There is the story of the old king who sent three servants on a quest to gather the world’s most imprtant knowledge. Upon returning the servants presented their discoveries one at a time to the king.
Proudly, the first servant brought in stacks and stacks of dusty manuscripts to the king, who declared that he hadn’t the time to read all of them before his death–so “off with the servant’s head.” Seeing the calamity that befell their friend, the other two servants quickly consolidated the information they had collected.
The second servant brought the king much less information than the first, but unfortunaltely his fate was the same.
The last servant’s time came and he presented the king a small piece of paper. The king read the information, smiled, and then declared a rich reward for the last servant.
So what was the condensed wisdom of the world that pleased the king? The wise servant had written: “There’s no such thing as a free lunch.” (For a more historically-accurate account of a this expression, see TANSTAAFL.)
Advertisers long ago learned that nothing catches consumers’ attention quite like the word free. But is anything truely without cost? No! Although some items may not require a financial expenditure, every action requires an expenditure of time. Do you want to spend your limited time and resources on the pursuit of that “free” toaster, or on other things of greater importance? The wise Financial First Aider will stay clear of those costly, free opportunities.