What Would You Do For a 10% Raise? (Plus a half dozen other “Would You Rathers!”)

by J. Money - Published April 13, 2018

pug in blanket

Came across this ridiculous study by LendEDU but can’t stop looking at it, haha…

They asked 1,200 employed Americans a series of “would you rather” questions to see what they’d give up in exchange for a 10% raise, and their answers were as crazy as they were entertaining ;)

Here are some of the results – would you do any of these??

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40.06% would give up dental care for a 10% raise

(No. F’ing. Way.)

12.2% would breakup with their partner or significant other

For just 10%?? You might as well break up with them now if that’s all their worth, haha….

53.55% would give up all social media for 5 years in order to get a 10% raise

I do like this one a lot :) And just shows yet again how much we actually don’t gain from social media despite our hours of addiction to it!!

18.9% would give up access to health insurance for the next five years

Nope nope nope… you’d blow through that 10% in the first year when you break your leg!

55.9% would work an extra 10 hours per week for life

Why not just get a second job??? Where you’d make more than 10% and have your own freedom to change it forever?? This one just doesn’t make sense…

9.13% would give up their child’s or future child’s right to vote in all elections for life

Come on!!

50.65% would give up watching movies for the next three years

I would do that :)

88.61% would give up watching Game of Thrones for life

Yes. Easy! Aren’t we on the last season or so?

73.42% would give up all alcoholic beverages for the next five years

Now THIS one is good… I know I could do it for at least one year – but five?? That is a lot, haha…. I’m sure the extra savings on top of the 10% income boost would help keep you motivated though!

5.33% would eat a single tide pod :)

And possibly kill yourself??

50.4% would work one day every weekend for the next year

Again – same thing as side hustling or taking on an extra job – you don’t need to wait for the Would You Rather fairy to grant you that! Just go out and make it happen!

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And that last part there is the key ;) You don’t have to give up anything or do something crazy to earn an extra 10% – most of us have the power within ourselves to accomplish this! You just gotta want it enough!

  • You can take on an extra hustle
  • Be a bad ass and EARN that raise yourself
  • Cut back on your expenses so you don’t need an extra 10%
  • Pay off your debts to free up 10% of interest
  • Or any combination of the above

But of course that doesn’t make for a salacious study, so… ;)

Since we’re on the topic of Would You Rathers though, why don’t we dig up some of our own posed here over the years? We’ve done dozens of them!

Here are some of my favorites:

I can play this game allllll day long, ladies and gentleman…

Share your answers below and we’ll continue gawking! ;)

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[Photo by Matthew Henry on Unsplash]

Jay loves talking about money, collecting coins, blasting hip-hop, and hanging out with his three beautiful boys. You can check out all of his online projects at jmoney.biz. Thanks for reading the blog!

{ 63 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Lily @ The Frugal Gene April 13, 2018 at 5:46 am

“9.13% would give up their child’s or future child’s right to vote in all elections for life”

[Immense questioning of humanity’s future amplifies]

The last one is easy. I’ll choose hideous and be as rich as Oprah any day. Hell, 1/4 rich as Oprah I’ll take!

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2 J. Money April 13, 2018 at 6:49 am

Haha…. it would give you lots of freedom, wouldn’t it :)

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3 Jody April 13, 2018 at 7:13 am

I originally read that number as 91.3%. I need to start drinking coffee a bit earlier, I guess.

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4 BusyMom April 13, 2018 at 5:46 am

I can give up movies, game of thrones, alcohol, and social media. Mostly because I stay away from those anyway. Don’t tell whoever is giving me that raise…

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5 Sean @ Frugal Money Man April 13, 2018 at 6:05 am

#1 – I can’t actually hate on the peeps giving up going to the dentist, because I havent been in over 7 years….

#2 – I’m calling BS on the 53.5% of people who said they would give up social media for 5 years! I’m betting they cave 1 week after getting the raise hahaha

Awesome list man, thanks for sharing!

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6 Accidental Fire April 13, 2018 at 6:33 am

I’m just going to put this here for my friend Sean – are you an anti-dentite?

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7 J. Money April 13, 2018 at 6:52 am

Hahaha… such a good show.

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8 Michele April 13, 2018 at 6:10 am

Great list. Know what I did to get a 14% raise. Quit my job last year and went somewhere else. Same line of work, more pay and better hours for my family. I like where I’m at. One thing I learned, don’t be afraid.
-M

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9 J. Money April 13, 2018 at 6:52 am

BOOM!

