Enter the return on the best option ($) and the return on the chosen option ($) into the Opportunity Cost calculator. The calculator will evaluate and display the Opportunity Cost. 

Opportunity Cost Formula

The following formula is used to calculate the Opportunity Cost. 

OC = RB – RC

  • Where OC is the Opportunity Cost ($)
  • RB is the return on the best option ($) 
  • RC is the return on the chosen option ($) 

How to Calculate Opportunity Cost?

The following example problems outline how to calculate Opportunity Cost.

Example Problem #1:

  1. First, determine the return on the best option ($). The return on the best option ($) is given as 5,000.
  2. Next, determine the return on the chosen option ($). The return on the chosen option ($) is provided as 3,000.
  3. Finally, calculate the Opportunity Cost using the equation above: 

OC = RB – RC

The values given above are inserted into the equation below:

OC = 5,000 – 3,000 = 2,000 ($)


Example Problem #2: 

The variables needed for this problem are provided below:

return on the best option ($) = 2,500

return on the chosen option ($) = 500

Entering these values and solving gives:

OC = 2,500 – 500 = 2000 ($)