What is opportunity cost- Everything you need to know!

Every day a person faces a choice: what time to wake up, what to cook for dinner, what to do on the weekend, what to spend the bonus on. When making decisions, humans are led by a variety of factors, including need, benefit, and enjoyment. An entrepreneur is always logical in his or her decisions. 

In order to maximize profit, he must manage a restricted set of resources - money, equipment, or abilities - to the best of his ability. The opportunity cost is a monetary indicator that is utilized in decision-making processes.

What does an opportunity cost?

The opportunity cost is the monetary value associated with a missed opportunity. In other words, the monetary worth of goods or services that have been rejected in favor of alternatives.

With the help of an example, let's look at the potential cost of a product is. Let us suppose the Petrov family has amassed a fortune of 500,000 dollars. They ponder what they should do with the money: construct a bathhouse or get a vehicle. The Petrovs make the decision to invest in the vehicle rather than purchasing the property. It turns out that the automobile serves as a substitute for the bathing experience.

Opportunity cost calculation

The opportunity cost is calculated using a different algorithm than the opportunity cost. It is dependent on the data set that was used as a starting point. The following formula may be used to compute opportunity cost:

Opportunity Cost is the sum of missed chances plus expenses!

Consider the following illustration. The entrepreneur has trading equipment, as well as 20,000 dollars, and he wants to conduct business in the park. He may get 400 bottles of lemonade at a cost of 50 dollars each bottle or 250 packets of ice cream at a cost of 80 dollars with this sum of money. Assume that, taking into consideration the prices of rivals, lemonade can be sold for 70 dollars and ice cream may be sold for 95 dollars respectively.

However, it turns out that the price of ice cream and lemonade is the same, at 20,000 dollars a serving. In this situation, the income obtained by the entrepreneur after each job was sold represents the missed chances in this case as well. Then:

Opportunity Cost of Ice Cream- 250 x 95 + 20,000 = 43,750

Opportunity Cost of Lemonade = 400 x 70 + 20,000 = 48,000.

It turns out that selling lemonade generates far more revenue than selling ice cream. Loss of profits (opportunity costs) is a term that is used to describe the difference between the chosen choice and the best alternative in some situations.

Differences from the cash budget 

The whole cost of any activity is represented by a cash budget. In case you don't remember the concept, opportunity cost is the price that must be paid in exchange for adopting a particular course of action.

For example, if you need to renovate your flat, the family council will determine that a team will be formed to complete the task. In order to determine exactly how much money is required, they create a budget or estimate that covers all expenditures, such as those for building supplies, delivery, and the labor of contractors. If members of the family performed the repairs themselves, they would save money on the services of professional contractors.

Types of Opportunity Costs

Decisions are taken inside the organization result in expenses being separated into two categories: explicit and implicit. The first are the expenditures incurred by the firm in the course of its operations: salaries, taxes, debts owed to suppliers, and the acquisition of equipment.

Implicit costs are the costs incurred as a result of the use of corporate resources. Profits have been lost as a result of this. If the money was held in a safe instead of being invested in stocks, this may represent interest that the corporation did not earn from the government. Alternatively, the money that may be made by renting out free space can be used.

A decrease in the level of typical profit is one of the implicit expenses. This is the amount of compensation that ensures the entrepreneur's continued participation in the sector. In the case of a good manager, the bottom line is 150,000 each month, for example. If he establishes a business and the income is less than the amount anticipated, the manager would really lose money that he could have earned through employment.

What is the best way to utilize the notion of opportunity cost in everyday life?

The notion of opportunity cost will assist you in selecting the most advantageous alternative from among those that are available. For example, you may be confronted with the decision of whether to pursue a new career through classes or continue working in your current position. In the first scenario, you will be required to mix studies, jobs, and household responsibilities, resulting in stress, lack of sleep, and weariness. 

In the second, there is no fuss, no unfamiliar surroundings, and no discomfort. It turns out that the opportunity cost of entering a new highly compensated job, that is, the thing that will have to be sacrificed in order to advance one's career, is one's current level of comfort. In any context, such comparisons are reasonable to make. 

In order to make the best option, you must first understand what you are willing to give up in the name of making money.


The opportunity cost is a financial indicator that may be used to examine the repercussions of making a decision. It may be used at any level, whether in global economic management or in the administration of a large or small firm. Knowledge will assist you in not only properly organizing a business but also in allocating your time in your daily life in a sensible manner and making efficient judgments.


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