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10 G April 13, 2018 at 6:28 am

Perhaps those people should just stop voting now.

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11 Aly April 13, 2018 at 7:33 am

I think this is one of the liberating things about living off of a lower income. 10% raise is not enough to make me want to change a whole lot. Haha
But I haven’t had a drink on 5 years because since getting pregnant with my oldest so can I still say I would give it up?

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12 J. Money April 13, 2018 at 2:30 pm

Pretty impressive! Congrats! :)

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13 Mrs. Kiwi April 13, 2018 at 7:45 am

Ahhh!So many of these responses are terrifying! Giving up your child’s right to vote? Sounds like many people need a history lesson and a personal finance lesson. And maybe a bit more money tossed their way so they have the time and energy for that.

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14 The FIRE Engine April 13, 2018 at 7:51 am

“55.9% would work an extra 10 hours per week for life”

So if most people work a roughly 40 hour week, they’d gladly work another 25% extra hours for only 10% extra pay?

Excuse me for one second…*screams into pillow*

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15 J. Money April 13, 2018 at 2:31 pm

I know right?? Doesn’t even make sense??

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16 [HCF] April 13, 2018 at 8:03 am

Health is not optional. Rights to vote? I cannot decide this for my children, but I would give up mine for that raise at any moment. Giving up movies? No way. Game of Thrones? Yes. (I like it, but books are better) Break up with my partner? Are you crazy? For those who would: you may experiment with tide pods also! Give up social media? As a blogger, not sure. As a private person, I don’t have it anyway :) Agree with you on working more VS side hustle/second job. Giving up alcohol? Completely? NO. Let’s take out beer and I am in :) Thanks for sharing!

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17 J. Money April 13, 2018 at 2:31 pm

Thanks for playing along :)

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18 Stevo April 13, 2018 at 8:08 am

Over 50% would work either an extra 10 hours a week (extra 25% based on 40-hr work week) or a weekend day (extra 20% based on 5-day work week) in exchange for a 10% raise…

This is easy math here… c’mon people!!

I’d probably be inclined to take a 10% pay CUT for working 10 hours less a week!

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19 J. Money April 13, 2018 at 2:35 pm

Oh HELL YEAH!! In fact, I pretty much gave myself a 10% pay cut for *20* free hours a week selling Rockstar Finance last December, haha…

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20 Ms. Frugal Asian Finance April 13, 2018 at 8:08 am

Haha I wonder if the answers are also meant for entertainment. I mean, people have no stake in the game, so they can just answer whatever.

I have no problem giving up watching movies, alcohol and movies. But I’d try to apply for a higher paying job first hehe.

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21 [email protected] April 13, 2018 at 8:09 am

A Tide pod? Seriously? Wow, no thanks.

The 50% pay cut for my dream job is something I’ve been wrestling with a lot lately. I’d rather take the cut but have not chose to do so yet.

Some of the others are easy too. Rich like Oprah and ugly. It would be really nice to have that kind of money.

Also cash and debt is better than none of either. You can always pay off the debt with cash if it’s at a high interest rate. If it’s a low interest rate, it’s nice to have the option to invest the cash and slow pay the debt.

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22 J. Money April 13, 2018 at 2:37 pm

That was the answer I picked too. Just because having tons of cash saved feels really REALLY good, even if you have the same on the debt side – at least for me. I know some people that would vomit just carrying a tiny bit of debt, no less $100k of it, so they def. choose $0.00/$0.00 :)

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23 Budget on a Stick April 13, 2018 at 8:35 am

I’m not willing to give up anything that isn’t already something I’d be willing to give up right now anyways…Like TV

My teeth are pretty good that I could give up dental care but not for life…maybe for like 5 years?

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24 J. Money April 13, 2018 at 2:39 pm

Yeah – I’d be more okay with 4-5 years too if that were the answer… But For Life is just crazy especially as you get up there in age! I mean, I guess depending on how much 10% equates to you you could still just pay out of pocket and get your care covered in theory, but I dunno… Feels like playing with fire to me.

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25 ESI Money April 13, 2018 at 8:37 am

My son wouldn’t give up social media for a year in exchange for a NEW CAR!

