• If you shop online with any frequency, check out temporary email services to keep your identity private – at least a little.
  • Trashmail.com is a favorite, but there are others.

In the category of savings tools – services that don’t necessarily lead directly to savings, but expedite/support it in other ways – get familiar with temporary email accounts.

I mention this mainly in the spirit of preserving your privacy (or what’s left of it) when shopping – mainly window shopping – online.

There are a few out there, but the one I use most frequently is trashmail. The idea is simple: rather than offering your actual email address when shopping, subscribing to newsletters, entering contests, and the like, use trashmail to spoof your identity instead.

Here’s their own explanation:

The beauty of this service – free to use, yet – is that you can limit the amount of time and number of “touches” you receive. You won’t have to field harassment from online services beyond a few days and a couple of emails, or however much you can stand.

A minority of online merchants/services seem to recognize trashmail emails as fake, nagging you to enter a real one. Trashmail has a long list of domains available, so you can vary your online persona as needed.

I figure the time savings alone in trashing and unsubscribing from commercial email is well worth using trashmail, not to mention the privacy benefits.

Others I’ve toyed with are mailnesia (worth a look for the name alone) and mailinator, but none have the precise list of features I like with trashmail. Or you could set up a alternate gmail or yahoo mail account to receive your junk email, but then you have another mailbox to clean out periodically.

Add a temporary mail service to your war chest, and live at least partially in obscurity. Embrace the anonymity!