Saturday, 7 March 2015

Save Time and Money with One Simple Step

Minimalism is all about removing the unwanted excess from our lives, so that we have the space and time to appreciate and enjoy the good things.  This goes much further than simply physical possessions - they are not the only things which fill our lives and weigh down on us, snatching our time and energy.

One area where I find myself becoming bogged down is my email inbox.  I'm talking about my personal email here, work is a different problem!  The messages pour in from a myriad of sources, for various reasons - sites with which I've got an account sending newsletters, online shops I've bought from trying to tempt me with offers, social media websites notifying me of activity... the list goes on.  Remember when emails used to be electronic 'letters' from friends?  What percentage of your inbox influx consists of those welcome emails these days?  I'm betting it's not high!  And can you even see them for all the junk mail surrounding them?

Unless you monitor and deal with your inbox on a near-constant basis, it quickly gets out of control.  To get it back in shape takes a big chunk of time, weeding out the rubbish to get to the emails you are actually interested in.  Surely we have better things to do?

I find that I lose even more time when I've received a code for money off or free delivery at an online shop - I often can't resist having a look to see if I can take advantage of the saving, and end up trawling the products for something I 'need'.  Buying something, just to save some money... hmmm something's wrong there!  Even though I am trying to reduce clutter and unnecessary items, I still find myself being tempted by this sort of thing - well, the companies wouldn't bother with it if it didn't work!

The answer to all this is ridiculously simple - unsubscribe.  Ruthlessly!

Be honest with yourself - do you really need to receive these emails?  The newsletters, do you read them?  The offers, do you use them?  (Or if you do, should you?)  The social media notfications, can you wait until you log onto the respective account to find out what activity has happened?  Is it that urgent that you need an email telling you about it?  If the emails aren't adding any value to your life, opt out!

I think 'fear of missing out' is a big factor stopping us from taking such a simple step as clicking the unsubscribe button.  I used to get daily emails from deal-of-the-day websites with the latest offers, which I rarely used.  Even though I hadn't purchased one for quite some time, I struggled to bring myself to opt out of their emails in case the perfect deal came along!  As it happens, I often didn't get round to reading the emails while the offer was still running, as they were lost in the mire of my ever-filling inbox.  The only thing I was getting from this subscription was more emails to delete.

Eventually I unsubscribed and I haven't missed them for a second.  It's a case of out of sight, out of mind.  I'm trying to be ruthless with the other emails I receive - if in doubt, unsubscribe.  When registering with new sites, make sure you opt out of receiving emails too.  If you find that you are missing any of them, it's easy to opt back in... but I doubt you will.

  • Maintaining your inbox is easier and less time-consuming as there are fewer emails coming in.
  • Less time is wasted rummaging around on website for things you don't need, just to take advantage of an offer.
  • Less money is spent buying things you don't need, just to take advantage of an offer.
  • You are free from yet another task waiting to be tackled, which lightens the load on your mind and helps ease any stress you are feeling.

So, give it a go - unsubscribe and spend the time (and probably money) you'll save doing something fun!


  1. What you say is oh so true. I think we are frightened of missing out on something, even if we don't need it. I shall have to have a go at my in box and give it a good slimming down.

    1. Hi Janet - I'm glad you agree on that silly fear of missing out. I hope you gave it a go!

  2. How did I not realise you had a new blog?!?! Gah! I'm so out of touch. Also, I wanted to let you know that you've totally inspired me and I just went through SHITLOADS of emails and unsubscribed from loads!! Oh the relief!! Why the hell am I so scared I'm going to miss out on a deal when I never look at them anyway? It's so ridiculous. xx

    1. I'm so glad this inspired you! It feels so good to unsubscribe from all that rubbish pouring in. I actually need to have another go, with even more ruthlessness. There are a few that made the cut, that I've realised I'm not reading or using - time for them to go!

  3. Oh hell yes. This is so true. Over the past few months I've purged myself from so many unnecessary subscriptions! The moment one comes in now I immediately unsubscribe. And I'm always so conscious of the automatically ticked subscription box that companies sneak in at the end of a form. Not cool. I particularly hate, and it's happened a couple of times, when a company will STILL loop me in to their email subscription! It makes me so mad!!! While I'm having a rant, I also hate when I email someone, and that someone automatically signs me up to their monthly email. Ehm, no. Just because I'm in your contacts list does not mean I want anything to do with that.

    Email rant over ;)

    1. Oh, I know exactly what you mean, I ended up on a subscription list the other week that I had definitely not signed up to - they are most shneaky!