Money Mistake Monday – The Too Many Catalogs Syndrome.

Photo by New YorK

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…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 would 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 things 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, and mostly just 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!), 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! 🙂

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Comments (5)

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  1. Amy says:

    Why does the US suck so much when it comes to our health care? I really hate that people can get so far into debt when it comes to this and that alternative plans are so inaccessible and difficult to meet income qualifications for.

    I feel for you- I really do. My husband was self-employed for awhile and we had the worst insurance in the world…and got to pay $500 for that favor. It was essentially a discount plan with a discount card.

    Hang in there-

  2. SavingDiva says:

    I love catalogs! I think of them as free magazines. My shopping weakness is online shopping….I LOVE getting packages…I love shopping online!

    I think I’ve only purchased one thing from a catalog…and I was in high school…my parents had to write a check because I didn’t have one….it was for lady bug sheets. Many, I loved those sheets!

    I have tried to cut back on my online shopping. However, it is a constant struggle. I now allow myself to purchase contacts, medications, etc. online. I save money with coupons (slickdeals.net coupon forums) and I get a discount with my health insurance (cheaper through mail delivery service). I figure I’m saving money, but I’m also getting PACKAGES! (I know, I’m like 12)

  3. I hate catalogs cos it just piles up! Now, I throw everything away except the Mrs grocery coupons.

    When I first started ignoring those catalogs, something at the back of my mind tells me that I’m missing on a big deal. But I find that if I simply throw them away, I will not make any impulse purchase. So in the bin it goes for me.

  4. David says:

    Just tucking them away is part of winning the battle!

  5. […] Two Dollars has stopped all catalogs from coming to his home. It stops him from spending money and saves the […]