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

AAA

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).

INVESTOPEDIA EXPLAINS '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. Cost Of Carry

    Costs incurred as a result of an investment position. These costs ...
  2. Opportunity Cost

    1. The cost of an alternative that must be forgone in order to ...
  3. Cost-Benefit Analysis

    A process by which business decisions are analyzed. The benefits ...
  4. Foregone Earnings

    The difference in earnings or performance between what is actually ...
  5. Marginal Rate Of Transformation

    The rate at which one good must be sacrificed in order to produce ...
  6. Occupational Safety And Health ...

    Law passed in 1970 to encourage safer workplace conditions in ...
Related Articles
  1. Economics

    Economics Basics

    Learn economics principles such as the relationship of supply and demand, elasticity, utility, and more!
  2. Savings

    3 Common Excuses For Not Contributing To A Retirement Plan

    If you're not participating in your employer-sponsored retirement plan, there may be some easy solutions.
  3. Options & Futures

    What To Do When Your Options Trade Goes Awry

    Check out some repair strategies to help boost the profit potential of a losing position.
  4. Markets

    Cash: Can A Company Have Too Much?

    Cash is something companies love to have. But if they are not using it there could be problems.
  5. Options & Futures

    Dividends, Interest Rates And Their Effect On Stock Options

    Learn how analyzing these variables are crucial to knowing when to exercise early.
  6. Mergers are not the same as acquisitions.
    Investing

    What's a Merger?

    Mergers are not the same as acquisitions. In an acquisition, one company buys and subsumes another company, leaving only the buyer in place. In most mergers, both companies merge to form an entirely ...
  7. As the number of new employees increases, the marginal product of an additional employee will at some point be less.
    Investing

    More is Less: Diminishing Marginal Returns

    In formal economic terms, the law of diminishing marginal returns states that as the number of new employees increases, the marginal product of an additional employee will at some point be less ...
  8. Typically, SPEs are subsidiaries of a larger corporation.
    Investing

    How Special Purpose Entities Help Fight Risk

    A special purpose entity, sometimes called a special purpose vehicle, is a legal entity created for one very limited, particular task. Typically, SPEs are subsidiaries of a larger corporation.
  9. SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats.
    Professionals

    What is a SWOT Analysis?

    SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. SWOT analysis is a management tool used to identify strategies for success. It may be used to guide individual thinking, group ...
  10. Accounting is the recording of financial transactions of a business or organization.
    Professionals

    What is Accounting?

    Accounting is the recording of financial transactions of a business or organization. It also includes the process of summarizing, analyzing and reporting these transactions in financial statements.

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Commodity

    1. A basic good used in commerce that is interchangeable with other commodities of the same type. Commodities are most often ...
  2. Deferred Revenue

    Advance payments or unearned revenue, recorded on the recipient's balance sheet as a liability, until the services have been ...
  3. Multinational Corporation - MNC

    A corporation that has its facilities and other assets in at least one country other than its home country. Such companies ...
  4. SWOT Analysis

    A tool that identifies the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of an organization. Specifically, SWOT is a basic, ...
  5. Simple Interest

    A quick method of calculating the interest charge on a loan. Simple interest is determined by multiplying the interest rate ...
  6. Special Administrative Region - SAR

    Unique geographical areas with a high degree of autonomy set up by the People's Republic of China. The Special Administrative ...
Trading Center