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Financial Resolutions on Top for the New Year

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Financial Resolutions on Top for the New Year

Are you sticking to your New Year’s resolutions to eat better and get to the gym more often? While health and fitness are top resolutions, finances were also on people’s minds when they rang in 2014, according to a recent survey.

People were feeling better economically–26% said they were doing better financially, up from 19% last year, according to the Fidelity Investments New Year Financial Resolutions Study.

Getting finances in shape

More than half of the 2,027 respondents (54%) were looking to carry less debt in 2014. Top resolutions also included paying down debt (24%) and putting a cap on spending (19%).

While all three resolutions have held top spots for the last few years, more people were focused on paying down debt this year, a trend that has been building since 2010 when just 8% of respondents had an eye on reducing the money they owed.

 “These findings suggest individuals are taking more control over financial matters, leading them to feel better about their personal situations,” said Fidelity vice president Ken Hevert.

Save, save, save

Thirty-nine percent of those planning to save prioritized short-term savings this year over putting money away for retirement or college funds. This is up 10% from last year when only 29% said looking to save for the short term was their savings priority. Short-term goals include paying down credit cards, splurging on big-ticket items, and dealing with emergencies.

Investing for the long haul is a priority for 53%, down from 65% last year, suggesting that people are looking to find a balance between managing their short- and long-term goals.

Financial resolutions can be hard to keep, with 29% of participants saying that while they have made money-related resolutions in the past, they’ve had a hard time keeping them.

Certain tricks may help folks stay on track, including treating themselves when they make their goal, being able to see the value of the resolution, and making smaller goals that may be easier to keep.

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