I used to subscribe to emails from tons of companies. On any given day I’d get probably fifty emails from restaurants, retailers, and travel providers. That doesn’t count the texts I’d get on my cell phone from retailers, or the companies on Facebook that would notify me of deals and coupons. While I got some fantastic deals, I realized that I was often spending money needlessly. My inbox was costing me money, not saving it.
Because I’d get a coupon or a deal, I’d feel like I had to use it. If I got a text for something free at a restaurant, I’d often go out to eat. If I got a coupon from a retailer, I’d go see what they had. I didn’t necessarily need anything but heck, if I had 25% off, I’d go browse. If I got a great deal from a hotel or theme park, I’d start planning a trip. It dawned on me one day that all of these deals weren’t saving me anything. I was spending, not saving. Sure, maybe I had 30% off at Kohls, but if I didn’t really need anything and just bought something to use the coupon, I wasn’t saving money. It was the same with the free entree at a restaurant. Maybe I got to eat for free, but I still had to pay for the rest of my group to eat.
Saving money generally means not spending it at all, or at least reducing the cost of items you truly need. It doesn’t mean shopping just to use a deal. (That’s called Spaving, or spending to save). The few times that an offer came for something I genuinely needed, I did quite well at saving money. However, the truly useful deals that came at a time when I really needed them were a tiny portion of the flood in my inbox.
To fix this problem, I unsubscribed from most of the emails I was receiving. I also removed many of the deal sites like FatWallet and SlickDeals from my bookmark folder on my browser. That made it harder for me to check “just to see” if there were any good deals. Without all those deals, my temptations were greatly reduced. And I found I didn’t really miss them. With all the coupons available on the Internet, I found that if I needed to purchase something I could find a coupon somewhere. I also unfriended most of the companies on Facebook and unsubscribed to most of the text messages, too.
This hasn’t only cut down on my impulse buying, it’s also reduced some of my stress and freed up some time. It took a lot of time to wade through all those emails every day. Even if I just deleted them without reading, it still required time and it cluttered my inbox and obscured more important things. It also reduced my stress. I wasn’t running around with a purse full of coupons, trying to track expiration dates in my head. And I wasn’t wandering stores trying to find something to use the deal on.
If you’re serious about saving money, I would advise you to unsubscribe from those deal emails and to not subscribe to any new ones. When you need to buy something, search the Internet for coupons or wait for a sale. Even if you can’t find a coupon or a sale, you’ll still save money by buying only the things you need instead of purchasing those items plus all of the “deals” you just had to use. Remember that a deal isn’t a deal if you don’t need it. You don’t need the temptation to spend unnecessarily, so removing those temping emails is a great way to start saving money.
(Photo courtesy of me and the sysop)