23 February 2012

Free for all

That four letter word "free" is an ambush for anyone looking to live life debt free, cashed up and laughing.  As a Cheapskate you need to be able to differentiate between a true free item and a pseudo free item.

When you see "free" attached to any item, before you get excited, ask yourself these questions:

1. Do I have to pay anything for this item?
2. What is the exact amount in dollars this item will cost me if I accept it?
3. Are there shipping and handling costs?
4. How much are the shipping and handling costs?
5. What is the total cost of the item when shipping and handling costs are added?
6. If I choose multiple items, what is the total cost when shipping and handling costs are added?
7. After adding the shipping and handling costs, is the item really worth this amount?
8. Is there a long-term, on-going commitment if I accept this "free" item?
9. How much will this long-term, on-going commitment really cost (factor in item cost, shipping and handling)? This is especially important for book, wine, CD type clubs.
10. Is it a reputable company?
11. What is the average cost per item on-going?
12. Is this cost reasonable or can you source the item cheaper yourself?
13. What will accepting this offer cost you in terms of time and energy?
14. Do you really need or want this item?
15. If you don't need or want it can you pass it on to someone who does?

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