Save Money-By Avoiding Advertising

by Matt B

Arm and Hammer ad, circa 1900

Arm and Hammer ad, circa 1900

There is almost no practical way in today’s society to avoid advertising completely.  It seems like no matter where you look, you are inundated with imagery and words that are meant to entice you to try a product or service.  Some advertisements are unrelentingly blatant and in your face, seemingly forcing you to pay attention while others are more subliminal and meant to appeal to your subconscious.

We see and hear advertisements every day, and to think that it does not affect our wallets is plain ignorant.  If marketing attempts have a strangle hold on your finances, the simplest tact to take is to simply avoid as much advertising as you can.  Take yourself away from the main sources of advertising exposure that you see or hear every day.  It may be easier than you think.

Television-

Obviously, Television accounts for more advertising than any other medium.  Turning off the TV may very well help subside the urges to buy, buy, buy.  After all, if you do not know about the new, awesome ______!!! You will not be tempted to buy it, right?  Even small steps like using a DVR (to skip through commercials) or using Hulu can help you avoid most of the ads that you would normally be faced with if watching regular programming.

Stores

Even if you are just a window shopper, every store has thousands of advertisements cleverly hidden or highlighted throughout.  If your idea of a relaxing walk is hitting the mall, you may be hurting your wallet by being exposed to advertisements that you may not even realize are hitting your frontal lobe.  Take a walk outside or find a quiet place that is free of product placement.

Internet-

Yes, even that place where Financial Methods lies is not free of advertising.  Hell, Financial Methods itself also has advertisements, but you will notice that there a couple of ads at the bottom of each post, and affiliate links on the right.  I do my best not to ruin what I write with overdone ads…but I do have to pay the bills!  The internet is an ever-increasing source of revenue from advertising, by both those sites housing the ads, and the companies who produce them.  Like television, the internet ads are nearly impossible to ignore.  My advice: Try to visit websites that do not use “sneaky” methods of advertising.  Also avoid those sites that have pop-up ads and hidden link ads.  You may run into problem sites occasionally, but hopefully there are a handful of sites that you frequent and trust.  Stick with em’!  Oh, and keep coming here too!

Kids and advertising-

Saturday morning cartoons are among the best times for toy companies, breakfast cereals and fast food chains to get their grips on young and impressionable minds.  I am not telling you to stop your kids from watching their favorite shows, but finding ways to help your kids ignore or dismiss commercials will help you both.  They will stop nagging you for tons of crap that you do not need, and you will inevitably teach them lessons in frugality without even realizing.

While these are the biggest culprits of “ad-flooding”, the simple act of sitting on a city street invites distraction by way of advertising.  The posters on the sides of buses, the featured items in store fronts or huge billboards are just a few of the distractions that can not be avoided.  While you will not likely be able to completely avoid these temptations or annoyances, you may well find that removing a majority of them from your everyday life can leave you with more money and less clutter.  In my book, these are both great things.

There are still entertainment forms that most marketing has yet to find a way to crack.  Reading and watching movies at home are my two favorites.  Books are an impenetrable fortress when it comes to ads.  There just is not a good way for marketers to weasel their way into the pages of books.  Movies are also semi-immune.  Besides the growing number of product placement ads in movies, people just will not watch if there are constant breaks from the story, leaving advertisers limited options.

Clearing your mind is just as important as clearing your home.  Removing what you can of these distractions from your everyday life may bring to the surface some eye opening results.  Save money and give your brain a break by looking the other way.

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