As the calendar draws to a close on 2015, many of us will participate in an age-old tradition: drafting our New Year’s resolutions. The other tradition is to abandon those resolutions within the first few weeks of the New Year, or even sooner.
However, a data from Fidelity Investment’s New Year’s Resolutions study shows that making financial resolutions, and sticking them, can improve your financial position.
However, few Americans commit themselves to getting their financial houses in order. In fact, only 31% consider financial resolutions, according to the study, down from 43% in 2014.
For those that do make financial resolutions, these are at the top headed into 2016:
- Saving more (55%), with the median commitment of an additional $200 a month
- Paying off debt (20%)
- Spending less (17%)
- Develop a plan to reach longer-term goals (14%)
The study also shows the impact of sticking to your financial resolutions. For those who say they made a resolution at the start of 2014, more than one-half (51%) now feel they are better off financially. In contrast, only 38% of those who did not can say the same. And for those of us who are notorious for breaking our resolutions, 42% of respondents said sticking to financial resolutions is easier than sticking to other common resolutions, such as exercising regularly or pledging to give up smoking.
“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. The key to achieving your long-term goals and aspirations is creating a plan and sticking to it,” Lauren Brouhard, senior vice president of Retirement at Fidelity
To help make and stick to financial resolutions, AAII has a number of resources for our members. These include:
- Creating and Following a Real Financial Plan
- Achieving Financial Security by Conquering Personal Debt
- The Individual Investor’s Guide to Personal Tax Planning 2015
These articles are only a few examples of the many benefits of AAII membership. To learn more, consider a risk-free 30-day Trial AAII Membership to start becoming an effective manager of your own assets.