There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch - TANSTAAFL

What does 'There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch - TANSTAAFL' mean

There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch (TANSTAAFL) is 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).

BREAKING DOWN 'There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch - TANSTAAFL'

This phrase 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.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Free Lunch

    A situation in which a good or service is received at no cost, ...
  2. Eating Someone's Lunch

    The act of an aggressive competition that results in one company ...
  3. Free and Clear

    A slang phrase describing the situation of someone when he or ...
  4. Brown Bag Meeting

    An informal meeting that takes place over lunch. This type of ...
  5. STIR Futures & Options

    An acronym standing for "short-term interest rate" options or ...
  6. Scarcity

    Refers to the basic economic problem, the gap between limited—that ...
Related Articles
  1. Budgeting

    Pack A Lunch

    You can enjoy your holiday without breaking the bank.
  2. Taxes

    No Free Lunch

    Are there advantages to having the highest taxes in the world? Let's take a look at what the citizens in these countries get for their money.
  3. Investing News

    Who Pays for Sanders' Promise of Free Education?

    Bernie Sanders' promise of free college education isn't really free; it just means someone else has to foot the bill, but it could be a good thing.
  4. Professionals

    1. Take a Break

    These tips will not only make you a better employee, they'll make you a healthier person.
  5. Forex Education

    Lessons Learned

    In light of speculation that the euro is in trouble, we look at currencies that were once widely used but are now defunct.
  6. Personal Finance

    Top Spots to Wine and Dine Clients in New York

    New York City is one the world's best places to wine and dine a client. From power lunches to sushi to celebrity chef spots, these restaurants impress.
  7. Economics

    Understanding a Free Market Economy

    Why would we want a free market economy?
  8. Budgeting

    Checking Accounts

    Spot and avoid the money wasters that are slowly eating away at your wallet and bank account.
  9. Entrepreneurship

    3 - Financial Savings

    Many think working from home would be easy but this is a misconception. Learn the myths behind telecommuting and running a home-based business.
  10. Budgeting

    Top 7 Money Saving Tips for Eating Out

    Discover seven money-saving options available to consumers who are looking to partake in the luxury of dining out while cutting down on cost.
RELATED FAQS
  1. How can I tell if a cost is a direct cost?

    Find out how to tell if a cost is a direct cost, why that's important and why direct costs don't tell the whole story about ... Read Answer >>
  2. What is the difference between induced consumption and autonomous consumption?

    Explore the difference between autonomous consumption and induced consumption. Simplify the world of economics by understanding ... Read Answer >>
  3. Where does the term "always be closing" come from?

    Understand the meaning of the phrase "always be closing" and the mentality and approach it is intended to represent for salespeople. Read Answer >>
  4. How are fixed costs treated in cost accounting?

    Learn how fixed costs and variable costs are used in cost accounting to help a company's management in budgeting and controlling ... Read Answer >>
  5. What are some examples of free market economies?

    Learn which of the world's economies best resemble free market economies, marked by free trade, low government involvement ... Read Answer >>
  6. What are the different types of costs in cost accounting?

    Learn about the different types of costs associated with cost accounting, such as direct, indirect, fixed, variable and operating ... Read Answer >>
Hot Definitions
  1. Cost Of Debt

    The effective rate that a company pays on its current debt. This can be measured in either before- or after-tax returns; ...
  2. Yield Curve

    A line that plots the interest rates, at a set point in time, of bonds having equal credit quality, but differing maturity ...
  3. Stop-Limit Order

    An order placed with a broker that combines the features of stop order with those of a limit order. A stop-limit order will ...
  4. Keynesian Economics

    An economic theory of total spending in the economy and its effects on output and inflation. Keynesian economics was developed ...
  5. Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications ...

    A member-owned cooperative that provides safe and secure financial transactions for its members. Established in 1973, the ...
  6. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles - GAAP

    The common set of accounting principles, standards and procedures that companies use to compile their financial statements. ...
Trading Center