Money

The top 7 sacrifices Americans are making to get richer

Although there's no guaranteed way to get rich quick, there are tricks that will help you build wealth. Picking up side hustles allows you to generate multiple streams of income, for instance, while automating your finances ensures that you contribute consistently to, and bulk up, your savings accounts.

Even waking up early seems to help — apparently billionaires are into that.

No matter what you choose to do, though, it seems clear that you may have to make some sacrifices.

A majority of Americans seem to recognize that, according to the new Investor and Retirement Optimism Index released by Wells Fargo and Gallup. Most survey respondents, all of whom are not-yet retired investors with $10,000 or more in stocks, bonds or mutual funds, say they cut back to achieve their financial goals.

Here are the top 7 strategies they're employing or are planning to try soon:

  1. 81 percent: Holding onto cars longer than they'd prefer
  2. 70 percent: Working for more years than they'd prefer
  3. 65 percent: Canceling TV subscriptions
  4. 62 percent: Cutting back "sharply" on daily living expenses
  5. 57 percent: Getting a less expensive phone plan
  6. 53 percent: Cutting back on vacationing
  7. 52 percent: Keeping a job or career they don't like

Less popular strategies include downsizing to a smaller home, working a second job and delaying having children. As many as 28 percent admit they're foregoing saving for their children's college education.

And 27 percent say they've already endured bad job experiences to support their goals.

"Having a specific plan and building savings creates a 'bridge' that could potentially reduce negative scenarios such as this," says Dan Prebish, director of Life Event Services at Wells Fargo Advisors. Yet only 15 percent of the respondents report having detailed plans to fulfill their specific financial goals, and 36 percent say they simply manage their finances as they go.

Other life changes you could try

Zdravko Cvijetic, founder of the self-development company Zero to Skill, argues in a viral Medium article that you must give up the "fixed mindset" if you want to get ahead.

"People with a fixed mindset believe their intelligence or talents are simply fixed traits, and that talent alone creates success — without effort. They're wrong," he writes. Successful people "invest an immense amount of time on a daily basis to develop a growth mindset, acquire new knowledge, learn new skills and change their perception so that it can benefit their lives."

He and others, including self-made millionaire Steve Siebold and media mogul Oprah Winfrey, suggest you might also need to sacrifice some relationships in order to focus on others. "If you spend time with people who are more accomplished than you, no matter how challenging that might be, you will become more successful," writes Cvijetic.

In the words of Siebold, "we become like the people we associate with."

In his book "How Rich People Think," Siebold argues that you should also think big and give up fear. "The great ones are operating at a level of consciousness where fear doesn't exist," he writes. "At this level of thought, anything seems possible. Every dream that seems crazy to the masses looks surprisingly doable."

Elle Kaplan, founder and CEO of the wealth management firm LexION Capital, agrees. "You are unconsciously sabotaging your progress when you indulge in negativity," she writes.

She stresses that you must also give up giving up. "Ultra-successful people don't take 'no' for an answer. Instead, they find new ways to turn rejections into milestones," she writes. "Be persistent and resilient enough to bounce back and try again."

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