Study Shows New Year’s Money Resolutions Helps African Americans Reach Financial Goals

Is how much you want to save or invest on your New Year’s resolutions list? If not, it might be something to consider to build wealth and enhance your finances in the coming year.

Some 77% of Americans are very or somewhat likely to set financial goals in 2018, more than doubling the 34% who set specific financial goals in 2017, a new Lincoln Financial Group study shows. Plus, 83% of Americans who set a specific financial goal in 2017 feel better about their finances now than they did at the start the year.

The Radnor, Pennsylvania-based financial services company just released its Financial Focus: Goals and Reflections of Today’s Consumer report. The study revealed that simply making a New Year’s resolution on finances may bring about increased confidence in a consumer’s financial situation even if they don’t reach their goal. Sixty-nine percent of respondents who set a goal but did not achieve it report that they feel better about their finances versus 64% of those with no financial goal.

The findings are based on a national online survey of 2,500 Americans ages 18 and older in the United States. It included responses from 394 African Americans.

“Every journey begins with a first step and when it comes to our finances the first step is setting a goal,” said Regina Beatty, a private wealth strategist with Mosaic Wealth Consulting and a registered representative with Lincoln Financial Advisors, in a press release. “Regardless of your level of wealth, just making a financial resolution at the beginning of the year can inspire confidence and increase awareness of budgeting, saving, and planning for the future.”

Setting up financial resolutions can be easily done. They can include establishing a goal to save a certain amount in 2018, setting up or adding to an emergency savings fund, boosting contributions to retirement plans as well as examining investment performance and insurance needs. Beatty suggests talking with a financial adviser, who can help create a financial roadmap by setting realistic goals and helping savers stay on track during the year to help achieve their target.

As people get older, the likelihood of making resolutions drops. Eighty-four percent of millennials plan to make a New Year’s resolution in 2018, 71% of Gen Xers, 51% of baby boomers and 43% of Goldens. Plus, some 74% of Americans feel better about their finances than the beginning of 2017 and 84% expect their finances will improve next year.

When it comes to African American financial resolutions, Lincoln Financial provided some intriguing data:

  • Of African Americans who set a specific financial goal for 2017, 60% either reached that goal or exceeded it. Another 22% said they came very close to their goal.
  • Fifty-one percent of African Americans made New Year’s resolutions for 2017, while 49% did not.
  • When asked why they made New Year’s resolutions, 47% said they wanted to keep improving themselves, 45% like to set goals for themselves, and 41% wanted to feel healthy. Thirty percent reported it helped prioritize their future, 29% want to avoid future health problems and 28%  want to improve their financial situation.
  • Asked how well did they do with New Year’s resolutions last year, 61 reported they did very or somewhat well and 23% said they did just OK.
  • Seventy percent are very or somewhat likely to set resolutions for 2018.
  • Asked what category their resolutions would fall into for 2018, 33% reported exercise, diet, weight loss. The other top categories were happiness, relaxation, and spirituality; as well as finances, career improvement and education—each scoring 23%.

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