16 Sacrifices Americans Would Make To Become Millionaires


Americans across the country have fantasized about what it would be like to have $1 million sitting in their saving account. Most believe that they could get to the 7-figure goal by either winning the lottery, marrying into money, or landing the “perfect” job, but there aren’t many who spend time wondering about all the things that they would have to give up or endure to get there. Having a net worth of $1 million is no easy feat, and it’s probably the reason why the list of things that people are willing to sacrifice is so varied.

According to a survey which asked, “If you have to make sacrifices to become a millionaire, which of the following would you do?”, quite a few people are willing to endure misery on their quest to millionaire ship. So, what are you willing to do for 1 million dollars?

Without further delay, here are 18 surprising sacrifices Americans would make to become millionaires. Click Next to get started!

1. Pack on 100 Pounds


Packing on 100 pounds is going to have a negative effect on your health, so the low response rate is justified. More people are willing to give up much-needed vacation time, traveling, their social lives, relationships, and treasured hobbies instead of putting on 100 pounds.

Because of this, it can be inferred that preventing weight gain is more significant than starting a family, giving up a steady source of income, and moving back in with the parents.

• Percentage of respondents: 7.1%

2. Changing Your Relationship Status to Single


A famous singer once sang, “Your love gimme such a thrill, but your lovin’ don’t pay my bills,” and it is a thought shared by just over 10% of the respondents. Saying goodbye to your partner or any potential relationships is quite the sacrifice, so it’s easy to see why it finds itself near the bottom of the list. But what is surprising is that every 1 in 10 people is willing to stay single to get to a million dollars.

Luckily, it’s not a viable option for most of the American population. There is no doubt that you are going to save money by not going out on dates, but there has been evidence which supports the idea that strong relationships can help with one’s finances. Having access to a second income can do at least one of these things to get you closer to the millionaire status; help with mutual savings goals, evenly split housing and other expenses, and it can make you more financially accountable.

• Percentage of respondents: 11.1%

3. Get Rid of All Your Tech Devices


For quite a few people, pricey electronics is a big part of being rich, so there aren’t many people who are going to give up their expensive tech. Another factor to consider is how important being able to connect is to most of the American population. So, getting rid of these high-priced devices is going to affect a person’s quality of life significantly.

Having the average smartphone and a well-priced data plan isn’t doing to put a dent in your savings or change your monthly spending, but when you take in consideration how quickly people rush to get the newest release, the numbers begin to make sense. If becoming a millionaire before retirement is your goal, then you might want to consider how much more that extra money will be worth after spending 10 to 20 years on the stock market.

• Percentage of respondents: 12%

4. Give Up a Steady Source of Income


While some of the options on the list have been hypothetical, giving up a steady source of income to pursue a larger but uncertain income is a choice that many people are faced with, almost every day. Starting a business in many cases means that a steady income may not always be possible, even if the risk pays off in the end.

Based on the numbers, men made up 15.1% of respondents, and they were more likely to choose this option than the women (10.4%) who participated in the survey.

• Percentage of respondents: 12.8%

5. Never Take A Trip Overseas


One of the first things that come to mind when you think about millionaires, is how frequently they are able to travel. Because of this, many people don’t think that this option is a sacrifice worth making. Many people who have traveled would know that it can be extremely expensive. By the time you’ve chosen a hotel, the flight to get there, made allowances for food and tours, and other expenses, thousands of dollars have already been spent.

If that money was saved or even invested, it could put you a lot closer to the million-dollar mark. Giving up travel or opting to go on staycations instead can play an important role in getting to the million.

• Percentage of respondents: 15.2%

6. Become a Social Outcast


Aristotle said it best: “man is by nature a social animal,” so it’s no surprise that very few people are willing to become pariahs if that’s what it takes to become a millionaire. But, there are still a select few (15.8%) who believe that fortune is more important than socializing with others.

This option is more of a hypothetical situation when compared to many of the others. There will rarely if ever be a time when a person will be asked to choose between having a social life or earning $1 million.

• Percentage of respondents: 15.8%

7. Move Back in With The Parents


In many states, housing accounts for the largest piece of the one’s financial pie, especially if you are living in one of the more expensive neighborhoods. Completely remove that cost is arguably the most effective way to boost your savings, even more so if you are young. Redirecting that money from rent into a retirement fund or an investment allows you to capitalize on compound interest. The possibility of growing said investment can get you so much closer to the million-dollar mark by the time you’ve hit your 40s.

It is also important to mention that this option heavily depends on the kind of relationship that you have with your parents. Moving back in, now as an adult can cause unwanted and unnecessary tension in the relationship. So, while the potential to save is undeniable, it doesn’t come as a shock that almost 85% of the respondents are willing to forego this option.

• Percentage of respondents: 16.1%

8. Completely Giving Up Your Hobbies


If your hobbies are helping you to save, then you can skip ahead, but for most people, hobbies take up a big slice of either their disposable income and/or time. Giving up something that makes you happy is not easy to do, but if it results in adding more money to your savings account or even more time to make money moves in other areas, then it could be the determining factor in saving the million dollars faster.

With that being said, focusing only on your career and financial status can be detrimental to most people. Saying goodbye to your hobbies can potentially leave you uninspired. It can affect your willingness to work and important relationships with others, all of which can result in a diminished earning capacity and less overall happiness. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that very few respondents were willing to part ways with their beloved hobbies.

