Saturday, March 15, 2008

Minimalist Finances and Junk Mail

Let’s face it managing money is a pain. I not only manage our family money but the money for our business as well. And the amount of paper that comes into our house is down right awful! It makes paying bills a cluttered event. The more stuff in our mailbox the more likely we are at risk of missing something important. Why does our government let random people send us stuff? Why is anyone allowed to send to “resident”? Well, we do have some recourse in this matter. I’ll share with you what I’ve been doing to reduce the amount of stuff that comes into my mailbox.

Step One: First of all, I went through my bills and found that our gas, electricity, and cable bills can be delivered via email. That change alone means that I don’t have to open the bill up, recycle the envelope it came in, the return envelope, the newsletter, etc. So at a minimum, that one action saves 72 envelopes a year plus 36 statements, and 36 newsletters. It also saves those companies money which could result in lower costs for the consumer. To manage these bills, I have created a simple email system. I set up two folders: bills, paid bills. These are the only bills I have been able to find that can be handled this way so far. I hope more will show up in the future.

Step Two: My bank lets me choose to have our statements delivered on line. So for us that means, line of credit, business bank account, personal bank account, IRAs, and credit card statements are all sent via email and don’t end up in my mailbox. That’s 5 x 12 = 60 less pieces of mail with their envelope, return envelope, statement, and newsletters. We’re talking 5 X 60 = 300 less pieces of paper that I have to handle per year.

These two steps save 444 pieces of paper a year that I don’t have to handle (i.e. open, shred, recycle.) What if everyone did that? How many trees wouldn’t have to be cut down just for the cost of doing business? And how much time do you think that saves? It’s hard to estimate it.

So as a minimalist, these two steps save time, space, ( in your mailbox) and our environment.


Ed said...

Great site on a great topic especially for us Americans!
1 Tim 6:6 But godliness with contentment is great gain.
Grace and Peace,

Anonymous said...

well done content!

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