Save Time & Money - Opt Out Extravaganza!

Titled Left:Post. Right: junk mail -  photo by hawken.dadako's

Titled Left:Post. Right: junk mail - photo by hawken.dadako's

Save yourself time and saver yourself money by Opting-out!

Time is already precious enough. We are constantly fighting for the infamous balance between work and life. Some days you may wonder how anyone gets it all done. Other days you just give up and pile up the mail, bills, work and chores for another day.

What is it we do with all our time?

With 8 hours each night for sleep and 8 hours during the weekdays for work, we are already reduced to living our personal life in the remaining 9 hours. Figure in the time for personal hygiene, and eating and transportation we are all down to 6 or 7 hours a day and that is generous for many.

This is where we start seeing the variation in personal choice. Some spend half of this time watching TV, you may spend some reading. Personal chores will suck several hours each week whether it is mowing the lawn or grocery shopping. You may have family obligations, time spent with kids or personal hobbies. In all these examples though it is time spent doing what you choose.

Many hours however or burned for the benefit of others and in some cases it is people or organizations we don’t know or don’t care about. How much of your time for example is drawn by marketers capturing your time and attention to consider their products or services? As this article in 2007 from the American Association of Advertising Agencies shows the experts do not agree. It appears the latest data says you may be exposed to about 600 advertisements each day.

I figure if you add in the ads online, the junk mail we receive at home and the pesky telemarketers it’s got to be greater than that! Either way, we spend too much time answering to or avoiding advertisements, survey’s and commercial messages of every kind. They pop up on phones, pop up on our computers and pop up on TV and in our mailbox.

How much more time could we win back if we could prevent these advertisements? Truthfully the amount of time will vary individually but whatever we can stop will make our lives that much better. If you have not already done so, take advantage  of the following suggestions to reduce the amount of junk mail, telemarketers, and even online advertising programs.

Pre-Approved Credit Card Offers – 1-888-567-8688 or use www.optoutprescreen.com – The three National Credit Bureaus offer this service to opt out of the mailing lists used to send pre-approved credit card offers. On the website you can Opt-out for 5 years or send a form in to Opt-out permanently.

Direct Marketingwww.dmachoice.org – The Direct Marketing Association provides this service for $1. By signing up for this service your name goes on a “delete” file and made available to companies that subscribe to this program. FYI…Not all companies participate. For more information, check out the Direct Marketing Association website.

Telemarkerswww.donotcall.gov – If you have not already done this, don’t wait another minute. This is one of the best and most effective things our government has ever done! Getting on the National Do Not Call list will prevent marketer from calling your home number. Too bad it doesn’t stop fundraisers, political organizations and surveys.

Another “loop-hole” to be aware of: If a company has an established business relationship with you, they may call you up to 18 months after your last payment, deliver or transaction. Read the fine print of any commercial for you fill out or send in as this may provide a company the right to call.

Keep in mind that even if they have obtained the right to call you, if you ask them not to call again, they have an obligation to place you on their internal Do Not Call list.

Financial Institutions – Check with your bank – When you open an account and annually your financial institution is required to send you a Privacy
Rights notification that includes information on your rights to Opt Out. Take advantage of this opportunity to keep them from sharing your information with partner and third-party affiliates.

Catalogswww.abacusoptout.com – When you order something from one catalog they may sell your name to other companies. Abacus compiles a cooperative list of catalog and publishing companies. By opting out of this database you can reduce the number of catalogs you receive.

Acxiom – This is a internet and direct marketing behemoth. However they have their own Opt-out program you can sign up for. Use the link provided to opt-out of their online marketing and find a form to opt-out of their direct marketing.

Network Advertising Initiative – This is a partnership of 36 different online marketers that collectively provide the opportunity to Opt-out of their targeted marketing systems. By opting out this does not mean you won’t see advertising while surfing the web, it just means that the advertising won’t be targeted to you based on your current web page or use patterns. Out 36 participants there were only 10 that did not have an active cookie on my computer! 

It’s been estimated that 2.5% of the average household trash stream comes from junk mail. By Opting-out you will not only save time and money, you will also help save the planet.

What other techniques have you used to reduce your exposure to junk mail, phone calls and unwanted solicitations? Please share your tips by leaving a comment below.

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