Thursday, November 27, 2014

But it’s Free…

Free! This magical word instantly piques people’s interest. Who doesn’t love free stuff? Even if you don’t want the thing that’s free, somehow you’re still willing to get it just because it’s free. It’s a popular ploy to draw you in. There are buy one get one free offers. There are free gifts with purchases. There are free trials. There are free store reward cards. There are free songs and books to download. There are movies and TV shows that can be watched for free. People just want something for nothing.

But the cost of “free” can be higher than anticipated. Do you spend the extra money to push you over the minimum purchase requirement in order to get the free gift? Do you have a free trial of a service (e.g. Netflix, Amazon Prime, etc.) and forget to cancel it before it charges you? Do you spend more so you “save more” on your store rewards card? There are a lot of ways that “free” doesn’t equate to free.

Now that the Christmas season is upon us, I’m sure I’ll be seeing more “free” stuff that tries to entice me into spending money. I’ll admit that “free” may initially grab my attention, but I try to ignore it and buy items I would get regardless of the “free” aspect tied to it. I like free stuff as much as the next person, but it always comes down to: is it worth it? Sometimes it is and sometimes it isn’t—it often depends on whether or not you find the strings attached to it acceptable. [Pause.] For me, I usually forgo the freebie to avoid the strings altogether.

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