Monday, February 8, 2010

Tips 19 and 20: E-mail coupons

Today's technology organizational tip does double duty because in my mind you can't have one without the other.

Tip 19: Maintain two personal e-mail accounts.

Tip 20: Use your second personal e-mail account for all coupon and shopping-related e-mails.

I still use my maiden-name e-mail account for all my store coupons and newsletters. Do I do this because of my fear/hatred of spam? No, once again Gmail saves the day with its outstanding spam filter, and I never get spam in my inbox. Instead, I keep two e-mail accounts to save money and resist temptation.

Matt's favorite joke to tell every time he's reading the Sunday paper is, "Hey Steph, guess what? Macy's is having a sale!" (Punchline: Macy's is always having a sale.) You know who else is always having a sale? Ann Taylor Loft and J.Crew and everyone else on the planet who e-mails me coupons and sale notifications. Then, because I am weak, I think to myself, "Well, I can justify this purchase because it's on sale." I know I am not alone here

I rarely check my secondary e-mail account. I use it as a place to turn to when I'm looking for a coupon or a sale. It's much better than the opposite -- waiting for a sale to find me.

Of course, if I know I'm in the market for a particular item and I'm scoping out a particular favorite store, I might temporarily sign up for e-mails to be sent straight to my primary address. I do this mostly for convenience so I don't have to spend needless time checking my other e-mail address. But once I make the sought-after purchase, I remove my primary e-mail from the mailing list.

I know this takes strength of will, but keep in mind that even when something is on sale, the best way to save money is by never spending in the first place.

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