# Thread: How much money did you lose?

1. ## How much money did you lose?

You have bought a train ticket for €3.9. However, right at the last moment, you forget that you have bought the ticket, so you buy a new one for €5. Then you remember the first ticket, but it's already too late. You're already on the train, and you can't cancel the tickets.

How much money have you lost?

2. ## Re: How much money did you lose?

Originally Posted by Jon_Dahl
You have bought a train ticket for €3.9. However, right at the last moment, you forget that you have bought the ticket, so you buy a new one for €5. Then you remember the first ticket, but it's already too late. You're already on the train, and you can't cancel the tickets.

How much money have you lost?
Depends how you define "Lost".

I'd say €5, since that's the unneeded spending, but other people could say differently, depending on how they'd define it.

3. ## Re: How much money did you lose?

I'd have spent €8.9... but I caught the train. Better than spending €3.9 and not catching it because I forgot I had a ticket.

4. ## Re: How much money did you lose?

Originally Posted by Peelee
I'd have spent €8.9... but I caught the train. Better than spending €3.9 and not catching it because I forgot I had a ticket.
In this case, losing is different from spending in the sense that spending indicates neutral/useful use of money whereas losing money is about throwing money away (compare: losing money in the stock market).

5. ## Re: How much money did you lose?

Originally Posted by Jon_Dahl
In this case, losing is different from spending in the sense that spending indicates neutral/useful use of money whereas losing money is about throwing money away (compare: losing money in the stock market).
If I forgot I had a ticket, I wouldn't have boarded the train, though. I wouldn't say the money was lost, I would say that I spent €3.9 to ride the train and I also spent €5 to teach myself to remember my tickets.

Call me an optimist.

6. ## Re: How much money did you lose?

Originally Posted by Peelee
If I forgot I had a ticket, I wouldn't have boarded the train, though. I wouldn't say the money was lost, I would say that I spent €3.9 to ride the train and I also spent €5 to teach myself to remember my tickets.

Call me an optimist.
I see, in that case, please disregard my previous post.

7. ## Re: How much money did you lose?

With that story, I'd definitely go for the Â£5
If you changed it so the Â£3.50 ticket stayed at home, then I might go for the Â£3.50.

However like Peelee, the key thing is I spent Â£8.50 on tickets and got a train ride and a learning experience, and once it was Â£12.00 for train ride, learning experience and a meal it would be history . That would change with values though. Â£400 would stick around all year (I'd like to think I would be more careful, though)

If the Â£3.50 was an advance and the Â£5.00 was on the day and I wasn't sure. Then I'd say I 'lost' Â£3.50, but actively feel I'd spent it on insurance (against changing my mind).

8. ## Re: How much money did you lose?

So, you used\showed the ticket of 5 to board the train? In this case, 5 were used, exchanged in return of service, and can't be treated as lost.

The first ticket wasn't used, at least until now. If it can be used at a later date or time, then it isn't lost as well, it's a saving. If it can't be used, then the money invested in it are lost forever.

So, I'd say, your loss is either 0 (if cheaper ticket can be used later) or it's 3.9 (if not).
In either case, the sum of 5 isn't part of loss.

9. ## Re: How much money did you lose?

None, because upon realizing my error, I find the train man and ask with a wink if special accommodations may be made. With a knowing smile and a nod, he shows me to the roof, and for a low, low price of two tickets, I get to experience the thrill of train surfing.

10. ## Re: How much money did you lose?

Originally Posted by JNAProductions
Depends how you define "Lost".

I'd say €5, since that's the unneeded spending, but other people could say differently, depending on how they'd define it.
Exactly this.

11. ## Re: How much money did you lose?

I mean, this exact thing happened to me, and I just went to the information booth, and they refunded me one of the tickets, so, no money lost?

12. ## Re: How much money did you lose?

Depends if the tickets are transferable or not. If so, I sell it to somebody else going the opposite direction for 4.99 Euros (saving them a penny and recouping most of the loss for me). Loss: one cent.

13. ## Re: How much money did you lose?

Originally Posted by Telonius
Depends if the tickets are transferable or not. If so, I sell it to somebody else going the opposite direction for 4.99 Euros (saving them a penny and recouping most of the loss for me). Loss: one cent.
I would pay a cent to not have to dig out 99.

14. ## Re: How much money did you lose?

I think there are a few ways of looking at it and it's one of mindset as much as anything.

