Here's the #1 thing super savers report giving up

Retirement plans? Dream homes? How super savers make them possible

Sep 30, 2020 | Current events
Article headline image

Super savers, assemble!

A Principal Financial Group report of 1,700 “super savers” revealed what most were willing to give up on their way to financial freedom. These “super savers” manage to contribute at least 15% of their earnings toward their retirement plans, with the majority committing $17,000 or more. Their top sacrifice? Driving an older vehicle, which nearly half (48%) of savers reported doing. Other popular trade-offs included owning a modest home (42%), traveling less than they’d prefer (39%), and doing DIY projects instead of hiring help (38%).

What if your goal isn’t retirement, but a dream home?

Then you’re not alone: 44% of millennials list buying a home as one of their top two savings goals over the next five years, with some going to extreme lengths to make their dream home a reality. One 30-year-old managed to save up for a million-dollar listing in pricey Sydney, Australia by trading eating out for meals at home composed of only tuna, rice, and salad. For five years, Mattia Bondanza and his partner lived off these $1.78 USD meals (plus homemade coffee and the occasional pasta dish), using the accumulated savings to put down a deposit on a new $1.15 million AUD home.

But it’s not all canned fishes and retirement wishes

It’s important to remember these savers aren’t cutting back in every aspect of their lives. They still enjoy splurges that align with their values, whether that’s dining out, entertainment, or home improvement projects. But the key is that this spending is done within the limits of a budget that already has a sizable chunk allocated toward long-term goals like retirement. And are the sacrifices worth it? Definitely, according to the respondents; 98% feel financially secure due to their savings habits.