From online advertising to your obscure relative’s funeral, you can often get out of almost anything. Here’s how to say no and opt out.
Opt out of Advertisers tracking you online
If you have the strange sensation that you’re being followed online, you’re not crazy. You are. Companies leave “cookies” on your web browser and collect data about you in order to sell you goods via customized ads. You can put a dent in those ads by going to the site of the Network Advertising Initiative
, where you can opt out of those pesky advertisers. But note, it doesn’t mean you won’t continue to receive ads. You just won’t get ads from NAI members.
You can also regularly delete your cookies from your browser: google how to delete cookies for your specific browser. You can also consider using Ad-Blocker software
to remove banner ads, inline ads, and YouTube ads (https://getadblock.com
Opt out of a Social commitment
The simplest way: Don’t make the plan in the first place. “Stop making plans with people you don’t want to hang out with,” says lifehacker.com
. If you have to show up to an event, “Set yourself a time limit.” But know this: If you do have to break a commitment, apologize, apologize, apologize. “Even if they know you’re lying, they’ll at least see that you cared enough to apologize to them. The words ‘I’m sorry’ can go a long way.”
Opt out of a Group text
Are you held captive by the constant pinging of the group-text monster? Here’s how to slay it once and for all. If you have an iPhone, says vox.com
, go to the group thread, click “details” and either hit “leave this conversation” or just “do not disturb.” The latter will keep you in the thread, but you’ll stop getting notified every time someone texts.
The same goes for those annoying “group chats” in Facebook. Hit the button at top right (or swipe left) and choose to mute or exit.
If you’re an Android user, download an app called GroupXit that will silence certain message threads.
Opt out of a Car lease
Getting out of a car lease without losing your shirt is tough. So you’ll need to take matters into your own hands by transferring your lease to a third party. For a fee, companies such as Swapalease
will help facilitate such a deal. “It was outrageous what I would have had to pay: $10,000 to $15,000 just to pay off the lease,” Sharon C* told edmunds.com
. But she found someone to take over her $550 monthly payments via Leasetrader and the whole transaction cost just $250.
Opt out of Office parties
The dirty little secret about office parties is that many employees don’t want to attend. That said, you don’t want to look like Scrooge. So there are a few ways to make your colleagues realize you care. “Before the event, inquire about what you will miss,” suggests the New York Times
. Afterward, corner someone and get all the gossip about what happened. If you really want to ingratiate yourself with your co-workers, do what Leslie McKeown, CEO of Evna does. When Mr. McKeown knows that he can’t join an after-work party, he heads to the bar ahead of time and leaves money with the bartender to buy the first round of drinks. ‘People are so surprised by this gesture,’ he said. ‘The next day they treat me as if I’d been there myself.’
Opt out of Getting junk mail
The Direct Marketing Association wants you to receive lots of junk mail. It’s good for their members who are hoping to sell you something. But if you don’t agree, they may be your best friend. Visit the DMA
to stop some companies from sending you junk mail. It will only put a cease-and-desist junk mail order on the 3,600 companies it works with, but it’s a good start.
Beyond that, use the “Spam” button on Gmail, and have a special email address which you use solely for signing up for those special offers or free downloads, so your regular email is not inundated with ‘updates’ from marketers.
Opt out of a Date
Short of death—specifically, yours—any excuse for backing out of a date will be looked at badly. So, there’s really only one way out: honesty. But as Glamour
reminds us, this way is fraught with peril and “reserved only for the most emotionally competent among us.” Glamour
must assume that you’re a wuss, because they don’t suggest that you call, but instead write the following: “Hi there. So I know we’d said 8 p.m. tomorrow, but here’s the thing: I just, well, I just don’t think I’m ready to date at the moment. I think I thought I was, and you seemed absolutely lovely, and that helped convince me. But I’m not. It’s not you, it’s me, as they say. Apologies again.” In other words, you’re just not that into them, but at least you said it nicely.
Opt out of a Funeral
Don’t be wracked with guilt if the thought of going to a funeral fills you with dread. Although there is a convincing case for always going to a funeral, here is a nifty out: Offer any help or assistance that you can give outside of the funeral parlor. “Everything from the choosing of the casket, wake, floral arrangements, and reception takes a bit of planning and a significant amount of money,” says ehow.com
. “Offer to assist monetarily or in another way which shows your care and concern for the dearly departed.”
