sunk cost fallacy

During the week I met up with one of my friends, it has been a while since I had seen him. I knew something was up, hence the reason he wanted to meet up for a chat.


It was only a few sips into my drink before he came out with the bombshell that things haven’t been good at home. I was flabbergasted, from the outside, his relationship portrayed your ideal couple. Photos of them on exotic holidays, at events, going out for walks with the dog would litter my Facebook homepage.


After he told me the ins and outs of the past few months in the relationship I asked him the most pertinent question ‘do you still love her?’ his response was ‘well, yeah.’


I asked him again ‘are you happy with her’ and his response, ‘well, with been together for so long and we’ve got the house and the mortgage and everything.’


I couldn’t believe what I was hearing, his whole standpoint for staying with her was that it was convenient or he’d already invested so much time and was willing to offset his future happiness on the basis that he had invested time, energy and money.


He had fallen foul of the classic, spent cost fallacy! You think you are losing out on the time money and energy you’ve already invested.


Another example of this would be if you went to the cinema paid your money whilst sitting halfway into the movie you decide it is awful. Would you get up and leave or would you think to yourself well I’ve paid the money I’m going to see this through and suffer through the rest of the movie, knowing that another hour of your life would be wasted!


The thing to consider in this example is that you have already spent the money on the cinema ticket, that money is not coming back and it should not affect your decision to walk out halfway through the awful film you are putting yourself through.


Finishing a meal in a restaurant that’s terrible, a drink that tastes disgusting you bought from the bar, the snack that tastes like dog shit bought from the corner shop. More sunk cost fallacy at work!


The time energy and effort and money is already spent! Try not to let it cloud your decision on future enjoyment or rather putting yourself through discomfort, pain, bad taste in the future!

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