I am presuming for the sake of the scenario that the two tickets are identical in everything except price (and time of purchase) and that they are for that journey only, so can't be repurposed. If the unused ticket can be used later or the tickets are of different quality, it changes the outcomes.

An analysis I haven't seen yet is that you've spent €8.90 and got two tickets, but that's twice as many as you needed, so the loss is half the total: €4.45.

Thinking about it legally, and changing the scenario slightly so that a cause of action arises (let's say it was your secretary who made these mistakes, and had to buy the second ticket, and you were the kind of person who'd sue them for it) I think the measure of loss would be the unnecessary expenditure incurred as a result of the mistake, which on the assumptions above, is €5.

But if the €5 ticket is better than the €3.90 ticket, then the loss is only €3.90.

15. ## Re: How much money did you lose?

Originally Posted by Aedilred
I think there are a few ways of looking at it and it's one of mindset as much as anything.

I am presuming for the sake of the scenario that the two tickets are identical in everything except price (and time of purchase) and that they are for that journey only, so can't be repurposed. If the unused ticket can be used later or the tickets are of different quality, it changes the outcomes.

An analysis I haven't seen yet is that you've spent €8.90 and got two tickets, but that's twice as many as you needed, so the loss is half the total: €4.45.

Thinking about it legally, and changing the scenario slightly so that a cause of action arises (let's say it was your secretary who made these mistakes, and had to buy the second ticket, and you were the kind of person who'd sue them for it) I think the measure of loss would be the unnecessary expenditure incurred as a result of the mistake, which on the assumptions above, is €5.

But if the €5 ticket is better than the €3.90 ticket, then the loss is only €3.90.
Alternatively: if "lost money" implies that one didn't get a good or service in exchange for the money, then loss was €0, and it was just a ticket more expensive than normal due to user error.

But if "loss" just means "money I used to have and I don't", then it's the full €8.90.

It's the same as if you buy an item and discover days later you were too early or too late for a sale. It hurts that you spent more money than you might've, but that'll always be the case. You spent money, you got a good or service. The money wasn't lost, it was exchanged. And sure, it is no fun when you don't do it at the lowest possible cost, but that's how things go, sometimes.

Grey Wolf

16. ## Re: How much money did you lose?

None. The tickets were clearly underpriced if you were willing to buy 2, as such you paid the correct price and the train has been undercharging on other tickets.

17. ## Re: How much money did you lose?

I am trying to think by financial rules.
It was quite a while since when I learned it, so I can be mistaken.
I described same thing a few posts earlier, but want to give a more "scientific" explanation, to show why I think that the lost money are 3.9 and not something else.

Financial reports follow this formula: Assets = Liabilities + Owner's Equity
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accounting_equation

From wikipedia:
Asset: An asset is something valuable or useful.
Liability: A liability is defined as the future sacrifices of economic benefits that the entity is obliged to make to other entities...
Equity: In finance, equity is ownership of assets that may have debts or other liabilities attached to them.
So, let's go step by step. Again, a few years passed since we learned it, and I can be mistaken. Feel free to tell me if I am not right!

Step 0 (stating value)
Action taken: None
Assets = 8.9\$ total
Liability = 0 (he didn't buy anything yet)
Equity = 8.9\$ as currency in owner's pocket
8.9\$ = 0\$ + 8.9\$

Step 1 (buying ticket for 3.9)
Action taken: Ticket bought for 3.9. Owner intends to use it later, so it's liability. Currency is reduced from equity.
Assets = 8.9\$ total
Liability = 3.9\$ (owns ticket for 3.9 he intends to use)
Equity = 5\$ as currency in owner's pocket
8.9\$ = 3.9\$ + 5\$

Step 2 (buying ticket for 5)
Action taken: Ticket bought for 5. Owner intends to use it later, so it's liability. Currency is reduced from equity. Equity is now zero.
Assets = 8.9\$ total
Liability = 8.9\$ (owns ticket for 3.9 he intends to use, also owns another ticket for 5 he also intends to use)
Equity = 0\$
8.9\$ = (3.9\$ + 5\$) + 0\$

Step 3 (boarding the train by using ticket for 5\$)
Action taken: Exchanging ticket worth of 5\$ in exchange of getting the service of train. The usage of this service is an equity. Money is transferred from liability to equity.
Assets = 8.9\$ total
Liability = 3.9\$ (still owns ticket for 3.9)
Equity = 5\$ as service of using the train
8.9\$ = (3.9\$ + 5\$) + 0\$

Step 4 (aftermath)
Action taken: Service used. We deduct money from Equity and Assets (remember that Assets = Liabilities + Equities)
Assets = 3.9\$ total
Liability = 3.9\$ (still owns ticket for 3.9)
Equity = 0\$
3.9\$ = 3.9\$ + 0\$

As you can see 3.9 remains as dead weight, permanent liability.

