I love comments on my blog posts, especially those telling me that I’m absolutely right , but I appreciate the the occasional “debate” so long as it is presented courteously and rationally.
I received a comment today on my recent post When “Free” Things Aren’t Free: Beware the Hidden and Indirect Costs, on which I wanted to further commentate. The reader, Brenda, stated in her comment:
You need to change your mindset.
This comment was followed by her opinions and interpretations on the 7 points I made in my post, but I must respectfully state that while I admire a “glass is half full” point of view, some of her statements could also be interpreted as “justifications.”
Justification vs. Optimism
How one determines whether a statement is a justification or merely an optimistic point of view depends on the habits of the person saying it.
- If you are someone who tends to spend more than is necessary or wise, then I would have to say that these statements are justifications.
- If you are a prudent spender and see an opportunity to save because the offer is for something you happen to need or want at that very moment, then these statements are optimism.
The purpose of When “Free” Things Aren’t Free was merely to point out that something presented as “free” isn’t always so by definition, which is costing nothing. That’s it. I’m not judging or telling you that you must never, ever spend money, eat out or take a break from making money. My purpose was to foster awareness of the indirect costs associated with a “free” offer.
I do not claim to be a saint when it comes to my spending. I do occasionally purchase a meal or a drink when I am out running errands and find myself hungry – though I rarely purchase fountain drinks as they are one of the worst things you can spend money on. I occasionally buy things that are not absolute necessities. I am human and therefore subject to the same temptations and errors in judgment as any other person.
Which is all the more reason why I don’t want to change my mindset, because awareness is foremost in controlling anything you do. Awareness of the indirect costs associated with an offer allows me to make an informed spending decision.
I am a very left-brained sort of person who likes things analyzed down to facts and numbers. And that is what I often do here on my blog: offer an analytical interpretation on a situation. And that’s all When “Free” Things Aren’t Free is:
- An analysis of the indirect and hidden costs behind free offers, and
- to help the average consumer become aware of these indirect costs.
What you choose to do with the information is up to you.
If you need to eat out, need or want to take a family member out for a meal, by all means, take the offer if it will save you money. But if you don’t need or want those things and are merely taking the offer to “get something free” when it isn’t truly so, then you’re not exactly coming out on top.