I consider myself to be pretty good with money. I always know how much I have in the bank at a given time. Each month after I get paid, I sit down and pay my student loan payments for the next month. My credit cards are never maxed, and I do my best to budget all my spending, even for extras (read: essentials) like wine and coffee. I paid off my car two years early, I have a decent credit score and I do my taxes early.
Still, I have a big weakness for shopping. Mostly for clothes, and makeup too. Oh, and yarn, of course 🙂 Most notably, I am a HUGE sucker for a well-executed sales pitch. In all my years working retail I learned the power of a truly good salesperson, but never quite caught on to how to resist effectively. Even a good promotional email will get me interested, and once I’m in the store I’m pretty much a goner. I never really go over my budget, but since I am trying to save money this year I decided to try to cut down on some of my more frivolous purchases. Step one: get rid of all the junk mail.
I thought I had a good system to manage all the inevitable junk email that comes with being a consumer in the 21st century. Every time you make a purchase online you are automatically signed up for promotional emails. Having worked in a store where my “email capture percentage” was tracked daily, I also ALWAYS give my email when I make purchases in stores. I use what I refer to as my “junk email address”(an old one I created in high school), so it all goes to one place and doesn’t clutter up my more professional email accounts. Still, even when going in to delete all the promotional crap every few days, I would get sucked in.
So, on New Year’s Eve, I spent a full 3 hours unsubscribing from ALL the promotional email I receive. I knew I received a lot, but the sheer volume and variety of retailers was mind boggling! I opened each one–there were well over a hundred–scrolled all the way down to the TINY unsubscribe button at the bottom, and slowly but surely cleared out my inbox.
It’s been over a month now since I unsubscribed, and I can’t even begin to tell you how liberating it feels to not even have to interact with all the sales junk. Imagine if you didn’t have to recycle the weekly grocery ad paper, you just never received it at all! It’s awesome. A few still trickle through here and there, but I unsubscribe immediately. I know that it’s cut down on my urge to buy, and it just feels good to not have so many things clogging my inbox and brain.
(A note for those still stuck in in solidarity with all the retail workers out there whose email percentage has been ruined by that one older lady who doesn’t have an email address, I will still give out my email freely and unsubscribe later 🙂