The turn of the year is the time many people make resolutions — financial and otherwise — but the number of people making financial resolutions as 2018 approaches is at an all-time low, Fidelity Investments reports in its annual New Year Financial Resolutions Study.
Twenty-seven percent of respondents in a Fidelity survey said they intended to make a financial resolution for the coming year, down from a high of 43% who considered doing so for 2014.
Fidelity noted that a sense of inertia appears to be setting in as the country enters the ninth year of a bull market. “Financial resolutions are on the decline because many people are feeling better about their personal financial situation and are generally optimistic about what 2018 will bring,” said Ken Hevert, senior vice president of retirement at Fidelity, said in a statement.
Forty-seven percent of respondents said they were in a better financial position this year, up from 45% in the 2016 study.
“Now is not the time to take one’s foot off the pedal,” Hevert said, “because good financial times can represent the best opportunities to help achieve your goals — and establish saving and investing habits that can get one through good times and bad.”
Caravan Survey conducted a telephone poll among two national probability samples, comprising 2,059 adults 18 older, in the last half of October.
The survey found that the top choices among respondents considering a financial resolution held steady from last year’s survey:
- Save more — 55%, up from 50% in2016
- Pay down debt — 25%, down from 28%
- Spend less — 18%, up from 16%
Fidelity noted that saving was a major factor for the overall feeling of prosperity this year. Two-thirds of respondents who felt they were in a better financial position said this was in part because they had been able to save more.
Seventy-eight percent of millennials ascribed their improved financial situation to saving more — and 90% of this group expected to be better off in 2018.
Among those for whom saving more was a top financial resolution for 2018, 54% said they planned to do so for long-term goals, while 38% planned to focus on the near term.