I wonder if the social media question varies widely between someone who’s 50 and someone who’s 20…

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26 J. Money April 13, 2018 at 2:39 pm

Haha… Probably, yeah :)

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27 FullTimeFinance April 13, 2018 at 8:50 am

That’s one low bar. It’s made even scary when thought of in terms of the median household income of 58k. Give up dental work or the right to vote for 5k…. scary on many levels.

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28 the Budget Epicurean April 13, 2018 at 8:54 am

“Would you rathers” are always a fun thought experiment! We love playing that with new friends too, it tells you a lot about a person. You’ve a great point about the “work one extra weekend day”… that is exactly the same as a side hustle job! Just start dog walking or babysitting or waiting tables a day or two a week, and there you go, you make 10% more per year now. Sheesh, people.

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29 Joe April 13, 2018 at 10:06 am

A lot of people can’t plan for the future. Giving up dental care for 10% raise is a bad idea. They probably never had to pay for dental care out of pocket. It’s ridiculously expensive. My friend need some dental work and it will cost over $20,000. She’s going to Hungary this summer to get all that work done.

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30 J. Money April 13, 2018 at 2:41 pm

Oh wow, that sucks :(

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31 [HCF] April 13, 2018 at 4:12 pm

As a Hungarian, I can confirm that in Hungary (and in Serbia also) dental tourism is a real thing. They have good specialists and lower prices.

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32 Mitchell F April 13, 2018 at 10:14 am

Gotta agree with Lily! Think of it this way. Our First Lady is georgous. Do you really think the first time she saw The Donald she thought ” wow, what a hunk!”? More likely she thought “wow, what a plane!

Acutally, you don’t have to give up anything. Lots of FI sites are aware that putting a budget in place for the first time will generate 10%+ of “hidden” money. Keep spreading that word!

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33 J. Money April 13, 2018 at 2:43 pm

Yup! That would have made an excellent survey question as well!

“Would you start a budget in exchange for a 10% raise?” Yes? WELL THEN DO IT, DAMMIT!!

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34 Caroline April 13, 2018 at 10:15 am

Was the study done on April 1st??? Had to be! I am speechless.

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35 J. Money April 13, 2018 at 2:44 pm

You know what – let me go check now that you’ve said that! Haha…

…. Nope! got the email April 3rd :)

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36 Adam April 13, 2018 at 10:27 am

SO MUCH NOPE. My salary has been pretty stagnant for the last seven years or so, but it hasn’t been anywhere near as detrimental to my life as most of these options. ugh. On the bright side, my wife got a healthy raise last week and is now making 80% more than she did seven years ago; I’m a big fan!

It’s kind of nice to read all these hypothetical situations and realize just how good my life happens to be right now.

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37 J. Money April 13, 2018 at 2:46 pm

That is a beautiful thing :)

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38 lisa April 13, 2018 at 10:43 am

I was offered a 10% raise at my last job. But it wasn’t about what I had to give up as much as what I had to take on…. Namely 1) I had to be a manager, 2) I knew the old manager would get demoted as the company felt she was getting paid too much and 3) I had to take on a dept that had too many issues.
The raise amounted to a whopping $1.10. I said NO.

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39 J. Money April 13, 2018 at 2:53 pm

Haha… good for you.

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40 Chris @ Mindful Explorer April 13, 2018 at 11:01 am

Why would anyone give up dental and healthcare is beyond me
As for the list the funny thing is most of them could get a 20% raise easily just by cutting their expenses after reading B.A.S. for a month. Giving up your time to work more hours and weekends just takes years off your life and the goal is a better work life balance, not wasting your precious years of life.

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41 Rocky April 13, 2018 at 11:11 am

I find this list hilarious but I ultimately end up wishing they broke down the data differently. 10% sounds like a significant number to make this judgement by; until you think about the difference in 10% depending on how much you make.

The lower your salary the higher 10% will feel. This is counter intuitive because we know that the more you make the more that 10% becomes. However, going from $100k to $110k is a lot less significant than going from $40k to $44k. The higher up the salary chain you go the less people are willing to give up for a 10% raise, IMO.

All that said I will take my 10% raise for free if you please.

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42 J. Money April 13, 2018 at 2:59 pm

I agree! The money is much more felt early on vs later – especially if you’re still in that starting phase of figuring out finances as well. Takes many of us years to finally wake up and pay attention to what we’re doing :)

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43 SoberFinance April 13, 2018 at 11:34 am

Some of these answers have made me question my faith in humanity…

9.13% would give up their child’s or future child’s right to vote in all elections for life — seriously guys, really?

