A Good Financial Resolution For 2017

January 10, 2017



* Resolvers beat non-resolvers when it came to ending 2016 more debt-free than the previous year (45 percent vs. 34 percent).

* They also now feel more "financially secure" (45 percent vs. 34 percent).

* And they also feel more optimistic about their finances looking ahead to 2017 (52 percent vs. 37 percent).

And those who actually did follow through on their resolutions?

Sixty-six percent said they're now "in a better financial situation.

The fact is, people who make resolutions on money matters tend to feel better about the state of their finances, which helps them stay engaged and make progress toward their goals.

So what did the study find to be the top three financial resolutions for 2017?

Turns out Americans are remarkably consistent.

For the eighth straight year, saving more topped the list among those at least considering making a resolution (50 percent), followed by paying down or paying off debt (28 percent), and spending less (16 percent).

And while Americans were optimistic about 2017 -- Millennials being the most upbeat, with 87 percent of them believing they'll be better off financially -- those surveyed had some real concerns. Chief among them: the dreaded "unexpected expenses," which was Number One last year, too.

"Whether it's a new roof for your home or a medical emergency, the unexpected can throw your finances for a loop," says Hevert. "In fact, for those whose resolutions fell short in 2016, almost three-quarters said they were derailed by unforeseen expenses, so setting aside an emergency fund can create a buffer."

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