Making Your 2014 Financial Resolutions

By on January 8, 2014

If you plan to make financial resolutions in the New Year, congratulations.

No, really.

Sure, we know that it’s easy to make resolutions and then break them, but the latest annual survey from Fidelity Investments shows that Americans who do express interest in creating financial resolutions are more likely than you might imagine to succeed. According to the 2014 Fidelity survey, 62% of respondents say they have stuck with their previous resolutions.

The financial-resolution survey, which is in its fifth year, indicated that a growing number of Americans (54%) are expressing interest in making financial resolutions. That’s quite a jump from 35% five years ago.

The three most popular financial resolutions involve:

  1. Saving more money 54%
  2. Paying off debt 24%
  3. Spending less money 19%

Among those who intend to save more money, the median savings goal was $2,400. While this might seem like a small amount, it’s twice the 2010 savings goal.

When consumers were asked if they could only keep one resolution – to be more financially fit or more physically fit – 53% said they would prefer to be more financially fit.

Keeping Your Financial Resolutions

Once you set financial goals, how do you stick to them? Here are a few suggestions:

Set realistic goals. If the goals are too tough, you are more likely to quit. Another strategy is to break them into smaller, more attainable short-term goals

Involve someone else. If you are married, get your spouse involved. If not, share your progress and/or failures with a friend, who can hold you accountable.

Check your progress. In the Fidelity study, 58% said they tracked their progress informally, 30% tracked it online and 26% waited until the end of the year to see how they did

Treat yourself. As you are making progress, give yourself small rewards. Fifty-one percent of the Fidelity respondents said that this approach would help them reach their goals.

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