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Ep. 128 Opportunity Cost

by Claudine Sweeney
May 12th 2022
When we say "yes" to one thing, it's an automatic "no" to something else. And this involves what's called opportunity cost. Understanding what it is and how it affects your life will help you make dec... More
This is episode 1 28 opportunity cost. You're listening to the rise up and Shine podcast with Claudine and Ashley as an empty nester and a mom with young kids, we have both shared very similar and very real struggles from chaos to coaches, we now help other women live an authentic and meaningful life. So tune in weekly for girl talk and tips on how you too can rise up and let your light shine bright. This is the rise up and shine podcast. Mhm Welcome back everyone. Do you want to learn to make the best use of your time and money? If so today we are going to be talking about opportunity cost. Now opportunity cost tends to be an economic term um but we really wanted to talk about it today because it really is a great, a great tool for life, you know in making decisions and how we spend our time or how we spend our money because what happens is when we spend time on one thing, it means we're not spending time or money on another thing, right?

And so today we want to talk about that because this is very relative to just life our day to day. It's something we do a lot of us subconsciously, but it's a very fancy fancy phrase, opportunity cost. I was like what the heck is that when you first proposed this topic, I had to research it and I'm like, oh yeah, this is really good. In fact this is an area I know I could grow in, but the thing with an opportunity cost is every yes is a no to something else. So every time we make a choice or a decision when we say yes to something, whether it's the way we use our time or spend our money, we're saying no to Something else. So for all of you listening today, you've said Yes to the next 15 or 20 minutes you're investing in listening to this podcast. That's a notice. Something else. It's a no to watching a tv show or reading a book or going on a jog or many, many other things. So every yes is a no. That's the way I like to think about it and it's a trade off and we make trade off decisions every day.

We choose to do one thing. We forgo doing something else. We choose to spend our money on something that means it's a notice. Something else at least for most of us. Well and also it's really the reason why we wanted to do this is because it's really important to be aware if what we're choosing is lining up with our values, what matters most to us a lot of times we're unaware, but then we might feel unhappy unfulfilled. We might desire to be more present with our family. We might desire to save more money or we might desire to spend, you know, have more funds for fun time with the family or whatever or a trip. So really it's mindful thinking really stepping back and being mindful of what are the choices I'm making, Where am I spending my time? Where am I spending my money? Because a lot of it is subconscious, we're not really aware of that. It's all a choice. Everything we do is a choice. Whether we know what we're doing or not, whether we know what we're choosing or not, right?

Like just mindlessly going to the coffee, you know, machine every morning, right? I made a choice even though it's so ingrained that it has become such a habit and I really do it without thinking it's still a choice. And so if I am happy with that, then great or if I am wanting to be healthier and start my morning with a cup of water. And if that's really really what I want to do, then let's take a step back, slow down. Let's really think about this opportunity cost, right? So, I go to the coffee machine or maybe the second or third time in the morning, then I am actually essentially saying no to the cup of water, but what am I truly desiring? What am I valuing? Yes, good point. And I love the term opportunity cost like every, it's it's funny because opportunity is a positive thing and cost, we tend to it it can can sometimes be in the negative column. So we have, right? What we're giving up, right? So opportunity is what we get and the cost is what we're giving up.

And so I actually love this very complex, very formal sounding term, the opportunity cost, but that is life for whatever we want to get, we're going to have to give up something else, right? And um, I think about when my kids were younger, when they were small, my husband and I, we, you know, you know, both together decided I would stay home and raise kids. So I did not seek out a career and that was a great opportunity, right? I had the opportunity to stay home to be with my Children, not everybody gets that opportunity. So I was very grateful. I did. The cost of that is that we had to learn how to live on one income, right? And and there were costs to that when we were raising our family in Los Angeles which has a higher cost of living and very hard to get around without two cars and for a time we only had one car and so there were a lot of costs associated with that decision, but at the same time, what a great opportunity. That's just one example of many, many, many, many decisions and choices. We make all the time of these trade offs, right? It's a trade off. So I got to be home with my kids full time, but we had to make do with a lot, lot less and you can even flip that and if you know someone might say, well, you know, I decided to stay home with the kids, but the opportunity cost was me, you know, excelling in this career that I originally started with four kids, I could have worked myself up the ladder, you could have had this much money and so that's another opportunity across and it's really making the decision on what is best for you and your family or what you value the most and your values and it does take uh, some reflection and some awareness to even go, what do I value?

