Nothing is more annoying than pulling up to your mailbox after a long day of work and finding it stuffed full of junk mail and credit card offers. After you spend 10 minutes trying to fight through the contents of your mailbox every day, you’ve got to be wondering how to stop junk mail. Think about it, you go through all that work, but there are no fun packages, no letters from friends, and nope—no money to be had.
Every single day, our mailboxes (and inboxes) get flooded with c-r-a-p. Yup—it’s either marketing catalogs from a store you don’t even shop at, magazines you never wanted, or political mail from Jane Doe who wants you to vote her into office. What’s all that paper good for other than cleaning up after Fido? Here’s the good news: You can make it stop once and for all (or at least for a little while).
How to Stop Junk Mail
If you’re wondering how to stop junk mail from overwhelming your life, you’ve come to the right place. So, roll up your sleeves, and let’s get to work:
1. Opt out.
It can’t be this easy, can it? Yup, it sure can.
You can opt out of getting all of those junk offers with just a couple clicks of your mouse. OptOutPrescreen.com is the official site for the top four consumer credit reporting agencies. When you opt out there, they’ll stop sending you junk mail for five years. And if you really want to stop getting junk mail, you can choose to opt out permanently by sending the form by traditional mail.
If you’re not internet savvy, you can send an opt-out request with your name, phone number, Social Security number and birth date to each of the reporting agencies by mail. You can find the addresses of Experian, TransUnion, Equifax and Innovis here. Just be sure to seal those envelopes up really well—you don’t want your information getting into the wrong hands!
2. Tell them to stop calling.
These days, a phone call is usually limited to family, friends and business. So when you get a random number calling you from a place you’ve never even been to, it can be pretty annoying. Not only that, but there’s no voicemail and they just keep calling. When that happens, it’s like receiving all that junk mail—only in the form of a phone call. So, how do you stop these junk mail phone calls?
You can add your name and number to the National Do Not Call Registry. While it may not be foolproof, it can limit the amount of telemarketing calls you do get. (Too bad it doesn’t limit those weekly butt dials from Grandma.) All you have to do is sign up at www.donotcall.gov or call 1-888-382-1222 with the line you want to remove from the call list.
3. Say no to more junk mail.
Fed up with the endless stream of junk mail and credit card offers hitting your mailbox (or inbox) these days? Those direct mail companies found you through the Data and Marketing Association (DMA).
DMA’s website lets you “choose” what kind of mail you want to receive and what kind you don’t. They think they’re doing you a favor by gifting you with company mail in the same line of interests, hobbies or activities you might be into. But what it’s really doing is junking up your mailbox with offers that try to make you blow the budget. Remember: You’ve got money, and they want it.
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So, head over to their website, www.dmachoice.org, and let them know you don’t want what they’re offering. They do, however, want you to give them a $2 fee in exchange for 10 years of silence. And if you’d rather do the mail-in route, you’ll want to include $3 in your envelope. Get their address here. Psst . . . you can also opt out of emails at this site too.
In our world of online shopping, it’s hard to pass up those discounts you get just for signing up for emails and texts. If you love the company enough to read their daily emails, that’s great. But that’s not the case for most of the world. So, if you got roped in by a free coupon, that’s okay! But enough is enough when you’re buried under hundreds of marketing emails per week. The good news is that it’s easy to change your mind. All you have to do is scroll to the bottom of your email and click that unsubscribe button. The bad news? You’ll have to do it one by one. (Listen: You got yourself into this mess—you’ll have to click yourself out.)
5. Cut out the excessive coupons.
We’re all about coupons over here, but when Valpak sends about 50 different coupons every single week, it can be a bit much. Plus, if you needed new windows, you would’ve gotten them by now . . . right? Let Valpak know you’re not interested by filling out a mailing list removal request here.
6. Get help from the professionals.
If you’ve tried everything and you’re still receiving junk mail, you might need to bring in the big guns. There are apps out there to help you stop receiving junk mail both in your mailbox and in your email. Check out PaperKarma for your mailbox issues and apps like JunkMail Stop, Clean Email, Chuck and Unroll.Me for help deep cleaning your inbox. There’s no shame in letting others do the dirty work for you. These sites and apps often cost money, though, so make sure to fit them into your budget.
These six steps can help stop the flow of junk mail to your mailbox and help you breathe a little easier. Not only that, but now that you’re not getting hounded by coupons, mailers and sale ads, you’ll probably see a difference in your spending. Out of sight, out of mind . . . right? Just in case you haven’t kept an eye on where your dollars are going, it’s a good idea to keep a zero-based budget. This type of budget gives every single dollar a job to do, putting you back in the control seat of your finances.Ready to start your budget? Check out our free budgeting app, EveryDollar and get started today!