The Other Side of Free

August 28, 2008 at 6:13 pm 4 comments

I was partially inspired by this post, but I feel like there are some aspects not covered.

Obviously, just because something is free doesn’t mean you should take it. As a city dweller, my biggest expense, far and away, is rent. Since I live alone now, I obviously don’t need as much space. One of my goals right now is to declutter and get rid of as much as possible. For this, free can be really bad. When you have 17 free t-shirts, 32 free cleaning samples, etc etc then all of a sudden you need a closet just for your free samples. And that will cost you.

On the other hand, free can be good for clutter. If you only use a very small amount of cleaning wipes, a free sample packet will save space over a large box. And swaps are the best of both worlds. I mentioned the clothing swap before. Right now I am looking forward to a book swap. It has also reminded me that I need to go through the 20 or so books I haven’t read, and decide which ones to keep. I am trying to only keep books that I really feel a need to have around, like the books I re-read all the time or that I need to make everyone I know read. Also, and this is sad, sometimes I keep them because they are pretty, but only if I also really like them. I get way too many books to keep every book I like.

Free is also bad when you are sacrificing to get it. I personality cannot deal with getting a mattress from a stranger on craigslist, even though I know I could have gotten one for free. It’s too gross for me. Sometimes if you go with the free option you are picking something that will make you dissatisfied.

And with some things, like free animals, you pay a whole lot for something free. But they are worth it.

For example:
Shea. My cat, who has cost my a couple hundred dollars since May. And well worth every penny.

On the other hand, now that I have learned she will use the cheap brand of litter & it won’t be bad for her, no more expensive stuff.


Entry filed under: not spending. Tags: .

Free is Better Than Cheap I want to be groovy

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Adiel  |  August 28, 2008 at 6:16 pm

    Very good thoughts. I need to buck up and plan a clothing swap already. You kitty is very cute!

  • 2. debtfreesaver  |  August 29, 2008 at 2:07 pm

    Thanks! Ali took the picture.

    And be sure to post all about the clothing swap when you do it.

  • 3. Ali  |  September 4, 2008 at 2:29 am

    I am trying to get on board with the whole “don’t take stuff just cuz it’s free” thing. But it’s really hard. So. I now only try to take free things if they are books and/or I will use them within two months.

    Also, much harder for me: just because you have something doesn’t mean you have to keep it. It’s OKAY to get rid of books once I read them. It’s okay to get rid of free samples of food I will never eat.

  • 4. Ali  |  September 4, 2008 at 2:29 am

    (also, I am trying to apply the get rid of at least one thing for every one thing I bring into the house.)

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