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Save money by thinking of junk mail as cash

by Penina

There are many sneaky ways to save money which will put a grin on your chin, a smile in your step and more cash in your stash. Sometimes ways to save money are logical. Follow a path and you will get there over time. Then there are the small fun ways you can save money that all add up. These ways make your money saving experience more like the thrill of drinking Champagne in economy, than suffering a sad, lonely trip on a smelly old bus. There are a number of ways to look at junk mail and I’ve done them all.

Stay focused on your money goals

The first way is to run inside from the mailbox waving the latest Priceline brochure in your hand and with your heart palpitating with the joy of a prospective trip to the local mall. Once inside grab a marker and circle the best bargains. What a gorgeous amazing girly deal. I just had no idea I liked perfume that much or even Victoria Beckham until that happy pink brochure arrived.

Although this is the mood-enhancing phenomena women call ‘shopping’ this is logically not the path to a happier bank balance and long term financial security in terms of saving money. But do not mistake my excitement for stupidity. These marketing gurus are amazing. This brochure is saying: ‘Stuff financial security. Now live for today woman. Life is short. When was the last time you pampered yourself, you…tired mother of two you.” Good point, marketing people at Priceline. Well said. You are right: I am tired. I do need pampering. I am no lesser person than Victoria Beckham. I deserve perfume like her and I know I’ve had a harder day than her. In fact, she doesn’t even need her own perfume, the way us mothers need it. She’s got hired help.”

Learn to love your recycle bin

The second way to look at junk mail is purposeful and deliberate denial. I’ve done this too. Grab the whole roll of mail, strut straight up to the recycle bin and throw all the paper in without taking one look at the latest 30% sale on Manchester at Target or the pre-Christmas sale they are having at the Reject shop. Just close the lid girlfriend. Close that stench in. Now go inside and get dinner started or something.

No. Stuff dinner for the moment and huddle in. Pssst… I’m here to tell you about a secret third way to really make your junk mail sing and to actually turn it into cash. Yes. Cash! The kind of cash that makes you want to call all your friends and have them over this Saturday night for a wild party! So how is it humanly possible to take a whole roll of junk mail (created by a highly educated marketing force) and turn those beautiful little colored sheets of paper into something opposite than their intended purpose? Here is the scenario: They want you to buy. They want your cash. You don’t want to buy. You want their cash. With a little creativity you are about to discover how you can win this little junk mail game that plays out between you and your mailbox daily.

How to turn your junk mail into cash

Between the bright and beautiful graphically designed brochures selling toys, clothes,and Victoria Beckham perfume at 30% off you will find the following: Equally beautiful flyers and pamphlets but ones dedicated to less interesting topics such as: Gas, electricity, utilities, lower credit card rates, landline, internet, phone and insurance services. Sit down now for a little time in the garden. Sit close to the recycle bin but not too close. Grab yourself a cup of tea and pull out every brochure related to utilities, phones and the like. That’s right. The ones make you want to find a spot in the garden and nod off to sleep. The more boring the pamphlet topic, the more money this pamphlet is probably going to save you.

Get calling vendors

Spend time over the next few weeks ringing your current suppliers. Tell them that you are holding in your savvy money-saving-expert hand, a brochure which is offering you a better deal. Now here’s the part where that little brochure in your hand magically turns into cash. Because the cash that is in their pocket is about to be redirected to into your happy, wanting-for-cash-bad-ass pocket. Now confidently, like it is your divine right on this planet, ask the customer service agent for a better deal. And guess what? It is your divine right to have water, electricity and a damn good deal on the next Iphone 5 bundled with Voip internet. If cave people had a similar divine right, so do you. Great! You say. “Got a better deal!”

Ask for a better deal

But don’t stop there. Go harder. Whatever deal they offer, ask for a better one. Winging and moaning definitely wears these customer service people down. Be nice of course. But no-one likes a winger. They will want to get you off the phone at any cost, sometime before their tea break, smoko and their lunch break. They definitely want you off the phone before the early train home leaves. Tell them you have been with them, as a loyal customer for many years, and that it would be great to discuss an even better deal with their manager. Go for the hold music. Spend the time. Woo the manager with funny stories about your dog, travels or life as a Karaoke singer. Do whatever it takes, to get your rates heavily reduced.

Time well spent

This may take up to 20 minutes out of your life for each company called. Stories about how Fido had 11 puppies last year can take some time. But I guarantee that at the end of the exercise, all those brochures have turned into a nice big wad of cash and a massive wad of cash over the course of one year. Now finish that cuppa. Pick your gorgeous, amazing money-saving butt up off your garden chair, throw the rest of your junk mail in the bin and go inside and fix dinner. Oh, unless you have Table Tucker and you don’t have to cook tonight. But that’s another amazing save money story. For now. I commend you on a job well done!

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