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Do Financial New Year’s Resolutions Work?
With the stock market rising and unemployment dropping, the stage seems to be set for a financially successful 2015, but Americans’ financial resolutions seem to be less optimistic.
According to Fidelity Investments’ sixth annual New Year Resolutions Study, only 31 percent of Americans are making financial resolutions for this year, down from 43 percent last year.
This decline in New Year fiscal planning directly contrasts the study’s findings on overall financial confidence – 41 percent of respondents feel better about their finances than they did this time last year, a record high for the Fidelity study.
Making a resolution certainly does not guarantee financial prosperity, but the study also shows that it may provide much needed encouragement to get started.
More than half (51 percent) of respondents who made 2014 resolutions say they feel more monetarily secure at the end of the year while only 38 percent of non-resolution makers can say the same.
“The fact that resolutions are down in troublesome, since the survey numbers indicate people who made financial resolutions at the start of 2014 are more likely to say they are now in a better financial position, demonstrating there are real advantages to making them,” Lauren Brouhard, senior vice president of Retirement at Fidelity, said in a statement. “Simple commitments such as saving more and paying off debt can have a tremendous impact on the financial and emotional well-being of a household.”
Forty-two percent of survey takers also believe that financial New Year commitments are easier to keep than other types of popular lifestyle resolutions like eating better or exercising more.
The top three financial 2015 resolutions according to Fidelity Investments are:
1. Saving More – 55 percent
2. Paying Off Debt – 20 percent
3. Spending Less – 17 percent
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