Hyper-Analysing Life — Performing a cost-benefit analysis for recreational activities


I’d like to say I don’t over-think things. But the fact is, I do! It’s not analysis paralysis. It’s a form of strategising. And even in cases of “recreation” or “waste”, I’d like to know that I’m wasting with the best possible return.

My latest interest has been to invest in a road bicycle. In my teenage days I had a road-bike — a racer, if you will. That’s the type of bike with thin wheels and handle bars that bend downwards for when you need to drop into a speed-focused stance. I rode this bike all over the place. I’d disappear for hours on end. Riding all the way to Stellenbosch, or the CBD, or Durbanville — easily 50–100km in a day.

It’s been a decade since I last cycled. I really want to get back into it. Cycling has become a huge sport in South Africa, with bicycles reaching upwards of ZAR 120,000 ( $7000 USD). And no, that’s out of my budget for a “recreational activity”.

I just want to get fitter. It needs to supplement running and swimming. I want to burn fat faster and get to places I wouldn’t otherwise go.

But — and this is a big but — unless you’re cycling with your family or friends, cycling is a solitary sport. You’re quite limited in distance and duration when you have young kids in your group. And thus the reasons for needing to perform a cost-benefit analysis.

Some of the questions that I’ve needed to answer are:

  • What are the advantages of cycling?
  • What are the advantages of snorkeling?
  • Are the kids able to do this?
  • Will this activity bring me closer to the kids, or take me away from the kids?
  • Will this be a once-off expense or experience?
  • Will there be any special gear required?
  • What other risks or issues are involved?

In the end, you’ll feel much better about the decision you made and will be able to go in to it with full conviction knowing that you’re spending your time in the best way possible. After all, time is your most expensive commodity.

The decision that I’ve come to from the analysis conducted is:

  1. Hold off buying a bicycle until we find a bike within my budget.
  2. Snorkeling with Seals will provide the highest return for cost — especially with the winter specials that are currently in effect.
  3. It’s scuba diving season in Cape Town, research is ongoing — possibly join a club for best rates.

Let me know in the comments below if you’d like to know how I set up my CBA table in Notion, or if you’re interested in the references below. I’m curious to know if you’re doing CBA, and what’s working for you.

Cost-Benefit Analysis in Notion

Original post at https://blog.munafsheikh.com/