Buying Everything Online Helps Me Keep Track of My Spending

by Bryan Friedman

Websites that keep all previous orders available to view are great for keeping track of how much you spend on the Internet. Amazon is my go-to website for buying, well, pretty much anything, because it’s often cheaper to shop online than in stores in New York City. Plus, I don’t have to carry anything home on the subway. I calculated and reviewed my totals for this year so far. Here’s what I’ve bought, and what I’ve spent.

January 9th — $21.71: Skate 3 for xbox 360
Description: Birthday gift for my younger brother.

January 10th — $11.59: Four boxes of Kashi Heart to Heart Warm Cinnamon Cereal
Description: This is a lot cheaper than the local stores and leaves a lot of valuable room in my grocery shopping tote bag.

January 23rd — $20.70: Six boxes of Instant Organic Oatmeal, Apple Cinnamon
Description: Same deal as the other cereal, but I often like to eat hot cereal in the winter.

January 24th — $13.35: Twelve pack of Kind fruit and nut bars
Description: I bought this prior to a trip to Iceland where I was a bit nervous on my food options since I’m vegan.

January 25th — $43.78: Four packs of eight mega roll Scott Naturals Paper Towels
Description: This was split three ways. My roommates and I like to do this since it’s cheaper, easier to split, lasts longer in bulk, and no one has to lug it home from the store.

February 15th — $2.64: International travel adapter
Description: I bought this before my trip to Iceland and I totally bought the wrong kind. If any Europeans travel to NYC and want to save $2.64 by coming to my office consider it yours.

February 16th — $101.64: Timbuk 2 wingman suitcase in gunmetal/blue
Description: I’m a light packer and usually can fit all of my things in a small duffel bag and my messenger bag, however, this was my first time traveling to a cold place and I found it really difficult to fit all of my sweaters and long sleeve shirts into two smallish bags. I left for Iceland the next day so I obviously did not have the bag in time. I won the lightest packer of all of my friends.

March 7th — $12.76: Twelve pack of Kind fruit and nut bars (lower price!)
Description: Woo sixty cents cheaper! I bought some more Kind bars to throw in my new suitcase bag before heading to Austin, Texas for SXSW. I think I ate one since my diet was essentially tacos and lone stars.

March 9th — $23.96: 24 pack of 14-piece Orbitz gum spearmint
Description: This is a much cheaper option as a three pack of this gum is around $4 and change at the Duane Reades in NYC. It’s also nice to not run out as often.

March 23rd — $13.11: Four boxes of Kashi Heart to Heart Warm Cinnamon Cereal (price increase ~$1.50)
Description: March 20th was the first day of spring, so obviously I’m back to cold cereal.

March 26th — $11.99: Black supercork bicycle tape
Description: I tried going to some local bicycle stores to pick up some new tape for my handlebars for about a week, but they were either closed or something came up. Riding a bike with the tape coming off the handlebars is just not fun, so Amazon had to come to the rescue of my comfort seeking hands.

April 4th — $12.02: Skull candy Ink’d earbuds black
Description: My other earbuds stopped working, which always happens after about six months, but I guess that’s cheap earbuds for you. I always buy the skull candy ones because you can send them back and get a replacement pair, however that takes about six weeks and I needed to go to the gym that week so these were needed. They stopped making the kind I had so I bought this lower model and these were pretty terrible.

April 11th — $16.95: 8 boxes of Hodgson Mills organic whole wheat penne with milled flaxseeds
Description: I love pasta and have pretty much spent every amount possible on every type of pasta. This medium priced pasta is my go-to-pasta. Occasionally, I’ll splurge on some Delallo brand pasta, which is often around $3.50–4.50 box and totally worth it.

April 12th — $16.07: Red Flashflight LED light up frisbee
Description: My friends and I were renting a Long Beach Island, New Jersey beach house for Memorial Day weekend. I thought it would be really fun to play frisbee at night on the beach, but we ended up doing so much day drinking we were all too tired to play at night.

