I can’t think of many things worse than waking up with a raging debt hangover-an all-too-common condition that hits many people when they open their credit card statement.

The only reason you paid for everything with a credit card was convenience.

Besides, it’s not safe to shop online with a debit card, so what were your options?

Of course you promised yourself as you took advantage of that great shoe sale that you would repay the full amount when the statement arrived, but who are you kidding?

You’re already carrying a balance on every card in your wallet, so now all of those new purchases will only add to the problem by plunging you further into debt.

Truthfully, you don’t even know for sure how much you spent, because who keeps track when you pay for everything with a credit card?

Just imagine if you’d kept your promise to begin living on cash because you’ve locked those credit cards away where they are safe from you. You’d be looking at this statement with a much different attitude. No excuses, no hiding the bills, no worries and no regrets.

I’ve got some good news for you: You really can adopt a cash lifestyle. And now, you can even shop with cash on Amazon, absolutely no credit card or debit card required.


Step 1: Stop into the nearest Walgreens drugstore (or select participating supermarkets, drugstores and convenience stores nationwide, which sell Amazon gift cards with no fees), and purchase an Amazon gift card in a denomination between $15 and $100. Pay for it with cash.

Step 2: Go to the Amazon website, and log in to your account (create a new account if you do not already have one). Go to “Redeem a Gift Card.” Follow the simple instructions to add your gift card’s unique claim code to your account. It is super easy. These funds will be available immediately or held safely in your account; they will not expire and will automatically apply to your next Amazon order.


Got a lot of loose change? You can take your change and cash to any of the 17,800 Coinstar kiosks around the country and have it converted to an Amazon gift card — with no fee deducted. Every penny you put into the machine will be added to your Amazon gift card. Follow the instructions above to add the gift card to your Amazon account.

Western Union

You can purchase an Amazon claim code with cash in any amount from $25 to $2,000 at 47,000 Western Union Agent locations across the US. Add the claim code to your Amazon account (instructions above).


Visit a participating MoneyGram agent location to purchase an Amazon gift card claim code with cash and no fees.

There you go. Simple, convenient ways you can enjoy the convenience of Amazon shopping while still sticking to your commitment to shop with cash.

Mary invites questions, comments and tips at mary@everydaycheapskate.com, or c/o Everyday Cheapskate, 12340 Seal Beach Blvd., Suite B-416, Seal Beach, CA 90740.

This column will answer questions of general interest, but letters cannot be answered individually. Mary Hunt is the founder of www.DebtProofLiving.com, a personal finance member website and the author of “Debt-Proof Living,” released in 2014. To find out more about Mary and read her past columns, please visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.