My inbox currently has 365 unread emails. This isn't uncommon, as it usually takes me all week to sort everything out and start emailing people back. I'll admit, it's probably one of my flaws. When I was working as a "big-time" executive assistant in New York City, I was known for my instant email replys, as my Blackberry became almost another organ that I couldn't seem to function without. Since becoming a stay-at-home-mom, I still tend to read emails immediately, but I almost never have the brain power to summon up a reply right away.
I attributed it to baby brain for the longest time. When my daughter turned 18 months it wasn't a very good excuse anymore, so I guess I had to go ahead and get pregnant again. Now I have actual brain fog so it's worse. Don't let anyone tell you differently -- having kids will only make you stupider. (Yes, I'm aware that stupider isn't a word... it's part of the joke. Get it.)
Anyways, of those 365 emails waiting in my inbox, I can assure you that only 80% of them are totally worth opening: from friends and family, regarding the mother's group I currently run, listing needs from the nursery at church, etc.
And believe it or not, this is actually a condensed view of my inbox. For awhile there, I was obsessed with being on everyone's email list. I did NOT want to miss a deal, a coupon or a special offer. Being on "the list" made me feel like I was of some higher status. And it made me purchase a lot of things too. 20% off my favorite perfume? FREE SHIPPING ONE DAY ONLY? Everything on Clearance for a Limited Time?
These emails knew exactly how to pull me in and get my purchases. After all, it is their intent. Do they really want to save me money? No!! That's not how it works. This is more how they function:
1) Shopping for a particular item or at a particular store is the farthest thing from your mind.
2) You get an email from said store about a "special" promotion in your inbox. It sits there awhile before you open it.
3) A seed is planted.
4) You open the email and find yourself seeking this "hot deal" because you don't want to miss out.
5) You've acquired a new product that you weren't really considering buying before, but got a super good deal on.
6) You're out X amount of dollars. Congrats!
Sound familiar? Luckily I never really let it get that bad. I mean... I've used or worn everything I've ever purchased, but I do know people who've purchased random household appliances, towel sets, shoes, etc. that have gone untouched since the day they were received.
Luckily there is a simple solution. Go through your inbox and open those emails. Except this time, scroll to the botton and hit that magic "Unsubscribe" button. It literally takes seconds, but could save you hundreds of dollars each year.
And when you DO decide that you need something, then go seek the deal.
Of course, I do have some exceptions. With a toddler growing so quickly, I feel like I'm always looking for good children's deals, so I definitely keep all those emails coming from stores like Diapers.com, Children's Place, OshKosh, and Baby Gap. ;)