Opt out of Calls from telemarketers
If you’re tired of telemarketers interrupting your meal, put your phone number on the “do not call” registry
. After 31 days, telemarketers aren’t supposed to call you anymore, and you can file a complaint on the same website if they do. There are exceptions, such as calls from political organizations, charities, telephone surveyors, or companies with which a consumer has an existing business relationship.
Opt out of credit card debt
The vast majority of the credit card contracts written in the last 30 years have been technically illegal. Don’t be surprised if your bank has not told you that they gave you a contract which will not stand up in court. As long as you do not contest it, and as long as you think you have to pay, the bank will continue to take your money.
To find out if your card is a legal and constitutional debt, or simply a created fiction, you may need to speak with an independent financial consultant, or a terrific lawyer. If you owe more than $10 000, this could be well worth your while and save you a fortune.
Opt out of your home mortgage
During the early 2000’s it was easy to get a mortgage; possibly too easy. Many people are now stuck with loans which they no longer want, and it can be hard to get out of the mortgage. If you find yourself in a loan contract you no longer want, in a neighbourhood you no longer enjoy, or in a position of “negative equity”, then you need to contact an alternative loan arranger.
A mortgage mediator
can match someone who wants out of their mortgage, with someone who wants into a mortgage. This helps you out of a bind, and helps someone else into a new home: it’s a Win/Win scenario.
Opt out of paying taxes
Many people may initially become outraged when they discover that tens of thousands of large corporations pay little or no tax. This initial outrage may then may give way to the question: “How can I do what they do?”
Whilst tax evasion is technically illegal, tax avoidance is 100% legal, and far more common than you would think.
Companies paying tax rates as low as 4%, or 1% or even less, include: Google, Apple, Facebook, Microsoft, General Electric, GE Finance, Amazon, Disney, BHP, Chevron, VolksWagon, Dell Computers, DropBox, e-Bay, Hewlett-Packard, PayPal, Oracle, Symantec, Twitter, Pfizer, LinkedIn, Energy Australia and many thousands more.
Minimising tax to single digits or less is not illegal; you just have to know how to do it. The top three reasons given why business people still pay tax of 30% to 40% are:
- I don’t know how to minimise my tax to 5% or less
- I’m not sure I can afford the complex solutions that Google, Apple etc. are using
- I would like to support community causes (hospitals, schools, roads etc.)
These concerns are addressed very easily.
- Discover HOW: Legally minimising tax can be as simple as starting a new company, opening a new trust or another business structure. To do this, you will need to speak to an independent financial consultant, or a “pure” accountant (that is, an accountant who works for *YOU*, and does not work for the IRS, the ATO or similar organisation).
[**NOTE**: the IRS and the ATO are *NOT* government departments; they are private organisations; just as the US Fed and the Australian Reserve Bank are non-government. The IRS and the ATO licence most accountants as tax collectors and the average accountant cannot give you “pure” tax-exempt solutions. Seek independent financial advice, if you can find it.]
- Invest the money: Creating a new business structure will generally cost far less than you think. Most people find that the investment pays for itself within a few months.
- Support your own causes: Check the government budget website to see where they spend your money. Chances are, the government spends more money on politicians’ salaries, political expenses, military defence (invading or bombing other countries) and paying off debt to the IMF or the Reserve Bank. Recent statistics show that only 2% to 10% of government spending goes on social causes, such as welfare, pensions, schools, roads, hospitals etc. If you would like to contribute to social causes, then legally skip government tax and pay your chosen money to whatever cause you are most passionate about: cut out the middle man!
[Prior to 1913, income tax did not exist in the USA or Australia. Despite 0% income tax, both countries had schools, colleges, railways, roads, hospitals, defence forces and homeless shelters. These things existed without income tax before 1913, and they can exist without it now. Bill & Melinda Gates give generously to charitable causes, as do the Obamas, Angelina Jolie, Oprah Winfrey, Richard Branson, Sting, Tom Jones, Will Smith, Elton John, Jerry Seinfeld, Bono, Brad Pitt, Annie Lennox, George Lucas, and many owners of the tax-exempt businesses listed above. You can do your bit by doing what the benevolent billionaires do: avoiding government tax and giving directly to your chosen cause.]
Inspired by: Opt Out of Basically Everything
Reworked & Revamped by 24HourWealthCoach