You pay too much when you pay nothing at all. Have you downloaded a free ebook even though you don’t read? Have you helped yourself with “free” refill from the soft drink station when though you didn’t need it? What about all the worthless free things you’ve hoarded over the years? The free pen, free mug and free calendars that you received in an event — did you need it? You feel good when you get something for free, but you’re actually paying a price.
“Free” always leads us to bad decisions. You were lured by the idea of free things rather than the usefulness of the item or experience. You’re paying the free things with your time, health and attention, which are much more important.
But why do you fall for “free” all the time?
Because most transactions have an upside and a downside, and you forget the downside of something when it is free. The idea of free gives you an emotional charge that you perceive the offered item as more valuable than it is. This stems from the human nature’s fear of loss. When something is free, it gives you the illusion that there’s no possibility of loss. As a result, when given the choice, you’ll always choose free.
Next time when you’re offered something for “free”, remember zero is not the price. Catch yourself and ask — Am I ready to pay the price?