You know, recently I was reading something and it generated these thoughts in my head, I was like, what do I really want my marriage to look like now, you know, we've been empty nesters for quite some time and now we've just moved and we're kind of settled. Um, we've moved 20 Eight times in 33 years, we're not planning on moving anytime soon. So there's this opportunity of, what do I want the next two or three decades to look like with my husband, if you know, granted we have those, but what do I want it to look like now is empty nesters that are settled for the first time in a long time, we're really settled, we have a home and um, you know, whatever decisions we make, there's going to be trade offs, do we want to travel a lot, You know, there's trade offs with that, right? There is financial costs, there's time costs, there's cost of being away from our Children a lot of things, so opportunities and costs and I think about for my, um, in my personal life or even in other moms, I helped coach in our stage of life of being home with the kids and young kids a lot of times, even just in the day today, I can be more aware of what is the opportunity cost.

If I choose to spend time with my family, that kitchen is gonna be a disaster. Well then if I go and clean the kitchen and then my husband and with the kids, they're having a fun time playing a game over here. But I really value having the clean kitchen right now, so I can have peace of mind because if I'm playing with the family that my mind is going to be thinking about the kitchen, you know, weighing those options, right, what is the trade off, what is it I truly value? And I think a lot of it is, what am I like years down the road, what am I going to look back on and say, gosh, I wish I can have that time back and I think for, as a mom that stays home and takes care of the house and it's very, really values family time and quality time that, that is going to be what I look back on and say, I wish I had, I could have that time back, Especially as you being an empty nester. I'm sure it's like, oh my gosh, like I kind of missed those days kids under our roof and but then I have you ever looked back and said, man, I wish I did a better job cleaning those dishes or I did a good job.

I did it all Ashley, you seem to forget but we involved our kids so you know years are still young. But um yes, there is a trade off. I was lucky again, I mean once they're all in school full time it's different because there's time and then we also valued paper plates to be honest with you. So we had a mini a meal on a paper plate and I know your family values maybe their financial resources more than speed and ease of cleanup. So we decided that we'll spend the extra 50 cents on paper plates and then mom has less chores to or the kids or whatever then, you know, and we didn't do it all the time. But somehow we bounced it all. But you're right, there's choices we make every day and I think um that's what it is when we make decisions a lot of times. It's pros and cons, right? But when we have an opportunity cost, we're thinking through and getting considering all the alternatives to get a full picture when we make a decision. So it's not just pros and cons, it's like I can spend time with my family, I can spend time with my family playing games, I can spend time with my family cleaning up together, I can spend time not cleaning up, it's like putting all the alternatives to get a full picture as opposed to pro cons, which is a more limited decision making process.

So it's very helpful tool to think about it in this way and I hadn't until we started researching for this topic, but even recently I had started thinking well I should go get my master's degree, I love to learn, so I'm like I should just go do that right? And so I started researching the time and the money it would cost and I'm like maybe not, maybe because I started thinking okay I could get a master's degree and there's a lot of pros, right and cons to that, but I started looking at the alternatives, what could I do with that time and money instead of getting a master's degree. And for me it kind of balanced out that I could get some more um training, I could pay for some training but still have an enormous amount of money left over to build my business and to get resources for my business. And so I chose that track. So it wasn't a pro con, it was like what are all the alternatives with my time and money if I choose not to get a master's degree at this time in my life. So I had to do that with this situation.

And unbeknownst to me, that's exactly what I was doing. I was really weighing off the trade offs. Yeah, that's yeah, that's really good. And I think really having an idea of what your ideal looks like, right? I mean, I think it's there's so many wonderful things that we can do that we might desire to do or to accomplish in our life. What are you choosing to put your time and money towards? And really is it, is it going towards the things or contributing to the things that you really value that really matter to you? You know, is it family? Is it finances? Is it um accolades, all there's so many different out there, so many different directions we can take, but just really being aware of every decision you make in your day to day will contribute to something. So just seeing what is it contributing to. I think that's huge.

