Finance Term: TANSTAAFL – ”There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch”

08 Sep

Definition of ‘There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch – TANSTAAFL’

An acronym that attempts to describe the cost of decision making and  consumption. “There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch” (TANSTAAFL) expresses  the idea that even if something seems like it is free, there is always a cost,  no matter how indirect or hidden.
In finance, TANSTAAFL refers to the  opportunity cost paid to make a decision. The decision to consume one product  usually comes with the trade-off of giving up the consumption of something  else.
Also known as “there is no such thing as a free lunch”  (TINSTAAFL).

According to Investopedia,  The phrase ‘TANSTAAFL’  is thought to have originated because many saloons  in the U.S. used to provide free lunches to their patrons, but required them to  purchase drinks in order to get them.
Although the phrase is a double  negative, it is not intended to be interpreted as such. Therefore, the alternate  acronym TINSTAAFL is often used.

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