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Healthy or wealthy? 9 million Australians have made sacrifices in the pursuit of success

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Aussies are putting their bank account ahead of their health and friendships, according to new research by Finder.

A Finder survey of 1,102 respondents revealed 2 in 5 (43%) have sacrificed something for more wealth and success.

That's an estimated 9 million Australians who have gone without everything from romance to a holiday in the name of financial growth.

Almost 1 in 4 (22%) have gone without sleep in their quest for success, while 1 in 5 (21%) have omitted travel and holidays.

Mental and physical health have been sidelined by 17% of Aussies, while 12% admit they've put friendships on the backburner for the sake of success.

A further 9% have parked a romantic relationship in order to get ahead.

Sarah Megginson, personal finance expert at Finder, said the road to riches can be a bumpy one.

"Growth in one aspect of your life can come at the expense of another.

"Sacrificing is never fun, but much like compound interest on your savings account, small but consistent habits can pay off in the long run."

Nearly half (48%) of women reported sacrificing something to grow their wealth, compared to 40% of men.

Gen Z (62%) and gen Y (53%) were the most likely of all generations to sacrifice something for higher income or career success, compared to gen X (38%) and baby boomers (22%).

Megginson said Aussies are focusing on supercharging their earning potential as cost of living pressures have increased.

"Being dedicated to building a business or climbing the corporate ladder doesn't always allow a lot of time for much else.

"Sometimes you have to make decisions about what short-term pleasures and comforts you can sacrifice for long-term happiness."

But Megginson said achieving financial success doesn't always need to come at the expense of your wellbeing.

"It's important to remember that money doesn't buy happiness, and things like sleep deprivation and loneliness can impact your health and lead to bigger problems down the line.

"An unexpected illness or injury could quickly derail your plans. Income protection can ensure your financial security even if you can't work, giving you peace of mind to focus on recovery.

"If your money goals aren't aligned with your values, you're likely to feel disconnected and unfulfilled," Megginson said.

What have you sacrificed for a higher income/career success?
Missed nights out with friends21%
Health (mental and physical)17%
Missed friends and family milestones (birthdays, weddings)14%
Romantic relationships9%
I have had a high income or career success but I have not had to sacrifice anything for it20%
I have not had a high income or career success37%
Source: Finder survey of 1,102 respondents, May 2024


  • Finder's Consumer Sentiment Tracker is a monthly recurring nationally representative survey of more than 60,000 respondents.
  • Figures in this release are based on 1,102 respondents from May 2024.
  • The Consumer Sentiment Tracker is owned by Finder and operated by Qualtrics, an SAP company.
  • The survey has been running monthly since May 2019.

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