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Opening The Mail

December 6th, 2007 at 08:22 am

Frugality has crept in to so many areas of my life that I don't even think about it. Yesterday when I was opening the mail, it dawned on me that even the way I open the mail could be considered frugal.

I open the mail standing up, with the following within arms length: shredder, paper recycling bin, my "desk" (it's actually just a folding table right now due to our recent relocation).

Unsolicited credit card offers go straight in to the shredder without being opened.

Any catalogs that made it past my "do not mail list" efforts go straight in to the recycling bin. [Exception: There are 2 companies whose catalogs I will peruse once or twice a year, but they send them out more frequently than that so they usually go in to recycling.] When I do look through a catalog, I'll mark something I might be interested in, then put the catalog aside for several days (or even a week). If, when some time has passed, I still think the purchase is a good idea, then I go ahead. But often the catalog just goes to the recycling bin and the purchase does not get made.

Bills get put in the "To Pay" file in order of due date. (Paying bills on time is so important.) If a credit card statement has checks attached, those are immediately torn off and put in to the shredder. If advertisements are included with bills, they go directly to the recycling bin.

In contrast, I know someone who makes opening the mail almost a form of daily entertainment. She makes herself a cup of tea and then sits down with her stack of mail which usually includes a ton of mail order catalogs. She flips through the catalogs with great pleasure. As you can probably guess, she often ends up ordering from those catalogs, and as a result her house if literally filled to the rafters with "stuff" and her bank account is practically empty. I feel so sorry for her. But who knows ... she probably feels sorry for me since to her my life may seem pretty spare since it's not filled with knicknacks and closets stuffed to overflowing with clothes.

2 Responses to “Opening The Mail”

  1. monkeymama Says:

    YEah, I pretty much use your method. Didn't put a lot of thought to it, but otherwise you start to drown in paperwork pretty darn fast!!!!!

    That was a really nice benefit to buying a new house. IT was a LONG time before advertisers found us. Might not of gotten a catalog for 2 years plus, when we moved in...

    I actually hold onto catalogs and peruse them often. HElps me with Christmas ideas and such. Then if there is something I want to buy I peruse ebay and online. I can't remember the last time I actually ordered something from a catalog. You pay like a 300% premium on average (about how it feels anyway).

  2. mackybethsmommy Says:

    My mail doesn't even make it into the house before I go through it. I get the mail while I'm waiting for the kids to get home off the bus and I have a trash can right next to my bench. I got through it and rip up into small pieces and junk mail and put all bills in my bag to take inside. Keeps me from piling it up on my desk to go through later and bills from getting lost in the shuffle of junk mail.

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