A simple tip to help you enjoy your summer vacation more

June 23, 2014

Read time 2 min

Let’s say you have tickets to an outdoor concert and on the night of the concert it rains. When deciding whether to go or not, what are the things you should take into consideration? The weather, of course. Other options for spending the evening, sure. You might want to consider whether you’ll regret missing out later. But should you consider the price of the tickets you’ve already paid for?

The ticket price is a sunken cost. You’ve already paid for the tickets and you’re not going to get the money back whether you go or not. The tickets are an option to go, not an obligation. If you don’t feel like going or you think you’d enjoy the evening more by watching something on Netflix then simply don’t go. You’ll get more out of your vacation by doing the things you want to do, not the things you feel obliged to do.

This doesn’t mean you should buy tickets and then just not go. Before buying the tickets you should definitely consider whether you actually want to go or not. However, immediately after the purchase the price becomes a sunken cost. After purchase you should only weight the benefits of possible options for the evening. The point of buying a concert ticket was to enjoy the evening. Which are you going to enjoy more, a rainy concert or a comfy Netflix evening? Whichever it is, regardless of sunken costs, do that.

Learning to understand sunken cost in our personal life will also helps us understand it at work where it might be even more crucial. The time or money spent on a project should not be considered when deciding whether to invest more. This is basic stuff, yet all too often forgotten.

Enjoy your vacation!

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