18. ## Re: How much money did you lose?

Originally Posted by Jon_Dahl
You have bought a train ticket for €3.9. However, right at the last moment, you forget that you have bought the ticket, so you buy a new one for €5. Then you remember the first ticket, but it's already too late. You're already on the train, and you can't cancel the tickets.

How much money have you lost?
That's okay I have purchased a book that I have already owned more than once.

19. ## Re: How much money did you lose?

Given my country where you can't change the date that the ticket is valid for, the "lost" money would be either 5 'cause if you had checked better you wouldn't have had to buy that one or 3.9 because that is the ticket you wasted.

Ultimately I'd go with the 5 one, because even if they taxed me for the lack of ticket I'd just use the 3.9 one later to show I had it and avoid paying the tax/get a refund. And when compared to what the day should have been, you are short on 5... Whatever that symbol is, my keyboard doesn't have it.

20. ## Re: How much money did you lose?

Originally Posted by Valmark
Whatever that symbol is, my keyboard doesn't have it.
Well, this is a bit awkward....

21. ## Re: How much money did you lose?

Originally Posted by Peelee
Well, this is a bit awkward....
Actually, I noticed later that I was looking at the wrong post >.> Didn't see that not everyone was using the same coin.

22. ## Re: How much money did you lose?

Originally Posted by Valmark
Actually, I noticed later that I was looking at the wrong post >.> Didn't see that not everyone was using the same coin.
I didn't either until you pointed it out just now! I just assumed everyone was using Euros. Is the unkown symbol in question £? If so, that's the British pound sterling.

23. ## Re: How much money did you lose?

Originally Posted by Peelee
I didn't either until you pointed it out just now! I just assumed everyone was using Euros. Is the unkown symbol in question £? If so, that's the British pound sterling.
Yeah, that one. Somehow I've got ¥ (which is yen I think?) But I haven't got the pound.

24. ## Re: How much money did you lose?

Originally Posted by Valmark
Yeah, that one. Somehow I've got ¥ (which is yen I think?) But I haven't got the pound.
Use an "L" - the £ sign is just a fancy "L" with a bar through it (from the french from the latin librum, I think). It relates to why pre-decimalisation our currency - pounds, shilings and pence - was abbreviated to L, S & D.

That or a "#" which is what american record messages occasinally to tell you to press instead.
(To me that's a "hash", but it often seems to be called a "gate", oh well.)

25. ## Re: How much money did you lose?

I used to know a lot more of the alt codes, but ive gotten old and fat and now just copy/paste when I see others use symbols I don't have if I want to write them. Keeps things simple.

26. ## Re: How much money did you lose?

It depends on how you want to define the value of the trip. But the distinction between the two ways isn't real.

Originally Posted by Edreyn
I am trying to think by financial rules.
I like the approach.

You could list the trip as value €3.9 or €5. But on the books, both expenditures are debits (losses) to equity as expenses, and credits (losses) to assets.

In either case, your assets are down €8.9. You either have an equity loss of €3.9 train expense plus €5 double booking expense, or you have an equity loss of €5.0 train expense and €3.9 forgetfulness expense.

The OP is presumably treating the trip as a necessary expense and not a loss, but the extra ticket as an unnecessary expense and therefore a loss. But accounting doesn't really work that way (which is why there is no single unambiguous answer to the question).

It's a €8.9 reduction in assets, and an €8.9 reduction in equity.

27. ## Re: How much money did you lose?

Seems I am the only one who says that the loss was 3.9. Well. okay. Still was interesting to participate. I like exercises like this one!

28. ## Re: How much money did you lose?

Originally Posted by Edreyn
Seems I am the only one who says that the loss was 3.9. Well. okay. Still was interesting to participate. I like exercises like this one!
You are not the only one. I think that the loss was 3.9 as well.

29. ## Re: How much money did you lose?

I imagine my kid asking for train fare money.

I had 8.9; I now have nothing when I could have gotten you there for 3.9. Yeah that's 5 lost I could have spent on beer while you were travelling.

30. ## Re: How much money did you lose?

"How much money you lost" is not an unambiguous, well-defined quantity, and therefore there is no single unambiguous answer.

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