- Time costs. Getting something for free often takes time, which cannot be replaced. Spend your time wisely, and count the cost of your time.
- Fuel costs. Don’t forget to factor the cost of filling up your tank. That counts, too!
- Aggravation costs. Free products are sometimes deliberately aggravating to use. The companies want you to buy the paid version. Free is hardly worth it if it’s inducing misery. Decide how much aggravation you’re willing to endure.
- Information costs. Your information about who you are, where you live, and what you like is that more valuable than you may realize. Companies giving away things in exchange for your information know this. Determine whether you trust what they’ll do with your information, and what parts of it they get.
- Attention costs. Getting content for free, but watching and listening to ads? You’re being programmed to buy things you may not need or even want! Awareness is a good chunk of the battle.
Intangible image costs. Like it or not, some people will make snap decisions about you or your business based on how you handle free stuff. Think about how this appearance affects your relationships, personal and business!