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If you think that economic indicators may be pointing toward a recession coming, you are not alone, according to a new study by Allianz Life showing that one in three Americans has the same belief. Yet even with that on their minds, they are still optimistic about making money in 2018 – and their New Year's resolutions have that in mind.
In the 9th annual New Year's Resolution Survey from Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America, they found that 71% of Americans have an eye on focusing on their financial stability this coming year, trumping standard New Year's resolutions like health/wellness (67%). And 42% added managing and saving more money to their New Year's resolutions list, up from 2016 when 37% said the same.
“While Americans are concerned about the future state of the economy, the silver lining is they want to take action and control of their own financial fate,” said Allianz Life Vice President of Consumer Insights Paul Kelash. “Even though one-third worry about a potential recession, optimism still rules the day.”
Making money in the air but so are better financial habits
While people have the state of the economy and being financially stable on their mind, 39% said they were feeling good about their ability to make money in the near future, up from 32% in 2016. On the other hand, just 23% felt that they would lose money in 2018.
Developing better habits when it comes to their finances is also on people's minds for the new year. With many focused on building up their emergency fund, paying down credit card debt follows on their better financial habits to-do lists, along with creating a budget and upping how much they are saving for retirement.
Yet, they also said that they have some financial issues to deal with, which for 32% included spending too much money on things they don't really need, representing the highest percentage in this arena since 2012.
What are their other bad habits? They include:
- Not saving any money (29%)
- Saving some money, but not as much as I could (24%)
- Not paying down debt fast enough (23%)
Financial education is the name of the game
To work on their financial habits, people indicated that they were willing to get some help, including professional help. If they were given free access to any kind of professional, 28% said they would go with getting a financial professional onboard over getting other kinds of help, including getting a therapist (19%), nutritionist/dietician (18%), lawyer (15%), personal trainer (12%) or career counselor (7%).
About a third (32%) of people indicated that they are more likely to reach out to a financial professional in 2018. Getting some online help was on the agenda for some too, with 23% reporting that they will be using online resources, while 31% have already been using them, and will keep it up in 2018.