The 3 Hidden Costs of Free Resources

Let’s face it, we all like free stuff. And why wouldn’t we? The ability to access the information we want or need is crucial, and nowadays we can do so without losing money. This can be a great thing, but what if there are drawbacks? What if free resources are actually preventing you from making real changes in your life? Could there be a downside to getting something for free?

In many cases, free resources can stand in the way of making lasting changes. Free isn’t always a good thing, and the saying ‘You get what you pay for’ has more than a kernel of truth to it.

In this article, I’m going to reveal to you the 3 hidden costs of free resources and tell you why you should start investing money on courses, books, and sources of information that come with a price tag.

  1. Free Resources Are Harder to Appreciate

It’s difficult to see the value of things that come for free. We may understand on an intellectual level that what we’re using is valuable, but there is less motivation to utilize it to the fullest. We don’t feel the need to ‘get our money’s worth’. More often than not, this leads to mediocre results and an inability to make lasting changes.

When you put your money towards a high-quality product, you will value it more than you would had it been free. Free products involve no investment, and it’s difficult to put your full effort into that which you aren’t fully invested in. Although this is largely overlooked, it is one of the main reasons why so many people find themselves unable to reach their goals.

When you make the decision to purchase something, you make an implicit commitment to follow through and take consistent action. There is also a sense of urgency, which is crucial when it comes to making your dreams a reality.

  1. Free Resources Are Difficult to Implement

Free information is generally unstructured, incomplete, and of questionable quality. Making it work means spending a considerable amount of time and effort just gathering and organizing information from multiple sources.

The hours spent piecing it all together could have been spent doing something more productive. Additionally, the lack of structure makes it difficult to properly absorb what you read, create an action plan, track your progress, and maintain consistency. Paid products offer a clear structure which yields better results. Due to the convenience and efficiency of this, the product often pays for itself.

It can also be difficult to trust free information. It is less likely to contain references, and it is difficult to know whether it has been properly researched. If we don’t give much value to this information (and might not even trust it), then how much can we really expect to get out of it?

For this reason, when it comes to making positive changes, investing money into a program or product that you can trust is one of the most important factors.

Without this, the information has little value. The decision to purchase something requires research and deliberate action, both of which enhance our ability to feel a sense of commitment and trust necessary to utilize the product to the fullest extent.

  1. Free Resources Fuel Feelings of Inadequacy

When you refuse to invest in courses or products that you know will help you enhance your quality of life, it can make you feel as if you can’t afford to improve yourself, or, worse yet, that you aren’t worth the effort. Successful people are constantly investing in themselves. They are not afraid to spend their money on seminars, books, or courses.

Investing in yourself is the best decision you can make, so why not set aside some money each month to make sure you get what you need to achieve your goals? You don’t need to spend thousands of dollars to go to a seminar. You can start with a low-cost program, or simply save up for a more expensive one. The more you value and invest in yourself, the more you’ll get out of life.


I would be lying if I said I don’t use free resources. In fact, I use a fair amount, most often in the form of YouTube videos or articles. When it comes to making major life changes, however, I’m willing to invest money to ensure my success. I know that buying high-quality programs, courses, or books will help me value myself, appreciate the resources I’m using, and my drive to use what I learn on a day-to-day basis.

How about you? Is there a product or course you’ve been thinking of buying? Now might be the perfect time to do it!

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The 5 Commandments of Personal Development

Thibaut Meurisse is the founder of Obsessed with improvement, he dedicates his life to finding the best possible ways to durably transform both his life and the lives of others. Check out his free e-book “The 5 Commandments of Personal Development” or order his book Upgrade Yourself: Simple Strategies to Transform Your Mindset, Improve Your Habits and Change Your Life on Amazon now.


Erin shows overscheduled, overwhelmed women how to do less so that they can achieve more. Traditional productivity books—written by men—barely touch the tangle of cultural pressures that women feel when facing down a to-do list. How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.