Flashy signs, catchy songs, and low prices – marketing efforts at its finest. It’s easy to fall into the purchasing trap when you’re bombarded by so many seemingly great deals for items you supposedly need. And they certainly make it easy to become caught up in the deals. Marketers are good at what they do, and for this reason people indulge in spending on a daily basis.
While minimizing and simplifying you may find yourself caught up in the sales, a catchy tune from a commercial may get stuck in your head. You may find yourself asking “How can someone avoid the consumer trap when the marketing efforts surround you daily?” It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it.
- Make the effort. Everyday will get easier, but to start you’re going to have your challenges. You’re going to get caught up in the advertisements. You might see a few items that seem to be calling your name. The trick is to make the decision not to spend, and stick with it.
- Turn off the TV. The quickest way for marketers to solicit their items is the television. Everyday, millions of viewers plop down on the sofa to relax after a hard day. Companies use this to their advantage and purchase prime advertising slots, strategically placed during your favorite shows. Try watching your programming through sources such as Netflix or Hulu, no commercials and under $10 a month – a fraction of the cost you pay for cable.
- Turn off ads in your internet settings. Popups and ads on websites are other ways companies hit their potential buyers. Unlike your television, users have the options to block popups and disable advertisements. Use this to your advantage.
- Opt out of store emails. When you shop online you may unintentionally opt into company newsletters and their fourth party websites. Opt out of these emails to stop them from filling your inbox.
- Recycle junk mail and opt out of the store magazines. In addition to the online newsletters, many stores will opt you into their company magazines and printed newsletters. Don’t even bring these indoors. I keep my recycling bin close by and all store advertisements get placed into the recycling bin – I won’t even open them.
- Say “No” to solicitors. Yes – it still happens. The occasional solicitor will slip through and call (or even show up at your door). Before the solicitor even gets far in their speech, kindly tell them “No thank you.” And remember to never give out personal information to someone who calls!
- Take time to think about every purchase. Before spending the money on impulse buys, take the time to think thoroughly about the purchase. Can you survive just fine without the item? Will you use the item? Will the item bring you happiness? Or will the item sit on a shelf collecting dust? Sleep on it for a week before buying to determine if you truly need the item.
- Set a budget each month. With a budget in place you’re less likely to splurge. Plot your expenses and stick with the plan. By setting a budget you’re giving yourself a little wiggle room each month for fun and entertainment, while saving up for a family trip or vacation.
Just remember to take it one day at a time, and you’ll be well on your way to avoiding the marketing efforts.
For tips on how to begin your decluttering journey, you can Start Here, or snag a copy of the 30 Day Challenge (our Minimalism and Decluttering eBook).