Free vs Cheap vs Valuable

In general, we seem to give a lot of credit to “free” stuffs.

This is obviously a mistake in our mind’s processing. Upon a closer examination, what’s important is the difference between the benefit and the price, not just the price:

Value (x) = Benefit (x) – Price (x).

Getting a free rotten tomato is not going to be valuable.
Paying 25$ to buy a book that boosts our morale or inspires us to think is indeed valuable.

No, it’s invaluable.

 

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Free things usually cost us more in the end. Mostly because their benefits are negative. And sometimes because their actual price is > 0, which means it’s practically a loan, not a purchase.

Similarly, being cheap in terms of price is not what really matters, logically speaking. Value is.

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