The economic concept that will change your life

The name of this post might seem a little weird. Who knows… maybe that’s why you clicked on it, maybe you’re intrigued about what a 16-year-old girl is going to tell you about economics and life changes?

Well, this post is not about one simple hack that will change how much money you spend or earn. In fact, this post has nothing to do with money at all. It’s about an economic concept, which, when applied, not in an economic context, can really change your life.

I’m a Junior studying economics, so in no way am I qualified to give you real economic advice. But a few weeks ago I was doing my homework, like the good student I am, and I came across something very interesting. I often read things in school, or I see things while I’m out, and I think of how they would make really interesting and unique blog posts, actually, that’s how I came up with my different ‘English-es’ blog post. This time was no different… I was reading my economics textbook when I came over the concept of Sunk Costs.

In an economic context Sunk Costs are costs that have already happened, they are things that regardless of the decisions you make next, they aren’t going to go back and change. For example, if you’re shopping at the mall and you buy a non-refundable dress, and you walk into the next store and see a dress you like even more. Buying the first dress has already happened, you can’t change that. But you can choose whether or not to buy the second dress, and you shouldn’t let your first decision affect your second one, as no matter how much you think about the first one, you can’t undo it. Of course, this is a very mild example. But this concept is usually used to explain much more serious problems such as rent or salary. However, regardless of the context, the concept still means the same thing: it doesn’t matter what happened in the past, you can’t change that. And it shouldn’t affect your future plans because you can’t go back and change what happened.

You may be able to see where I’m going with this. If we take this academic and complicated concept outside of school and textbooks and actually look at what it’s saying we can apply it to our everyday lives, and that’s where the magic is. We shouldn’t let our past decisions affect the decisions that we make next. Whatever we went through in the past or whatever it cost us can’t be recovered, and that past action is still going to cost us the same thing regardless of our next decision. How many times in your life have you let yourself be held back by something that you or someone did in the past? Yes, you should make educated decisions, but your past shouldn’t be something you dwell on or something that holds you back. You should make every decision in your life based on what you think could happen, not what has happened in the past.

There is a difference between speculating on the past and reflecting on it. I’m only 16 and I’ve been through so much. So I can’t imagine how much people older than me must have been through. Sometimes it’s hard to know that what I do now can’t make up for the mistakes I’ve made, or something I do now can’t change what’s already happened, but I’m getting better at it and I encourage you all to practice it as well.

This economic concept may seem a little abstract when taken out of context, but there is still reality to it. Let me know what you think, and if you agree with this idea of ‘sunk costs’ in our everyday lives. Comment down below your opinions and I hope you enjoyed this post!

See you next week,
Little Miss Expat

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Becoming more independent

Two weeks, in a new place, where I didn’t know anyone, studying in a college class, was definitely a huge step leap out of my comfort zone.

I am someone who lives by their planner, I write out every hour of my day and how I’m going to spend it; my day starts with my morning routine and ends with my night routine. I’m not a boring person! Trust me, I keep busy, but I like to know what’s coming next, I like to know what’s happening in my life. So maybe you’ll understand why spending two weeks in a completely different continent to the one I live on, knowing no one, and being truly independent for the first time was really daunting for me! Maybe, this is normal for other people, but for me, this was my summer of becoming more independent, and I want to share it with you guys.

For those two weeks, the only thing I needed to make sure I did every day was to attend my classes and lectures. It was so different from being at home where there’s always someone there, where there are always a few things I have to do in a day. I could wake up when I wanted, get breakfast where I wanted, I had to walk everywhere myself or take the train into the city, I could go wherever I wanted: Basically, I could do whatever I wanted (within reason). While all these possibilities sound amazing, believe it or not, it was kind of daunting! Yes, I suddenly could spend my day the way I wanted, but at the same time every day was completely different for me, I could never plan out exactly what I was going to do.

I think it also made me realise how much of a people person I am, but also how much of an introvert I am. I love being around people, I like chatting and laughing, but then at the end of the day sometimes I need that 30 mins or hour to read or watch TV by myself, that’s my way of recharging. And with being so independent, it was hard to balance these two things. Everyone was sticking by their own flexible schedule, and you weren’t going to be with someone every second of every day. For me, being so far out of my comfort zone already this was hard, and sometimes I felt very lonely. You see, I’m fine with spending time by myself at home, I’m doing it right now writing this blog post. But when I was already in a place with so much independence, and no one checking in on me, it was so weird to be by myself! And I feel like this taught me an important lesson.

You can take some you-time! You don’t need to live by someone else’s’ schedule. Sometimes I think people, especially people my age, think they have to do the exact same thing as someone else! And if you’re not with someone for every second of every day you’re not doing it right. But that’s not true. Sometimes you need to just do what you want, and that doesn’t always mean doing it with someone else. For example, if one of my friends wanted to go shopping in the college town, and I wanted to go to the library and finish my homework, it’s okay to do what I wanted, even if it’s not the same as them! But I found that concept so weird at the beginning! Because I was by myself in this new country I was kind of scared to be by myself and to be alone, but slowly I got used to this and I was more comfortable being by myself and doing what I wanted. I’m really happy that I learned that because I feel like it’s an important life lesson.

While it was really hard at first, and something completely new for me. I’m grateful that I got the opportunity to step out of my comfort zone this summer and become more independent. What about you? What was your first experience being more independent?

Little Miss Expat

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