It used to be I’d go to my mailbox and find nothing there maybe once or twice a year. Recently, that’s become more and more routine. Why? Because I’m getting less mail than I used to–a lot less! Again, why? Ah hah! Glad you asked!
As do all of us, I need to save money. I need to cut back on things that are not absolutely neccesary. So, what did I sacrifice? First, I stopped buying on eBay. I’m a collector, and I’ve spent a good deal of bucks on that site over the past bunch of years. But I don’t love it that much, so bye-bye. I even (gasp!) deleted the bookmark. I’ve never been a big online buyer, but I have bought on one site regularly. I will still do that, but not as often. Simple, and bookmark intact. So, the stream of packages and large envelopes that used to be waiting for me in my mailbox has vanished. No more Christmas mornings. And guess what? I’m still standing.
Second, I dropped some services that I can perform myself. I had a service weed and feed the lawn for a few years, and, don’t get me wrong, the results were worth it. The lawn is healthy and happy. However, if I buy some liquid stuff that I can attach to the garden hose and spray the lawn myself, I save a ton of money a year. I also dropped the pest control. I was invaded by ants a few years ago, and the problem was beyond my control. So, I called in the pros. Now, the situation is under control again, and I can handle it myself. Together, dropping these services will save me about two grand a year, more than enough to offset the 24% (!) increase in my health insurance premiums as of this year. I moved up an age group, lucky me. Of course, I can always restart the services if the situation gets out of hand. In the meantime, two fewer bills show up each month in the old mailbox.
I also cut back on magazine subscriptions. Don’t misunderstand: I wasn’t subscribing to every periodical under the sun–just certain ones, mostly related to money. Son of ah hah! There was a good deal of overlap or the information simply wasn’t useful to me, being targeted at a quite different income bracket. So, I now subscribe to two magazines–count ‘em: two! One relates to money, and even though that one is the most useful of any I’ve gotten, it still has its limitations.
Something I’ve consistently noticed about the stories in these magazines–or online–is that the people featured in them are nothing like me. For one thing, they make a heck of a lot more money than I ever have. As soon as I read that this couple makes a nice six-figure income and each has a fat 401(k), or this guy makes $100,000 a year, I know I might as well live in another galaxy. To paraphrase Groucho Marx, “If I made a hundred grand, I wouldn’t need the talcum powder!”
The experts will always inevitably tell us not to eat out all the time, to cut back on movie night, to buy in bulk, and so many more tidbits of wisdom. Swell, but that kind of stuff, I never did to start with. So, what do I do? I get less mail. And less is good.