Fixed vs Variable Costs with Industry Examples

Consider the variable cost of a project that has been worked on for years. An employee’s hourly wages are a variable cost; however, that employee was promoted last year. The current variable cost will be higher than before; the average variable cost will remain something in between. The athletic company also won’t incur some types labor if it doesn’t produce more output.

That’s good news if your business is really starting to pick up, but you’re still finding it difficult to pay the bills. The company faces the risk of loss if it produces less than 20,000 units. However, anything above this has limitless potential for yielding benefit for the company. Therefore, leverage rewards the company not choosing variable costs as long as the company can produce enough output.

Whether fixed or variable insurance costs are better depends on each individual or business’s specific needs and circumstances. Fixed insurance costs may be a better option for businesses with a stable level of risk and predictable financial resources. Individuals who are risk-averse and like to budget their expenses in advance may also opt for fixed insurance costs.

  • The price of a new car has surged nearly 8% over the past year, while the cost of tires and auto parts have jumped more than 10%, government data shows.
  • The rise of electric vehicles has also contributed to the price spike, since insurance costs total about 28% more for electric vehicles than gas-powered ones, the report said.
  • By understanding what impacts the cost of your coverage, you can make smarter decisions about how to manage your insurance expenses.
  • MCS does not provide legal, tax, or investment recommendations or advice.

Along the manufacturing process, there are specific items that are usually variable costs. For the examples of these variable costs below, consider the manufacturing and distribution processes for a major athletic apparel producer. Equipment depreciation, utilities, property taxes, building insurance, and repairs and upkeep to the structure and machinery are all expenses. The next step is determining if the payment is due to direct material or direct labor. Workers’ compensation costs for the office employees are often significantly lower, and they do not depend on the number of units of output they have been producing in the plant.

Fixed vs Variable Costs (with Industry Examples)

Variable costs can be challenging to manage as they can vary from month to month, increase or decrease quickly, and have a more direct impact on profit than fixed costs. First, it is important to know that $598,000 in manufacturing costs to produce 1,000,000 phone cases includes fixed costs such as insurance, equipment, building, and utilities. Therefore, we should use variable costing when determining whether to accept this special order.

He is a licensed broker of all lines including property, casualty, life, and health. As a licensed adjuster, he is well-versed in all aspects of insurance, and he owns All Needs Insurance agency in Florida. While not essential for fundamental necessities, certain recurring subscriptions might be a fixed item in your budget. Monthly fees for things like a gym membership or streaming services tend to be predictable. Take your career to the next level and join the growing community of agents who have found it very rewarding to work with AHCP.

A company that seeks to increase its profit by decreasing variable costs may need to cut down on fluctuating costs for raw materials, direct labor, and advertising. However, the cost cut should not affect product or service quality as this would have an adverse effect on sales. By reducing its variable costs, a business increases its gross profit margin or contribution margin. An example of variable expenses is the cost related to the number of products or services a firm produces.

Variable Costs vs. Fixed Costs: An Overview

In order to run its business, the company incurs $550,000 in rental fees for its factory space. For example, raw materials may cost $0.50 per pound for the first 1,000 pounds. However, orders of greater than 1,000 pounds of raw material are charged $0.48. In either situation, the variable cost is the charge for the raw materials (either $0.50 per pound or $0.48 per pound). Adam shares his breadth of experience by helping many businesses and individuals manage risk and protect themselves financially. He now shares this with the audience of the “Pro Insurance Info” website.

Example of a Variable Cost

There are still a few months remaining in your contract, so you’ll have to pay your set rent fees. Our example comes from a real-life small group client that currently offers a platinum plan to its employees. Some of those employees are covering their entire family on the plan, and the monthly premium is more than $3,000 per family. As you have seen, determining which costs are fixed and which are variable can be a bit tricky. Information about housing both on and off campus may be found at the UNMC housing website.

What consumers tend to overlook, though, is the total out-of-pocket exposure on the health plan, the amount they will pay in the event of a serious illness or injury. People often buy a more expensive policy because of the low deductible and up-front copayments even though they could be out thousands of dollars if something major happens. Independent cost structure analysis helps a company fully understand its fixed and variable costs and how they affect different parts of the business, as well as the total business overall. Many companies have cost analysts dedicated solely to monitoring and analyzing the fixed and variable costs of a business. A company’s breakeven analysis can be important for decisions on fixed and variable costs.

Fixed Costs vs. Variable Costs

On the other hand, variable costs may fluctuate based on the events that take place and therefore, may be difficult to budget for since the premiums may increase or decrease depending on a range of factors. Marginal cost refers to how much it costs to produce one additional unit. The marginal cost will take into account the total cost of production, including both fixed and variable costs. Since fixed costs are static, however, the weight of fixed costs will decline as production scales up. Since fixed costs are more challenging to bring down (for example, reducing rent may entail the company moving to a cheaper location), most businesses seek to reduce their variable costs.

This is important because without a healthy gross profit, a robust net profit, the all-encompassing bottom line, is unlikely. Your health insurance, car insurance, life insurance, and homeowners or renters insurance are also examples of fixed costs. You would have to spend several hours researching alternate plans to change these monthly payment amounts. In conclusion, whether insurance costs are fixed or variable, they are a necessary expense for individuals and businesses. Overall, understanding fixed insurance costs is essential for making informed decisions about insurance coverage and budgeting for the future. While fixed insurance costs provide predictable expenses, they may not always be the best option depending on the needs and circumstances of the policyholder.

Comparing Fixed and Variable Costs

Here are some tips on managing fixed and variable insurance costs, as well as strategies to save money on insurance. Given the trade-offs between fixed and variable insurance costs, it is essential to evaluate which type of cost is better suited for your individual or organizational needs. By understanding the different types of insurance costs and the factors that impact them, you can make informed decisions about managing risk and controlling expenses. In the following sections, we will explore fixed and variable insurance costs in more detail and provide examples of how to manage them effectively. Variable costs of insurance, on the other hand, fluctuate based on the insurance company’s activity, such as the number of claims and payouts they make. Examples of variable costs include claims processing costs, commissions paid to agents, and marketing expenses.

In this case, we can see that total fixed costs are $1,700 and total variable expenses are $2,300. Unlike fixed expenses, you can control variable costs to allow for more profits. To produce 1,000 rocking chairs, lumber needs are much greater, making this a variable cost. When a company reduces its variable costs, gross profit margin should increase as a result.

Overall, it’s important to consider all of these factors when determining your insurance costs. By understanding what impacts the cost of your coverage, you can make smarter decisions about how to manage your insurance expenses. On the other hand, variable insurance costs may provide greater flexibility and the ability to adjust to changing circumstances. Policyholders who anticipate changes in their risk level may benefit from variable insurance costs, which fluctuate based on the degree of risk. However, variable insurance costs can also be unpredictable, which may make it hard to budget for potential expenses. Insurance is a risk management tool designed to protect individuals and businesses from financial losses due to various unforeseen events.

Understanding Fixed Costs

Variable costing is a concept used in managerial and cost accounting in which the fixed manufacturing overhead is excluded from the product-cost of production. The method contrasts with absorption costing, in which the fixed manufacturing overhead is allocated to products produced. In accounting frameworks such as GAAP and how to get the most money back on your tax return IFRS, variable costing cannot be used in financial reporting. Variable costs, or “variable expenses”, are connected to a company’s production volume, i.e. the relationship between these costs and production output is directly linked. If you need to start cutting back on costs, look at both your fixed and variable expenses.


Tonmoy Antu

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