I think the best, and most realistic examples, are time vs. money. Would you rather make $400K/year, but be on call from 5 AM until Midnight, 7 days a week, with the expectation of pulling multiple all-nighters a role on a somewhat regular basis. Or, would you rather work 9-5 and make $125K/year.

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44 J. Money April 13, 2018 at 3:00 pm

9-5 PLEASE!!!!

Hell – 9-1 please for $63,000 :)

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45 Untamo April 15, 2018 at 11:51 am

Well, if you are single with no children and no plans to have children then that answer isn’t so strange. I’m 43-year-old and I have no children and still don’t want them. If you’ll probably never have children, you could easily answer that.

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46 Erik @ The Mastermind Within April 13, 2018 at 12:21 pm

OR you could give up watching movies for 3 years, use that time for self improvement, and bank multiple 10% raises in those years….

Not impossible to do (I did it) :)

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47 J. Money April 13, 2018 at 3:00 pm

Well now that’s just too much work ;)

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48 Krystal @ Simple Finance Mom April 13, 2018 at 12:23 pm

This is great! But enough with the tide pods already! I seriously question the future of our country some days….

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49 Dave @ Let's Automate Your Money April 13, 2018 at 12:46 pm

These are some crazy answers… Sounds like they just need to start a little side hustle.

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50 Caro April 13, 2018 at 12:50 pm

Hilarious. Particularly since I clearly have a different work environment.

I work for a US government agency where there are persistent problems getting anyone internal to apply for management jobs for a 6-8% raise.

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51 [email protected] April 14, 2018 at 12:45 am

What’s the interest rate on the $250K debt? Cuz…give me $250K debt @ 0% and I might take it…
And yeah… working an extra weekend day for extra $ is… a side hustle :)

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52 J. Money April 16, 2018 at 10:04 am

You’ll have to play the game first, and then the genie will tell you the interest rate ;)

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53 Bryan April 14, 2018 at 7:30 am

I would give that PUG a HUG!

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54 J. Money April 16, 2018 at 10:04 am

Haha… it is a great picture, isn’t it?

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55 Kim April 14, 2018 at 2:48 pm

I got a huge raise…all I have to do is work my full-time job plus open an escape room business with my husband. And now we don’t have time for movies and booze or HBO anyway, hahaha. But we have lots of fun, and way more moola going in the piggy bank.

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56 J. Money April 16, 2018 at 10:05 am

Oh man – those escape rooms are sooooo popular too!! I hope they stick around and it’s not just a fad. Definitely soak it all up while things are hot!

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57 Steve (NWOutlier) April 15, 2018 at 3:49 pm

I would say they can keep their 10% raise and give me 20% more time off! :)

10% really isn’t anything – some of the stuff listed is really crazy and shows that people don’t understand the math, specifically 55.9% would work an extra 10 hours per week for life….

for me working +10 hours a week would consume the entire annual raise in 8.6 weeks, so the remaining 43.4 weeks would only benefit the employer.

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58 Fred April 16, 2018 at 11:40 am

This goes into the category of truth is stranger than fiction. Giving up health insurance is the one that blows me away! Seriously. Has anyone looked at their medical bills lately?

Come on people!

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59 The Poor Swiss April 17, 2018 at 4:28 am

Very funny! I would not give a lot of these for a 10% raise. I would definitely get rid of social media for a 10% raise, but I almost don’t use it anyway. I would also give up watching GOT. There are the books anyway (if GRR ever gets to writing the last two books :S).

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60 J. Money April 17, 2018 at 7:14 am

Haha yeah! Talk about pressure!

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61 Lauren Turner April 17, 2018 at 8:00 am

The things people would do definitely shocked me haha! Great tips on how to earn the extra 10% too, cutting back so you don’t need it seems so obvious even though I’ve never considered it! Very helpful thank you :)

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62 J. Money April 17, 2018 at 9:41 am

That was one of the main things I learned from Mr. Money Mustache back in the day :) The less you spend, the less you need to earn!

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63 Kate April 18, 2018 at 7:41 am

I would happily give up watching movies or interacting on social media for a 10% raise… oh wait, I already don’t do those things now! Those would be the easiest for me, but I don’t know how anyone would want to put their health in jeopardy for a 10% raise unless they were raking in the millions on average. Then, at that point, you can afford personal health insurance ;) Great thought-provoking post, too bad no one is offering me more $$ for giving up social media and skipping time watching movies.

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