Right now in my inbox, there are 4,323 unopened emails. This will make a lot of you cringe. Honestly, it makes me cringe. I used to be one of those people that kept a flawless inbox, until I took a college course that decided to run their forum by email. Hundreds of pointless irrelevant emails started pouring in and that was the end of it.
I’m telling you this because it was at that point I started thinking of my email address less as a way to contact me and more as a dumping ground for every random coupon, newsletter, store mailing list, etc. Practically every one of those 4,323 unopened emails is for a store or website that wants to sell me something– and sometimes they do.
Do you see where I’m going with this? It doesn’t matter how strong willed you are, how much of a penny pincher your are, or how self-proclaimed non-materialistic you are. The emails that are heading to your inbox at this very moment are from places you either really, really like, or have bought things from in the past because they offered you something you wanted at the price you were comfortable spending, and will most likely spend again.
Now I’m not saying that coupons and deals are bad so to say, and most of the time we sign up for a store’s mailing list its because they offer a rewards card or a first time 20% coupon etc. These are great things for when you need to buy something and you want to get it at the best price possible. The problem is that you are making yourself susceptible to spend money on things you didn’t even know you wanted every time you check your email. You are literally asking all these companies you advertise specifically to you in ways that they know you will be vulnerable to.
For example, if you put a pair of jeans in your online cart at the Gap and then change your mind and leave the website, lo and behold, if you gave them your email, you may find a 10% coupon just waiting for you in your inbox the next morning. They know you have a cart waiting with items you want, and they will fight for you to get those jeans even if it means they lose 10%.
This is great if you actually need jeans and the Gap has exactly what you’re looking for, but how many of us are actually buying things we need after receiving these coupons and deals in our inbox? Are the jeans you have right now literally falling apart? or are they just a little out of style?
Right now I “need” some stuff. I need curtains for my patio, a bigger picture frame for a family heirloom, black skinny jeans, a basket for the dog’s toys, a new desk for my husband, a new duvet cover, a new bed frame, a new rug, and purple fabric. I could probably go to my inbox right now and find coupons and incredible deals on almost all these things– and by golly it is real tempting to go do that. But instead I’m going to go unsubscribe to about a thousand different email lists, because while it would be nice to have all that listed above, I can’t really afford it right now even if I got a great deal on it. Because when you buy something on sale, you are spending money, not “saving” it. So i’ll wait for Christmas, save my pennies, and my husband and I will continue to sleep under my purple and green comforter from college because its warm and it works.
You get enough personalized advertisements literally everywhere you go on the internet, give your mind a break from the temptations and don’t ask companies to send you even more directly to your email. If you do really need to buy something, get that 20% coupon from the company and then immediately unsubscribe. You’re doing your finances a favor, I swear.