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2020 New Year Financial Resolutions Study

A recent Fidelity Investments’® 2020 New Year Financial Resolutions Study found that more than two-thirds (67%) of Americans are thinking about making a financial resolution for 2020. This is up from 61% in 2019. Will you be setting a financial resolution?

Continue reading to find out the most common financial resolutions, the secrets to staying on track, and what investors are expecting and concerned about for 2020. 

Quoting from Fidelity's Resolutions Fact Sheet:

One of the top motivators for making a financial resolution: living a debt-free life. When asked to choose, a majority of Americans would rather save $5,000 than lose five pounds.

Fidelity Investments’® 2020 New Year Financial Resolutions Study was designed to explore attitudes about making financial New Year resolutions. It looked at how Americans are feeling about their finances heading into a new decade, and whether they're making a resolution to improve their financial situation.

What Is Motivating More Americans To Make Financial Resolutions?

“Living a debt-free life” (68%) is the biggest motivator for making a financial resolution, getting control of daily expenses (56%) is the second biggest motivator, followed by having a comfortable retirement (54%).

Looking Back, Are Americans Doing Better, Worse or The Same?

The answer: Across all generations, most people feel they are in a similar or better financial situation compared to last year.

OVERALL 39% 43% 19%  
GEN Z39%   43%18%
MILLENNIALS   46%   34%   20%  
GEN X41%   39%   20%  
BOOMERS 42%   51%   17%  

Those Who Said They Were In A Better Financial Situation Explain Why

Secrets Of Their Success: Tips From Those Who Are Keeping Their Financial Resolutions

Those who achieved their financial resolutions for 2019 share their best tips:

  • 41% Set small milestones along the way to stay motivated
  • 39% Keep a record of your progress
  • 37% Enjoy the good feeling of making progress to help you stick with it

Looking Ahead: 78% of Americans Believe They’ll be Better Off Financially in 2020

In addition, many plan to take proactive steps to help meet their financial goals.

What Are The Top Financial Concerns For 2020?

Overall, unexpected expenses top the list.

The Boomer generation is most concerned with unexpected expenses (56%) and rising health care costs (42%). Both men and women are concerned with rising health care costs, but more women (39%) than men (33%) are concerned with not saving enough for the short or long-term. Personal debt, such as credit cards, mortgage, student loans, etc. (38%) and the economy, stock market volatility, or interest rates (23%) rounded out the list of top financial concerns.

For Many, Being More Financially Mindful Isn't Their Only Self-Care Resolution For The New Year

For all generations, taking care of their health (53%) and spending more time with loved ones (50%) are top priorities. Gen Z takes more of an interest in practicing meditation (29%) than the older generations. 45% of Boomers are prioritizing decluttering their home, most likely due to downsizing now that they are empty nesters. In general, women (71%) were more likely to have a resolution related to well-being and happiness, than men (66%).

Let's Play A Game

Click here to take a quick survey inspired by Fidelity's New Year Financial Resolutions Study.