• Percentage of respondents: 17.2%

9. Put Off Starting a Family


Finding a balance between family and career is extremely difficult, and there are always sacrifices that one needs to make to ensure that both facets get the necessary. When it comes to saving $1 million, starting a family or raising children will certainly extend that timeline. The amount of money spent on basic necessities is going to increase significantly and saving for college and moving to a larger home, are things that you may need to think about.

Having to face the additional financial obligations are undoubtedly going to slow down how quickly you get to the million dollars, so it is understandable why almost one in every five respondents would choose to make such a sacrifice. At the same time, it is easy to see why so few are willing to make such a drastic sacrifice, as starting a family is a major milestone in many people’s lives.

• Percentage of respondents: 18.3%

10. Say Goodbye To Vacation Time


According to this survey, 1 in every 5 people agreed to give up valuable vacation time to get to the $1 million goal. It has often been argued that taking a vacation regularly is one of the many ways to get to your financial goal; after all, time away allows for some well-needed rest. It allows you to return to work well with a clear mind, but still, quite a few people were willing to ax their vacation.

Like the option above, this one was another answer choice where there was a significant difference between the male and female response rate. 23% of the males in the survey would readily give up time off, while only 17.6% of the women felt that sacrificing vacation time was worth it.

• Percentage of respondents: 20.5%

11. Take on Another Job


Getting a second job is one of many strategies that could make a huge difference in a person’s life. An additional source of income has the potential to add some extra padding to your savings account. The problem is that this additional job might be one that you do not enjoy.

This particular option was where a vast difference between the gender groups was noticed. 23.3% of men believed that getting a second job was worth it, while a higher percentage (28.8%) of women thought that it was a sacrifice worth making.

• Percentage of respondents: 26%

12. Deal with More Work-Related Stress


With all of the studies proving how harmful stress can be on the body, there are other safer ways to reach the million-dollar mark than what this 26% is suggesting.

In taking a closer look at the numbers, the age groups seem to support the response rate. 43.3% of respondents who were willing to make this sacrifice belonged to the 18 – 24 age range. 33.7% of respondents came from the 25 – 34 age group, and 17.7% came from the 65 and older respondents. It just shows that the more aware you are of work-related stress, the less likely you are to choose this option.

• Percentage of respondents: 26.6%

13. Stay at a Job That They Dislike


Waking up every day to go to a job that you do not enjoy can be very difficult. Just the thought of having to go back to a place that does not satisfy any need other than keeping the lights on, is not for the weak-hearted. In spite of this, over 30% of respondents were willing to sacrifice their happiness if it brought them closer to their million-dollar goal.

The number of people willing to be unhappy for more than 40 hours a week and years down the line is a bit shocking. But there are more surprising things that people are willing to put up with to become a millionaire.

• Percentage of respondents: 31.6%

14. Ride Around in an Older Vehicle


There are some simple choices other than sticking with a pre-owned vehicle to cut costs, but still, get value for your money. According to Carfax, a brand-new vehicle’s value depreciates by 10% within its first month of ownership. It then decreases by 20% in the first year, and by the time you get to the 5-year milestone, 40%. How then do you get to the million-dollar mark when it comes to transportation; you can start by buying a vehicle which is a few years past its release date.

So, how did 1 in 3 (33.3%) respondents choose this option as what they were willing to sacrifice? Well, more than 40% of the respondents in the 18 – 24 age group said that they would drive an older vehicle, but the rate slowly decreased as the age groups increased. Members of the 65 and older group were least likely to make the sacrifice with only 25% saying yes.

• Percentage of respondents: 33.3%

15. Work Extra Hours and/or Postpone Retirement


How can someone possibly save $1 million before reaching retirement? The answer is simple; work, work, work, work, work. According to retirement savings calculators, between $37,000 and $71,000 a year is needed to live comfortably during retirement. One million dollars will be enough to cover 20 years of retirement in most states. By adding more hours to your shift, or picking up extra shifts, working longer will get you closer to the $1 million goal.

There are also other benefits of delaying retirement; you can increase your monthly Social Security benefits and gain a few more years of a monthly salary allowing you to save some more while delaying the use of your savings.

• Percentage of respondents: 33.6%

16. Say Sayonara to Eating Out and Drinking Alcohol


If you happen to be one of those people who wants to get rich quickly, then staying away from your favorite restaurants, bars, and clubs may not be at the top of your priority list. With that being said, avoiding high-priced restaurants with overpriced cocktails is one of the best ways to fast-track your savings.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average American household spends approximately $3000 a year dining out at an average of $56 a week. Giving up alcohol and never eating out, is not for everyone, and it works best for those who have used proven strategies – like carefully budgeting.

• Percentage of respondents: 35.3%

Final Thought: Is becoming a millionaire really worth the sacrifice?


No one ever said that saving $1 million would be easy, but it’s not impossible, especially if you are willing to make sacrifices. But if you are one of those people who thinks that the respondents in this survey are unrealistic about what it takes to save a million dollars, then chances are that you do not fully understand the power of a good budget and a great 401(k) plan.

According to CNBC, it is possible to hit the million-dollar mark by 65 if you start saving $300 a month at 20 years of age and having an average of 7% return rate for your portfolio. $300 a month would equal 6% for someone who has a $50,000 salary. There are some who have an unrealistic optimism about their financial future, but it important to have a practical plan if they want to save $1 million.


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Khadija Leon

Khadija Leon

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