Four in five Americans in a new survey said they were in a similar or better financial position this year than last year, and remain committed to improving their financial position in the New Year, Fidelity Investments reported Monday.
The survey suggested that a vibrant stock market and low unemployment have likely fueled Americans’ confidence, but most respondents pointed to good habits as the major reason for their improved financial situation in 2019, with 47% citing saving more money and 29% budgeting.
In addition, a quarter of survey participants said they were getting ahead because they had been able to work more hours. Only 18% pointed to strong investment performance as a key reason for their success.
Americans in the survey exhibited a strong desire to keep this positive momentum going into the new year by continuing to be mindful of their money in 2020. Sixty-seven percent said they were considering a financial resolution related to saving, investing, managing debt, budgeting and retirement planning, compared with 61% who made a financial resolution for 2019.
Among those who said they were contemplating a resolution for the new year, 53% wanted to save more, 51% to pay down debt and 35% to spend less.
How serious were these likely resolution-makers? One indicator: 84% said they would rather save $5,000 than lose five pounds.
“It’s encouraging that Americans are committed to building up their finances and taking additional steps toward meeting their financial goals, with 50% saying they plan to increase their annual retirement savings and 85% planning to build up emergency funds,” Fidelity Investments’ vice president of retirement and college products, Melissa Ridolfi, said in a statement.
“A small step like making a resolution for the new year can go a long way in forming good money habits that can last a lifetime.”
Caravan Survey conducted an online poll in October among 3,012 boomers, Gen Xers, millennials and Gen Zers.