases.

Of course, to participate in Amazon Prime Day, you'll need to be a Prime member, so if you haven't signed up yet, now's the time. The good news is that Amazon offers a free 30-day trial that lets you capitalize on the many benefits of Amazon Prime, like two-day shipping and electronic content, so even if you don't want to pay the $119 annual fee right away, you can still take advantage of one of the biggest shopping events of the year.

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