Finances top Americans' New Year’s resolution

Photo credit: <a href="">Stuart Miles</a> Photo credit: Stuart Miles

Managing personal finances was a top a New Year’s resolution of one in five Americans, according to a new survey.

Liberty Mutual Insurance, Boston, published this finding in a summary of results from a Responsibility Project survey of 1,770 U.S. residents aged 18-64. Conducted by Harris Interactive, New York, the survey reveals top trends for resolutions, including who plans to make a resolution in 2013 and how peoples’ definition of responsibility may shape their goals for the New Year.

The survey also gauges how Americans define personal responsibility and how their perception of it varies with age, marital status, gender and whether they have children.

The survey found that adults planning to make a New Year’s resolution in 2013 say they behave more responsibly now than they did five years ago compared to those who are not planning on making a 2013 resolution.

The survey shows that adults are more likely to define personal responsibility as “doing what’s expected of you or what you’re supposed to do” (46 percent) than “admitting to or owning mistakes” (31 percent) or “doing something especially hard or challenging” (23 percent).

These definitions help shed light on the trends for the top resolutions for 2013, which include:

•   Respondents identified fitness/exercise (43 percent), healthy eating (37 percent), family (26 percent), spirituality/faith (22 percent) and managing personal finances (22 percent) as their top resolutions around personal responsibility.

•   While fitness and exercise and healthy eating were at the top of nearly all resolution lists, respondents differed on their third top resolution, with married adults choosing family and divorced/widowed adults choosing career or managing personal finance. Single adults also selected career among their top-three resolutions.

•   Parents are more likely than non-parents to make a resolution (46 percent vs. 33 percent), with moms being more likely than dads to make a resolution (50 percent vs. 41 percent).

•   Younger adults (aged 18-34) are more likely than their older counterparts (aged 50-64) to make a resolution (58 percent vs. 22 percent).

•   Single adults are more likely than married adults to make a resolution (47 percent vs. 30 percent).

The survey also found what Americans think their communities should do to become more responsible in the New Year, including volunteering (28 percent), living an environmentally friendly lifestyle (26 percent) and driving more safely (26 percent).

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