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Sunday, February 4, 2018

Not Going To Cyprus... and Sunk Costs

Tomorrow I was supposed to be on an airplane, going to Cyprus. Except I'm not going to be going there anymore... I know, I know, I still haven't finished posting about my trip to Belgium, I didn't want to write all my posts one after another in case someone not interested in travel was reading my blog- didn't want to bore you with too many posts one after another. But it's coming soon.
So anyhow, Cyprus.

As I mentioned a few months ago, I found really, really cheap tickets to Cyprus from where I live with a black Friday sale. It was 10 Euros each way, which worked out to be 25 dollars, round trip. Really a steal! But what I didn't actually write in my post then was that Cyprus wasn't really a place that spoke to me. I live in a place with a similar climate and similar type of landscape, so there wasn't so much drawing me to it. I love adventure, and different things, and Cyprus... just isn't. But what did excite me was my good friend was going to come with me on my trip, so I'd have a break from my day to day life and parenting, and a girls' bonding getaway. Cyprus was secondary, the main purpose was the vacation and get away. And for that price, it was worth it.


And then I found tickets to Belgium for the same price. Belgium was more exciting, because it was new and different and more exotic for me, not to mention that I have roots there. And it was a last minute trip and it was pretty awesome and filled my need to travel, at least somewhat.

But I was still looking forward to my trip to Cyprus because girl time! However, that didn't work out. My friend needed to cancel the trip, despite getting no refund, because that is how Ryanair works... (you get what you pay for with cheap airlines.) I was debating about whether or not I should still go on the trip, because, as I said, the main thing I was looking to on the trip was the girl time, and the place didn't really excite me. I was considering just ditching the whole trip.

Then I was doing a lot of soul searching, and whether or not I should go on the trip, whether the vacation would recharge me, even if the place was less something that appealed to me, and decided to go.
However, then I discovered that RyanAir was idiotic and decided to change their baggage policy, even after we already booked. On my flight to and from Belgium, I was allowed a small carry on and a personal bag, but for my trip to Cyprus I was told that I was only allowed a personal item, not a carry on. This shocked me and honestly made me so sickened by Ryanair, because changing such terms after tickets are already booked is beyond preposterous. At first it looked like if I would bring even a carry on I'd have to pay 40 Euros each way, but upon checking into it further, as long as I paid an extra 6 Europs each way for priority boarding, I would be able to bring my carry on and personal bag. So I did that. So far I paid $40 for this trip.

And then something happened, and I really was unsure what to do about my trip. For various reasons, I realized that this trip was not a smart idea now. And on top of that, technicalities would be much more challenging, since my husband's work hours changed (he works exclusively overnight now, instead of only sometimes overnight, like it was when I went to Belgium) and the babysitter I would have used on overnights wasn't available.

But even knowing all this, I was so torn. I mean, I'd already spent money on this trip. Already paid $40 and I wouldn't get them back. So maybe despite everything, despite the problems with going, I should figure out a way and make it happen? I mean, I already paid money for it...

Then my smart friends reminded me about the concept of sunk costs, and said that this would be the perfect thing to post about here. That even if you already spent money on something, that doesn't mean you should keep throwing money at it, spend more money because you already spent the first bit. Yes, I paid $40, and I'm not going to get that back, but spending more money on something that is a bad idea isn't smarter than just letting those $40 sink.

So now, I'm getting emails from Ryanair.com telling me that it's time to check in... and I'm reminding myself that sometimes, it's smarter to just let money go. Sometimes its smarter to not try to "recoup your costs" by throwing more money at a bad idea. Sometimes, you just let those $40 go down the drain instead of letting even more go down.

This isn't something easy for me to do, because I hate money wasting. I hate feeling like I paid money for nothing. But I'm reminding myself that I am making the smart decision. The smart decision to only waste those 40 and nothing else.

And I'm trying to be ok with missing this vacation.

I think I'm having an easier time coming to terms with it specifically because just 2 months ago I did have a really awesome trip to Belgium. So I'm not as starved for adventure.

And now that I know how to get cheap tickets, I can book tickets another time, for another great, frugal adventure. When the time is right for me.

And then I can go on my trip with absolutely no regrets.

Have you ever made a decision not to utilize tickets or things that you otherwise already paid for, because it was a bad decision to do so, for whatever reason? How did you come to terms with your decision? What are your thoughts on sunk costs?

14 comments:

  1. Very wise, PP. We call that "throwing good money after bad." I bet you'll enjoy just staying home this time.

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  2. I see this sometimes with my clients. They want to throw more money at a business that will probably never do well because they already spent so much on it. It's so hard to think of sunk costs, but it's so much smarter to think that way.

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    1. Good point, also with money and failing businesses. Hadn't thought of the comparison, but it is an apt one.

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  3. It was smart not to fall into the trap of throwing good money after bad. You paid for a learning experience. It's like a fashion oops.

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  4. You are showing people how to cut their losses. Not doing so can result in a gambling addiction, MLM scheme entrapment, etc.

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    1. Thanks! Being able to cut your losses is an important skill, but a hard one.

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  5. It was right to cancel. Take a day off, and do something special.

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  6. Just wanted to add we visited Cyprus this summer for 2 weeks (after living 20+ years in your country). I expected nothing 'exciting' as you wrote. Wow was I wrong! Different culture, language, experiences.....incredible waters like I have never seen, amazing hiking. Learned *soooooo* much too visitng both Greece Cyprus & 'occupied Turkish Cyprus'. Incredible incredible destination, NOT what I expected. I have been to over 40 countries..... Cyprus blew me away. You *did* make the right decision, but don't remove it from your list as I did for so many years. Was incredible! Also for my kids. One of our best holidays ever. Not what I had imagined. Far from it. (Note - most things are closed in winter in Cyprus, hence very cheap tickets.)

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    1. That's amazing, good to know! I probably will go to Cpyrus one day, good to know there are great things when I will eventually go there.

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  7. Would you be willing to provide instructions for obtaining cheap tickets?

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    1. I've already shared in a previous post, but basically you go to skyscanner.com, write the country/location you plan on leaving from, and then choose anywhere, and then cheapest month, and then it'll give you tickets listed from cheapest to most expensive. That's how I found my cheap tickets to Belgium, Poland, and Cyprus.

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  8. Hi Penny,
    I was sorry to read that you were unable to go to Cyprus in your present circumstances. I read a book about Cyprus called "Bitter Lemons" by Laurence Durrell and it opened my eyes to the magic,mystery and beauty of this island. If you get a chance, get hold of this book. It is a classic. I hope that in the future, you get another chance to see and feel the beauty and history of this unique place. All the best, eve from Melbourne.

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  9. Last night I booked 2 tickets to Athens cheap! Then I was billed a further 126 Euros for tax, trhen I booked two return tickets and find I pay no tax? Is this crazy or a rip off of people who live in Cyprus?

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  10. It was best that you cancelled - sometimes we have to do what truly needs to be done. BTW, I'm Belgian descent as well. One of these days I will make travel plans to visit. Currently I have my mother living with me as she has the start of dementia, plus I would have to kennel my dog or hope a friend would watch her. But one day I do plan to go. Debi

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