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Life costs

posted 05 February 2017

Nothing in life is free

You’ve heard that saying before. Usually by some older person, about some topic that may have seemed irrelevant, but all I can say is it is true. The damn saying is true.

As I age, now 35 years old at the time of this writing, I apply and say this saying in my head all the time. I wrote it off as unwarranted “wisdom” in my youth. Or as I started understanding politics, I wrote it off as political BS. But the saying and its application applies to everything in your life.

Another way I phrase it to myself, or unfortunate others I yap with is:
At what cost

How does it apply?

Let me provide some examples of how it this applies to areas that seemingly it does not.


I’m a gamer, my wife would say I’m addicted, and I easily get pulled into playing video games for hours on end. I have gamed most of my life, Commodore 64 to now yo, but what am I paying here?


The time here is time I could spend with my wife, I could spend on this blog, I could spend fixing that clogged sink I always bitch about. Like a lot of great things, time is limited.


From a monetary POV, love is free. No argument here. But it still costs time, usually lots of it. It costs attention, focus, caring and a whole sleuth of other emotions. But it also costs cold hard cash also, maybe not a lot, but some.

You’re likely going to visit the new love interest, since you do not live together at the start right?
Transportation costs.

What are you guys going to do together?
Entertainment costs.

You’ve got to eat, and even if it is home cooked you’re increasing the amount +1.
Food costs.

So while romantics say love is free, it is not. It costs something, usually multiple somethings.


Taking that high paying job in that other state, WOOT. Forgoing the obvious costs of moving your stuff, transportation of yourself, what else is there?

You’re likely moving away from someplace that you have established relationships (friends, family, coworkers). Those relationships will suffer, degrade or at least change. You’re no longer next door to Mr. Glenn, so there is no more yapping while taking care of the yard. Mom is no longer home all day to hear you complain about how professor Joe Bob marked you down on the quiz.


Time & effort at the office and in the home is time and effort not spent elsewhere. Working from home exacerbates this. While you’re thinking of the best way to approach that API integration, you’re not thinking about Geordi’s (the family cat) flea medications, or listening to what your loved one is really saying. You hear it all, but to listen to it is different, and is blocked by the work churning.

Not to count the time, effort, stress, and monetary costs of commuting.


This is a fairly obvious one. My political beliefs aside, legislation for or against something has positives for some, and negatives for others. That balance is important and very much missed it seems. Senate just passed bill X that reduces taxes on those in the Y brackets. Ask yourself At what cost? Money from those taxes were used somewhere, now it is gone. Something is getting cut, right?

What to do?

This entry is more for me to rant on something that pops up for me more and more. It is a plea for you, the reader, to put some more rational thought behind the decisions you make. We make so many decisions in a day, and more often than not they’re the go-to decisions, the standards. But try asking yourself, “at what cost” for some of the larger decisions you make.

Recently, a close friend’s father died fairly suddenly. There were some issues between them and they were not too close. But talking with him about it, the first thing he said was he wished was that he saw his father just once more before he died.

This is a worst case scenario, I admit, with someone permanently disappearing from your life. But as I pointed out above, some of the seemingly simplest decisions or approaches we take COULD cost us elsewhere.

At what cost