“Advertising is the art of convincing people to spend money they don’t have for something they don’t need.” Will Rogers
Cashflow in King in Financial Planning. Income and outgo are two sides of the same coin. Much of retirement planning is figuring the outgo and how to support it with income.
Saving money helps us all. Those saving for retirement will have more money to save into retirement accounts if they can save money day-to-day. Those in retirement will make their retirement income go farther if they can save money by reducing unnecessary spending. Regardless of your life stage, saving money is a good thing.
The best way we can save money is this:
There is a reason so many businesses run off of advertising. They work.
TV. Internet sites. Magazines. All full of ads that companies pay billions a year for. Because they work. They get people to buy. Will Rogers was almost spot on.
Advertising is the art and science of convincing people to buy. There is a science to it. They have figured it out. It’s highly effective.
If we want to avoid spending money on junk we didn’t need, we need to avoid the ads.
Here are five ways to avoid ads.
Stream Ad-Free TV
Stop watching live TV. Stop settling for the ad-supported TV. Subscribe to the “Plus” versions of streaming services to avoid the ads. Literally pay to avoid adds. The extra $5/m to avoid adds will save you far more than that when you aren’t buying so much of what is advertised to you.
- Hulu without Ads
- Youtube Premium
- HBO Max without Ads
- Network streaming without Ads
- Etc. All include an Ad-Free version
Subscribing to every streaming service at once can get expensive.
Save money on streaming services by rotating. Subscribing using your Apple ID allows you to easily subscribe and then immediate unsubscribe so it doesn’t automatically renew. Watch one show on one service, and then rotate to a new service for your next show.
You will save money by paying to avoid ads. You will save it by:
- Keeping your used vehicle longer by avoiding new car commercials
- Keeping your technology longer by avoiding ads for new phones and gear
- Avoiding the purchase of knick-knacks and junk you’ll never use
- Eating at home more often without the allure of a restaurant ad you avoided (not to mention saving a few pounds of fat)
And we haven’t event talked about the time savings.
Every hour of TV programing includes about 17 minutes of commercials. With introductions and end credits, and “Previously on …” bits, a typical 60-minute program might have only 35-40 minutes of actual content.
You can save 1/3rd of your entertainment time by not watching commercials.
Let’s say you like to watch two episodes an evening to wind down, six nights a week. Twelve hours of traditional TV programming. Or, only eight hours of ad-free time. You will save four hours per week, and save 208 hours per years. That’s over eight days saved.
If you make $20/hr, you could work the extra four hours and make over $4,000 per year more. Even a student making $8/hr is better off working a bit more and savings the time watching ads.
Pay for the Ad-Free. Save money.
Use “Do Not Track” with Social Media
The easier solution would be to give it up. I did years ago, for the most part. But most of you won’t.
Facebook, Instagram, and the rest are prime targets for ads. Facebook’s mission is not to “connect the world.” It’s to sell ads. It takes your data and sells ads to companies who then advertise directly to you. And it works.
With all that data you share so freely on social media, they have a profile on you so they can target ads specifically to you. These ads increase your chances of buying more than regular TV adds or advertisements on sites.
If you aren’t going to give up social media, there are settings in Facebook, Google, and other platforms that reduce the tracking that is done on you. The claim is that if you disable the tracking features it will result in a poorer experience.
You’ll still see just as many ads, but they won’t be relevant to you.
If we are going to see ads, they should be about things we couldn’t care less about.
When we don’t care, we don’t buy. And we save money.
Unsubscribe from All Marketing Emails
I’m an “Unsubscribe Warrior.” Every email I get that has an unsubscribe button, I smash that button to never get another.
Email marketing works BETTER than advertising in many industries.
Most of the time you don’t buy. But sometimes you do. Because it shows you something you didn’t know you wanted until you saw it.
Unsubscribe from all marketing emails. Except mine.
Use and Email App
I’ve always used Apple Mail and Microsoft Outlook for my email for personal and work, respectively. I logged in to my Gmail account only not long ago and was shocked by how many ads there were. Yahoo was even worse. You can avoid all those ads by using an Email App like Mail and Outlook, or a host of others.
Use Reader Mode for Website Articles
Apple Safari has a build in “Reader” mode that eliminates all adds on an article you’re reading. I think Google Chrome does too. All the ads are gone. Just gone.
Gone are the days of pop-up ads. It’s a bad experience, so Google doesn’t like sites with pop-up ads. The pop-up blocker is no longer as useful.
Now the ads are in the content and on the sides. All of that can be removed with Reader Mode.
Eliminate the ads, eliminate the desire to buy. Save money.
A bit of work on the front end will save you lots of time and money on the back end.
This article is educational only and is not intended to be investment, legal, or tax advice or recommendations, whether direct or incidental. Again, this is not investment advice. Consult your financial, tax, and legal professionals for specific advice related to your specific situation. Never take investment advice from someone who doesn’t know you and your specific situation. All opinions expressed in this article are the opinions of the people expressing them. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results. All indices are unmanaged and may not be invested into directly. RetireMentorship is not affiliated with any Registered Investment Advisor, Broker-Dealer, or other Financial Services Company.