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Is This is What Americans Consider Sacrifice These Days?

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    Is This is What Americans Consider Sacrifice These Days?

    If you get a Sunday paper, you may have seen the annual "what do people make" issue of Parade magazine.

    They included results of a survey, and these two questions really caught my attention.

    Q: Have you had to make sacrifices over the last year to make ends meet?
    A: Yes = 74%
    No = 26%

    Q: What have you had to sacrifice?
    A: Vacation plans = 68%
    Dining out = 67%
    Home improvements = 52%
    Going to the movies = 50%
    Designer clothes = 34%
    Jewelry = 32%

    Am I the only one who doesn't see a single sacrifice on that list?
    These are the sorts of things I would consider a sacrifice:
    - Having to forgo a necessary medical treatment
    - Not having enough to eat to meet my basic nutritional requirements
    - Giving up my home and going and living in my car

    The answers people gave to what qualify as a "sacrifice" are mind-boggling to me. They are talking about scaling back on unnecessary luxuries. Since when does that qualify as a sacrifice?

    Sorry to rant, but after reading those poll results I felt quite dismayed ... Are Americans really that out of touch with reality?

    Very interesting, I agree with you.


      I looked up the word sacrifice and #3 on the list of definitions, after #1 and #2 which both refer to animal sacrifices, was this:

      "3. the surrender or destruction of something prized or desirable for the sake of something considered as having a higher or more pressing claim."

      I see nothing wrong with calling giving up the things on that list sacrifices. I don't think something has to be a basic necessity to qualify as a sacrifice. If you take a family vacation every year and this year you are skipping it for financial reasons, I think that is a sacrifice. If you and your spouse do a monthly date night and go to dinner and a movie and you've stopped doing that for financial reasons, I think that is a sacrifice, too.

      You are giving up something desirable for the sake of a more pressing need.

      * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
      * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
      * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.


        Kinda makes my giving up the golf membership, my motorcycle and cable wimpy. Of course, I would give up much more, but anything else would affect princess.


          I agree with Disney Steve on this one. By definition, it does not have to mean that you are on the verge of living in a car or not seeking medical attention. Certainly these are major sacrifices, but I believe that all of the ones in the survey can be deemed sacrifices as well. In the grand scheme, they are just minor. I have been on the site now for a few months and have enjoyed and learned many things in that short period. However, I sometimes feel as if this is an anti-spending board. It just seems that there is an anti-spending sentiment that weaves its way through nearly every thread. That is just a personal opinion and no one else may feel that way, but I just wanted to throw it out there.


            I too feel those things can be sacrifices. Usually we'd be taking more trips but money is somewhat short this year. So we're not. Is that a huge deal? No, but I'm just trimming our expenses in general.
            LivingAlmostLarge Blog


              I suppose the gist is that giving up certain luxuries, while can be technically considered as sacrifices, is still not really all that impressive....

              I can agree with that sentiment.


                I certainly feel like I have been sacrificing lately. Since being told a few weeks ago of my impending layoff next month, I have not done any of the things I normally do with the exception of buying gas and 1 hair cut. I am seriously considering selling the cars and home as well. Selling all that should definitely qualify as a sacrifice.


                  I have been living frugally out of needs more than wants for some time and gotten used to this way of living. Have been living this way myself made the sacrifices listed from Parade magazine seems frivolous. I have been without those listed that it would be nothing I can improve to lower my cost in my living expenses.

                  Recently after paying off a large sum of debts, I have more room in my budget for occasional eating out and little house improvements and a better vehicle. I am still overjoyed with having those things in my life.

                  I am careful to save and watch my spending because I don’t want to go back to the bare necessity life style. It really depend on where you stand financially to how big the sacrifice. I strive to have a better financial life to where I think sacrificing a vacation is a big sacrifice as that is better place to be than staying home because you can not afford to put gas in your car and only have a few bucks left till next pay day while the fridge is empty.


                    Stick around Snave, there are times when we'uns SavingAdvice folks get spendy! Most people here encourage the saving lifestyle over the spendy one just on the principal that many of our real life compatriots don't. But, I've been here through cycles when we get on the bandwagon pushing someone to 'go ahead' and spend too.

                    As to the insert, scfr there are things on that list that I wouldn't EVER spend money on even if I was rolling in dough, so it's no sacrifice to me now not to spend on it. By personality I'm somewhat gypsy-ish and having to cut travel would be a PERSONAL sacrifice. Not that I have to have it, it's just feeds such a soul need for me that it would hurt to have to cut it from the budget. I cut many other things in order to be able to do that every year. It's not a true NEED but a high priority WANT. I vote for disneysteve's dictionary definition on this one.

                    However, in the grand scheme of life those items in the insert are all pretty superficial things compared to the items on your list that many are facing every day.


                      Originally posted by Snave View Post
                      It just seems that there is an anti-spending sentiment that weaves its way through nearly every thread.
                      Well, this is


                        Am I the only person that laughed when they seen 34% sacrifice for Designer Clothes?

                        Some people put too much emphasis on name brands.

                        *shakes head


                          I think sacrifice is entirely relative. I would consider these sacrifices as well. When people are used to living a certain way and have to give certain luxuries up, that is still a sacrifice. I feel that giving up eating at restaurants is just a necessary thing (when I actually follow through), but at the same time I consider it a sacrifice because it's something I really enjoy doing. But I guess there are degrees of sacrifice (living in your car is certainly a bigger sacrifice than not going ot the movies).

                          My whole problem is the value that is put on these luxuries. Because they are now considered "sacrifices," that means that they are the norm. Going out to eat is no longer something special. It's just going out to eat. Same with taking trips. This is how we get into such debt, because people think that these are things that we should just have, rather than working or saving up for...


                            Originally posted by sweeps View Post
                            Well, this is
                            I completely understand the site is and even thought about it when I typed what I did. And what I began to to think about is, why do we save? At some point in time, the purpose of saving is so that we have money to spend. (Hopefully) Not all of our spending choices are going to be for needs such as putting food on the table or paying for medical treatment. We also save for wants such as that vacation, or that new watch or TV. That is all I am talking about. It would be like being on a site for dieting, having lost 30 pounds and feeling as if you can't reward yourself with a slice of pizza for your efforts.


                              I agree with you 100% Snave. However, you usually don't have to encourage anyone to spend money -- if they're going to splurge, they're going to splurge. The saving's the tough part that needs the extra encouragement.

                              Plus as Lux points out, you'll find that many times people have green-lighted splurges whenever the OP has the means or has worked hard to earn it.