Amazon’s Hidden Feature Lets You Easily Budget Your Spending

published Oct 24, 2018
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(Image credit: Ellie Arciaga Lillstrom)

If you’re anything like me, a.k.a. prone to compulsive late-night Amazon Prime purchases (especially after a couple glasses of wine), then boy do we have the solution for you.

Amazon Allowance is a feature on Amazon that allows you to fund your shopping (or someone else’s) with gift card credits you set aside ahead of time—so you can shop to your heart’s content without ever sharing your credit card info.

Translation: You can give yourself (or a loved one) an actual allowance for Amazon spending, so you’ll be forced to stay on budget.

How it works:

Amazon Allowance lets you add gift card funds for yourself or someone else on a one-time, daily, weekly, monthly, or every-two-week basis. Funds are directly added to the recipient’s gift card balance, and can be used instantly when shopping on

So basically, you can set up your very own budget for Amazon spending, before you begin shopping. And because you’ll be using predetermined gift card funds versus your credit card, you won’t be able to go over budget without adding your credit card info (and of course, admitting to yourself you went too wild on Amazon, yet again).

(Image credit: KateMaxStock)

Obviously, this is a great solution for chronic Amazon over-spenders like myself, since you set up a weekly or monthly budget ahead of time to stick to.

The same goes for friends, roommates, and children you’re shopping for. For example, say you and your roomie prefer to split the cost of your shared home supplies—paper towels, toilet paper, cleaning products, etc.—you can load their Amazon account with an Amazon Allowance for your half of the purchase before they click “buy,” no Venmo necessary!

And with the holidays on the horizon, Amazon Allowance is also an awesome way to start saving up for your seasonal spending now. Just add a designated amount to your gift card balance every week (or month) and begin saving up for big purchase items—or lots of little ones—for both your loved ones and yourself.