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Money Mismanagement: 77% of Americans Don’t Have a Financial Resolution for 2020

December 16, 2019

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What are your resolutions going into 2020? Even if you haven’t put much thought into them, you’ll probably consider making some big lifestyle changes. After all, it is a time of clean slates and new beginnings. While this may be true, one aspect of your life you can’t just start over on January 1st is finances.

Your debts, bills and loans will faithfully follow you straight into the New Year. But are finances top of mind for Americans this year? To find out, 1,000 Americans were surveyed on if they have a financial resolution going into 2020.

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Fiscal Failure: 7 out of 10 Americans Don’t Have a Financial Resolution for the New Year

The numbers don’t lie: 77% of respondents said they flat out don’t have a financial resolution for 2020. Why? Looking at Americans’ resolutions in 2019, one reason may be the fact that many Americans are simply focused on more tangible goals, like losing weight, quitting smoking or learning a new skill or hobby.

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Budget Breakdown: Only 39% of Americans Claim Their Finances Are In Order

To find out what financial goals Americans had in mind for the New Year, 1,000 Americans were surveyed on which ways they want to improve their finances in 2020. Only 39% of respondents said they had no financial aspirations, as their finances are in order.

That’s right in line with recent studies on the state of Americans’ finances. According to a 2019 report from the Federal Reserve, millions of American adults would have difficulty affording a sudden $400 expense, and one quarter of adults claim they have no retirement savings. The same amount skipped medical coverage in 2018 because they simply couldn’t afford it. This could be due to the rising costs of living in America, or the state of American’s finances.

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However jarring these figures may seem, the Federal Reserve’s report found that 75% of U.S. adults still claim they’re “doing okay” financially or “living comfortably.” Could this be due to the fact that one in 10 adults — and one-quarter of Americans under the age of 30 — receive financial support from their parents?

Whatever the case may be, it shows how many Americans still rely on a financial support system to stay afloat, which obscures the true state of their fiscal well-being.

The State of Financial Health: Americans Are Still Cognizant of Their Finances

Given the state of Americans’ finances, many of them have a desire to improve their finances in some way going into 2020. The majority of respondents (19%) said they plan to pay down debt next year, while 15% said they plan to save more.

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New Beginnings: 7 Easy Tips for Maintaining Your Financial Resolutions in 2020

Whatever the state of your finances may be, there is always room to improve. These financial suggestions are easy to apply and may get you started on becoming a better financial you.

1. Start with a financial calendar. Trouble paying your bills on time? One way to help is by creating a financial to-do list or calendar. Highlight your monthly and weekly financial deadlines so you don’t miss a beat.

2. Begin an all-cash diet. To curb overspending, pay for everything with cash. This will stop your swiping tendencies and help you save more.

3. Check your transactions daily. Take five minutes everyday to look at your transactions throughout the day. You’ll start to notice the good (and bad) trends in your spending habits.

4. Make realistic money goals. Don’t start by saving half your paycheck. Try saving $20 a week and go from there. Achieving small, attainable goals motivates you to take on bigger goals.

5. Get rid of overdraft protection. Disabling this financial failsafe may seem like a bad idea, but you’ll be less tempted to overspend when there’s tough consequences on the other side of that transaction.

6. Read a personal finance book. Read one book a month to digest good financial wisdom, and so you’re learning and thinking about finances.

7. Actually pay off debt. Chip away at your biggest debts every month, and only pay what you can afford without cutting into other necessities. It may help to create a personal payment plan as well so you know when you can expect that debt to be paid off.

Follow these tips to start your 2020 off right, and maximize your savings by taking advantage of our crowd-sourced coupon codes at stores you use regularly, like Amazon. Check out the infographic below to learn more about how you can achieve your resolutions this New Year!

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Sources: Fidelity | MarketWatch | CNBC | Inc | WalletHub

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