That's eye opening. It's really just reflecting and taking a look at what are you okay? What choices have I been making? Are those aligned with my values and go from there. And so often we want to blame our circumstances and we don't realize that all the choices and decisions we've made along the way may have brought us to our very circumstance and we've made those decisions and choices, um subconsciously unconsciously we weren't mindful, we weren't conscious, there was no conscious awareness, We're just like you know, going from one thing to another. I mean I think I lived so much of my life in survival mode and I didn't give a lot of thought to what I was doing, it was just like, oh I gotta get through the day, I got to get dinner on the table. I mean that was my measure of success when my kids were young. If I didn't forget anybody somewhere and had dinner on the table, I had a really good day. I was like that was my measure of success, but I made so many decisions without being mindful like where are we really going as a family? Like I had some overlying values.

Of course we all do whether they're conscious or not, but a lot of choices and decisions I made weren't made with those in mind. So let's talk about some of the practical zell's of how to make these choices decision how to um figure out how to make best use of our time and money really through opportunity cost. So the first one is just to examine your values, what are your values? I think we tend to live on default a lot of the time and we don't consciously think about what is is I'm really valuable right now and sometimes really honestly they'll change, they'll change in different stages of life. Um And so just examine what those are, write them down, journal them out. you know what are the things that really really are important to you right now and then the next one is reflect on your choices and if those are leading you down that path and aligning you with those things that you value, that's huge because it's really just awareness so you can mindfully choose the things that will contribute to the life you want and the values that you know you hold very dear Right?

Yeah, yeah. We talk a lot about mindfulness and awareness on this on this podcast and this is definitely a time to do that, not just be in default mode or automatic mode. Um The last practical is don't overthink now I know that we just told you to sit and think to examine and reflect but when it comes to the choice don't overthink it. There are psychological blocks When we start thinking about things in trade offs and if we overthink we can become indecisive right? We're like oh I don't know what to do, I don't know what to do because we have choices. Um The other block is emotional stress. We can start feeling really stressed when we have choices and again I think part of examining your values and reflecting on those values should help eliminate some of this. And lastly we can justify like we can make decisions and justifying even if they're not in line but don't overthink it to the point where you're going crazy in your head and you know, we've all done this, we've made decisions and you overthink it, but just reflect, examine, put it down on paper um and pray about it.

How can we not include prayer when we have to make choices? I love the scripture in luke 14:28 It's it says for who among you is going to build a tower, does not sit first and examine the cost to make sure he has the resources to complete it. I kind of butchered that I probably just Melded like four versions together. But anyway, you know when we make a decision we we think about it first and think about it thoroughly, but don't overthink, don't ruminate, make a decision and then trust, trust that it's going to work out and even if it doesn't work out the way you intended, God's still got you and it's still going to work out so, and you can always choose differently the next time, right? There's always going to be a trade off. So I think that's huge. Just own it. You know, what do you make a choice, own it, Be confident in your choice and see how it works out. Absolutely. So just remember every choice you make is a yes to something and I noticed something else, it's definitely a trade off here is another great example of opportunity, cost is coaching, investing in getting yourself a coach.

So when you think about it, it's the opportunity is finding transformation and growth and confidence and being able to step into that life that you desire and living life to the full and being who you desire to be and feeling your very best. But the cost would be time and money. But if you weigh your values, is this something truly to invest in, that will be the best option for you in your life to be able to show up the way that you want to. So we also want to encourage you guys to check on our website and schedule a call, a free discovery call with either Claudine in her program for empty nesters or myself for stay at home moms. Um Ashley's website is mind over chaos dot com and Claudine website is Claudine Sweeney dot com. And please we would highly encourage you to consider this opportunity to work with us as your coach to help you just thrive, thrive in life and be who you want to be. Um And so check us out over there.

We'll catch you next time. Have a great week. Mhm. Alright, everyone, thank you for joining in on our conversation today here on the rise up and shine podcast. If you haven't already, please take a second to hit that subscribe button. So you never miss an episode and while you're at it, share this episode with a friend who you know, it can bless today if you want to visit us as well on our websites, you can catch Claudine over at Claudine Sweeney dot com and Ashley at Mind over chaos dot com. Our links are in the description. We also have some free resources there for you as well. So remember ladies, no matter what you are facing in life, it is never too late to rise up and shine and live your best life. Mm hmm.

Ep. 128 Opportunity Cost
Ep. 128 Opportunity Cost
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