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How much have you really spent on Amazon this year?

How much have you really spent on Amazon this year?
Mohamed Ahmed Soliman | Dreamstime

Your Amazon addiction may be silently creeping up on you. Perhaps it started years ago when you bought a couple books. Then you joined Amazon Prime. And then you started to stream videos, order toilet paper, test out Amazon Pantry and use Alexa voice deals.

Now you’re a full-on Amazon customer and you may be wondering just how much of your budget goes to the online retailing behemoth.

There’s a way to find out and the results may be shocking and enlightening.

Find your order reports

Amazon quietly offers a way to see reports of your entire order history. Head to the main “Your Account” page. You will see some options at the top for viewing your orders and for managing your addresses, security and payment settings. Scroll down and look in the “Ordering and shopping preferences” section for the “Download order reports” link. You may need to sign into your account from here. You can also try this direct link.

Discover how to get Amazon Prime perks at a discount.

Request your order history

Now let’s find out how much you spent on Amazon over the last year. The order-report page lets you pick from many options. Start by choosing “Orders and shipments” for the report type. Set the start date to January 1, 2017, and click on “Use today” for the end date, or just click on the “Year To Date” option on the right-hand side. You can also choose to assign the report a name like “2017 spending.” Click on the button below to request your report.

Keep in mind it can take a little time to generate a report if you are a very heavy Amazon user or if you’re requesting a report that covers a long period of time. You don’t have to sit around and wait for it. Amazon will send you an email with a link to your report when it’s ready. Otherwise, it will download automatically.

Get the magic number

The order history report comes in the form of a CSV spreadsheet file, so you will need Microsoft Excel or some other similar software program to open it. You can also upload it to Google Drive’s Sheets program.

The report is full to the brim with data, including how much you paid for each order, the shipping address, carrier name, and shipping charges. What we care about right now is the “Total Charged” section, which should be off to the far right side. For Excel, scroll on down until you find the bottom of the transaction list and click on the empty spreadsheet cell right beneath the last "Total Charged” transaction. Choose “AutoSum” from the toolbar at the top to see your spending for the year.

If you’re using the Google Sheets spreadsheet program in Google Drive, then highlight the entire column of “Total Charged” cells and look for the automatically generated sum down at the bottom of the page.

Here’s everything you get with an Amazon Prime membership.

Go back in time

This same method works for other periods in your Amazon history. You can even generate a report going back to your very first Amazon purchase. From the order history report page, just select January 1 of the earliest year available in the drop-down menu and set the end date for today. Be prepared for what might seem like a shocking number and remind yourself this is your spending over what could be a pretty long period of time.

Now you know how much of your income goes to Amazon, you can think about where your money goes and whether it’s in line with what you hoped it would be. Maybe you feel you’re on the right track, or maybe you will feel compelled to tighten up your budget plans. Either way, it's good to know Amazon's role in your overall spending.

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