Digital retailer Amazon1 single-handedly invented a new national shopping day called Prime Day®, and now hundreds of retailers around the country are expected to pile on with online sales of their own when the event starts July 15, 2019.

Amazon launched Prime Day as a two day, mid-summer event in 2015 to promote online sales for existing Prime customers, and to entice new customers to join the Prime membership program. Since then, Prime Day has joined other big sales days such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Last year, Amazon reportedly sold 100 million products in 48 hours, and raked in an estimated $4.4 billion in sales.

More than 250 other retailers—including Target and Walmart—are expected to take part in the shopping day in 2019, with rival deals of their own. Unofficially, Prime Day is also the kick-off of back to school shopping, and this summer, parents say they plan to spend an average $507 on school supplies, up from $465 in 2018, according to Bloomberg.

Here’s how you can navigate Amazon’s Prime Day:

  1. Set a budget for yourself. Know how much money you can afford to spend before you start shopping. Think about using money from the “wants” part of your budget. (Check out what that is by reading up on the 50-30-20 budget). Try to avoid using credit cards for your spending, unless you know you can pay off the balance each month. No matter how good the sales are, you want to avoid increasing your debt.  Consider using a debit card, as debit charges are deducted directly from your checking account. Also, don’t use money that you’ve saved in your emergency fund—that money is strictly for emergencies.
  2. Build your list before you shop. It’s pretty simple. Write down everything you want to buy before you start shopping. You can tally the expected cost of each item, and check it against your budget. Having a list before you start will help you apply the brakes before you overspend, and help you control impulse spending.
  3. Do a quick search for big-ticket items. If you’re looking to buy something that costs a lot of money, confirm you’re getting the best deal by checking around online. Remember, hundreds of other retailers are jumping on the bandwagon on Prime Day to offer sales of their own.
  4. Use your Stash debit card. If you are going to shop on Prime Day, consider using the Stash debit card2 so you can earn Stock-Back3. When you spend at Amazon with the Stash debit card, you’ll automatically earn Amazon stock (AMZN) for your Stash portfolio. (The same goes for any other company with individual stock available on Stash). If you choose to shop at a local business this Prime Day and use a Stash debit card, you’ll earn Stock-Back in the Stocks Worldwide ETF.

Some Amazon background

Jeff Bezos founded Amazon in his garage in 1994, as an online bookseller. It went public in 1997 with a valuation of $500 million.

Amazon has made Bezos a very rich man. His fortune is currently worth about $131 billion, making him the richest person in the world.

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