With such a strong opinion about living within your means, you’d likely think I scowl every time I get my mail and see all the pre-approved credit card solicitations. But, the opposite is true.
I put those junk mail ads to use – not the ads necessarily, but the envelopes they invariably send with them. Instead of using them to send back my application and get me into debt, I save the envelope and use it to save me money.
4 Ways Junk Mail Envelopes Save You Money:
- Once you have your weekly budget determined (I believe weekly is best even if you are paid monthly or on some other schedule). Take out the amount of money that goes to each budget item and physically put it into an envelope marked with the name of what you are saving towards. Out of sight, out of mind. I started this when I waited tables in college and continue it today. I tried for a while to create bank accounts named different things, but it just wasn’t as powerful (keep me from transferring funds around) as having envelopes.
- Use these envelopes for your grocery shopping trips. For each store match-up, as I clip the coupons I place them in the envelope for the store (one envelope for King Soopers, one for Safeway, one for Target, etc…) and write the item I’m buying on the outside of the envelope (shopping list).
- Use them to hold rebate forms and receipts – such as Lowe’s plants receipts. Lowe’s has a 1 year warranty on any plant you buy, so keep those receipts in an envelope marked Lowe’s plants so you know where to find it in a year when the bush or tree doesn’t come back after winter.
- Kids’ play time can involve writing letters (or pretending to write letters). Half of the fun for the kids is licking the envelope. Rather than use paid for envelopes, give them your junk mail return envelopes instead. Happy kids. Happy wallet.