Calculating Opportunity Cost Microeconomics


how to count opportunity cost

When you have real numbers to work with, rather than estimates, it’s easier to compare the return of a chosen investment to the forgone alternative. Any effort to predict opportunity cost must rely heavily on estimates and assumptions. There’s no way of knowing exactly how a different course of action will play out financially over time.

Opportunity Cost: Definition, Formula, and Examples

Opportunity cost is important to consider when making many types of decisions, from investing to everyday choices. Knowing how to calculate opportunity cost can help you accurately weigh the risks and rewards of each option and factor in the potential long-term costs of doing so. This opportunity cost calculator helps you find the value of the cash you want to spend on a non-investment product. Thanks to this tool, you will be able to calculate how much money you will earn by investing the money instead of spending it on goods or services, and from this find out what the opportunity cost is. Calculating the opportunity cost will also help you decide if the product is worth buying now, as well as learn to use the opportunity cost formula. A sunk cost is money already spent at some point in the past, while opportunity cost is the potential returns not earned in the future on an investment because the money was invested elsewhere.

Accounting Profit vs. Economic Profit

Opportunity cost helps inform efficient business strategy by ensuring that companies allocate resources in the most effective manner possible in an effort to achieve their business objectives. Consumers can harness opportunity cost to evaluate different choices and the value they will forgo by selecting those choices. Let’s say you are deciding to invest in either Company A or Company B. You choose to invest in company A, which provides a return of 6% in one year.

How to calculate opportunity cost with a simple formula.

  1. Because of scarcity we all face the dismal reality that there are limits to what we can do.
  2. Stash does not provide personalized financial planning to investors, such as estate, tax, or retirement planning.
  3. For example, if an investor decides to put $100 into ABC stock, that is $100 he cannot put into XYZ stock, or alternatively, some other kind of asset, for example a bond.
  4. Below, we’ve used the formula to work through situations business founders are likely to encounter.
  5. Also, the more burgers he buys, the fewer bus tickets he can buy.
  6. Although you’d earn more with a CD, you’d be locked out of your $11,000 and any earnings in the event of an emergency or financial downturn.

Rest assured — you’ve made a good investment by reading this article. Learning how to calculate opportunity cost is an essential skill for all business what happens when a capital expenditure is treated as a revenue expenditure owners. The result won’t always be a concrete number or percentage, but it can offer important insights into the trade-offs you’ll face every day.