The Diary of a Budgeter – Day 25

Bobbi Olson Articles, The Diary of a Budgeter

Freebies – blessing or curse?

Everyone loves the idea of free, but is it really free?

I read an article today, where the writer was evaluating whether a freebie is really worth it or not – and it made me stop and think. When someone offers something for free, our first instinct is to take it. Why not? Ah, that’s the part we never think about! Let’s look at some of the reasons “why not.”

The example I read about was someone offering a free car. Sounds great, right? But remember, you’ll have to pay for gasoline, insurance, repairs and registration. Depending on how old it is and what type it is, all these expenses could amount to a lot more than you bargained for! It could still be a good deal, but it’s not a no-brainer – the decision deserves some thought.

What about other free stuff? Like the t-shirts and water bottles that often accompany public events? I stopped accepting this stuff, because it just clutters my home and never gets used. I know people that “collect” so much “free stuff” they have to rent a storage unit!

Then there’s big items you never would have purchased for yourself, but who would say no to a free boat? Except you didn’t factor in the cost to store, clean and maintain it.

And, of course, many times “free” comes with strings attached, but we forget to read the fine print, before accepting.

I’m not saying never accept free stuff, but it might save some money in the long run to take a moment now and think it through.

Free stuff can be a blessing – or a huge budget buster!