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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

7 Common Trade-offs in Life

To get something you want, you have to give up something else you want. In other words, it can be said as trade-offs!Life is full of possibilities, can we have it all?! Hmm.. sadly there is often a cost of something incurred for what you give up to get it. So, have you thought of trade-offs you often face in life? Enrolling into society and workplace, the increment of chances to face trade-offs become greater.

In my opinion, there are few common trade-offs that we face in life:

No.1 Working holidays abroad/ Advanced education vs Job experiences

I had been thought of this for several times during days and nights after my degree studies completed. Shall I pursue for a Masters degree now? Or should I work for few years then pursue further studies? Could I have both together at the same time? Could I manage it if I study Masters part-time after working? Would my company allows me to go off on-time?

If my decision is to have advanced degree now, I might lose one to two years of working experience and of course the earnings too. But if I choose not to have Masters degree, my qualification will be lower from time to time. There are millions degree graduates out there right now every year.

Okay, come to the working holiday abroad which is getting more popular in Malaysia. Many of the seniors went to U.S.A, New Zealand and Australia to have working holiday abroad. The benefits are widened view and opportunities to explore the world when young and (single and available) apart from personal satisfaction, but there are costs besides “out of pocket” costs like further education and N years' lost earnings. Furthermore, will the employer kindly keep your job position available till you are back from working holiday abroad? Hmm..


trade-offs in life


No.2  Career advancement vs More time to spent with family

We couldn't have all the advantages of having more time to spent with our loved ones especially family. If
the working hours are 8 approximately, to be competitive in workplace, we might need to work overtime  to get things done and yea, more time for our career. There would be a trade-off occurs in achieving career
advancement by sacrificing time to spent with family or even ourselves. You can't be a leader and be free of responsibility. How can a leader often go back home earlier than his followers? We want a work-life balance, but how many employers are really practicing this for their workers?

trade-offs in life, trade offs
 No.3  Extra income vs Rest days

Recently, most of my friends had discussed me with this topic. First and foremost, occupation had become one of the topics. Will you sacrifice to become a doctor/auditor/banker if your wealth (health) is taxed? But all these occupations gain respects from others and the occupation itself was often named as professional jobs. Apart from the higher income, benefits of these employment are better than the others. Yet your working hours will be longer compared to most other occupations which may have lower salaries.

The next thing I would say is the basic income is not enough for fresh graduate nowadays. Okay, probably the money left (after deducting EPF and SOSCO deduction, car petrol and maintenance, support family and meals ) would be sufficient for us to survive only. We can work overtime or have part time job to earn extra income, but we would lose our rest days. A busy weekend to gain extra income or utilize the weekend to replenish your sleep? That's your choice.

work overtime trade offs

No.4  Get married/ paired up or being single

Can I have both advantages of single life and be married? Being paired up would have the advantage of someone will be there to care about you when you are sad, happy or angry or disappointed; financially supported by one another; an all-the-time listener and etc. However, you need to give up freedom and time for yourself. You need to tolerate, accept, spend time and money on the one you love. There are many other trade-offs in a relationship or a marriage after all. So, get married or being single (forever alone) ? The opportunity cost is often incurred in which what you give up in order to obtain the item in question.

forever alone, paired up, boyfriend, girlfriend


 No.5  Buying branded stuffs or cheaper but low quality stuffs

Nah.. you can't be thrifty if you love to buy branded stuffs. In contrast, you can't expect for good quality stuffs which are sold at lower price. This causes me stayed in perpetual state of frustration and disappointment during most of my shopping time. Spending RM 70-RM100 on a quality and nice dress or keep the money to purchase 2-3 nice outfits? Another trade-off I have thought of : Buying an imported car or national car.. Cars depreciate value from time to time, but purchasing a national car doesn't give me a sense of security due to bad feedback from my friends regarding their cars' engines quality and the material which seems not durable. However, an imported car's price could be higher than a national car for several thousand bucks. Huh..
cheaper but lower quality stuffs, trade-offs


No.6  Invest or save money for rainy days

In this contemporary, the property prices keep increasing and most of the older ones mentioned that now is the best time to invest on property. However, invest the house to standby awaiting for next generation to grow up and live there? Or the money is much more better to be saved for rainy days? At this moment, we have to be rational to think at the margin.


*Choosing the level of action where the marginal benefit equals the marginal cost.
invest or save money, trade-offs in life

No.7  Eat all-you-like vs Control, control and control you weight and appetite 

Do you have a great appetite and feel like eating when you see nice food images shared at social networking sites?Delicious foods are over tempting and irresistible.
Again, there is a trade-off between gaining weight and never miss a chance to food-testing. In the end, it is always an solution for eating all-you-like without controlling appetite and weight i.e walk extra miles after meals or do exercise.

My second thought: Will you give up nice foods (desserts, burgers, pizzas,snacks, fast foods, caffeine drinks) for your health? All these high calories food might cause high blood pressure,obesity and other health issues. But all these foods look so yummy!
keep fit, weight controlling


Nevertheless, there are many trade-offs in our life, yet we should feel grateful for the paths we have chosen. At least, we are still given opportunities to make decision for any trade-off. Let's set free from the paralysis of "never enough" and move forward to "good enough."