The original version of this article was posted over at My Two Dollars about 2 years ago.
One of the ways that retailers used to trick me out of my money would be to send countless catalogs straight into my home, day-in and day-out. These shiny pretty booklets of stuff I “had to have” made me want to part ways with my money and clutter up my home…I mean, who would not need the latest and greatest from the Sharper Image? I found myself wanting various fruit peelers I had no need for, new stereos when the one I had worked just fine, cookware I would never use – the list went on and only got bigger as each catalog arrived. Man, I could not wait for the newest Crutchfield catalog – all those car stereos drove me wild!
And then I stopped them all from coming into my home.
The reason I stopped them all was that I figured out I was falling for the items in these catalogs. I was a marketer’s dream – I had money (at least I thought I did), I was a single guy who loved gadgets and cars, and I would accept all this junk mail coming to my home every day of the week. I found myself marking pages so I could easily find the things I wanted to buy! But this all changed years ago when I realized that these catalogs were encouraging me to part with my hard-earned money for random crap that I had no need for at all. I started calling the numbers in the catalogs to get removed from the lists, which only partially worked. I started filing opt-out letters, which also stopped some of them. Eventually I was only receiving a few that both my future wife (at the time) and I actually wanted to receive, and now we don’t even receive those. We figure if it is out of sight, it is out of mind. You cannot be interested in things that you don’t even know exist!
The last thing we did was use CatalogChoice.org, which can stop all catalogs from coming to your house – for free. There are many services out there that charge you to stop junk mail, but these guys do it right by making it easy and making it free. So if you still receive some catalogs you would rather not receive, check them out. But definitely put a stop to receiving catalogs in general, as not only is a waste of paper, a waste of gas for their delivery (think of the weight of millions of these!), a source of clutter and a waste of your own time spent reading them, but they can also cost you money by convincing you that you need more stuff.
And trust me…none of us need more stuff!