April 18th — $30.86: 2 Knog beatle 2 LED bike light (one headlight, one taillight)
Description: One of my bicycle lights needed a new battery, and I lost the other, so I figured I’d just buy two brand new ones and to upgrade from 1 LED to 2 for some extra visibility.

April 20th — $5.55: Two wine bottle pen markers
Description: I thought this would be great to write little messages on wine/champagne (ok fine Prosecco). I’ve only used it once so far and I have totally gifted a handful of bottles of alcohol.

April 22nd — $5.09: Deva vegan mutlivitamin 90 tablets
Description: This is my every day mutlivitamin. Doesn’t get much cheaper than this.

May 5th — $13: Four boxes of Kashi Heart to Heart Warm Cinnamon Cereal (slightly lower price than previous purchase, more than first)
Description: Okay, by this time, I’m probably getting psyched for fresh strawberries and blueberries to get in season so I can throw them in.

May 16th — $6.48: 4-inch collapsible funnel (gift card)
Description: I make a really mean vodka Arnold Palmer — so mean that some of my friends nicknamed it after me. Anyway, I bought this before the Memorial Day beach house so I can make the drank in those plastic gallon water jugs. My boss gave me a $50 gift card to Amazon and this was the first thing I purchased with it. Thanks boss!

May 30th — $54.39: Dirt Devil Breeze Bagless vacuum ($43 on giftcard)
Description: I had a bit of a rug problem last spring. No, that’s not a typo, I don’t mean drug. I bought a few nice rugs in a pretty short period of time and in order to keep them nice looking I had to get a vacuum. Up until this point my roommates and I would sweep and mop our hardwood floored apartment, which we thought was fine and did the job. Totally doesn’t! Vacuuming is a thousand times better! Figures why Tony Danza looks so stoked while he’s vacuuming in the Who’s the Boss opening credits. Speaking of bosses, I used the rest of that gift card so once again thanks to my boss.

May 30th — $3.51: Motorola travel usb wall charger
Description: My old one broke, so I tried to bring it back to Verizon for a replacement. No dice, and they wanted me to spend $30 for this same one. No thanks, Verizon, but you do have some balls trying a 10x markup!

May 31 — $12.84: Four boxes of Kashi Heart to Heart Warm Cinnamon Cereal (slightly lower price than two purchases, more than first)
Description: Not only is fruit in season, but a new farmers market opened two blocks from my apartment.

June 13th — $15.20: 6 boxes of 16 count Yogi green tea kombucha tea (96 bags total)
Description: I’m totally a tea drinker. Loose leaf and everything, however that is a bit impractical in the office so this is my afternoon tea at work. I use one bag a day two times. This is much cheaper and often tastier than buying tea.

June 15th — $12.84: Four boxes of Kashi Heart to Heart Warm Cinnamon Cereal (same price as last time)
Description: Really psyched on that new farmers market!

June 26th — $5.75: Deva Vitamin D supplement 90 tablets
Description: I went for a checkup and my doctor said I had a vitamin D deficiency and needed a supplement. He said something about my diet, but I’m pretty sure this is a symptom of working in an office and not being able to see the sun from Monday through Friday.

July 15th — $12.76: Twelve pack of Kind fruit and nut bars (same price as last time)
Description: Always good to keep one in your bag or desk at work.

July 22nd — $27.94: Skull Candy Titan in ear buds
Description: I lost those other ones that sounded terrible. I upgraded to a nicer version with a price point that won’t make me feel bad if I lose or break them.

July 24th — $21.98: 24 pack of 14-piece Orbitz gum spearmint (lower than previous purchase)
Description: Gotta be fresh!

August 15th — $12.84: Four boxes of Kashi Heart to Heart Warm Cinnamon Cereal (same price as last time)
Description: This is the only type of cereal in the world right?

August 27th — $44.39: Four packs of eight mega roll Scott Naturals Paper Towels (slightly more)
Description: We ran out of paper towels from the previous order seven months ago.

Grand total on 31 items: $607.77
Average order: $19.61
Most expensive: $101.64
Least expensive: $2.64

Bryan Friedman works in television and lives in Brooklyn, NY. Photo: Toolmantim

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