Nearly all American millennials plan on making a financial resolution in 2019, with some of the biggest goals being to save more money, budget more effectively and pay off debt.
According to new data from Principal Financial Group, 94 percent of respondents plan on making financial resolutions in 2019.
“As the year winds down, more Americans are reflecting on where they busted their budgets in 2018, and importantly, what they’re committed to correcting in 2019,” said the report.
Americans spent the most on food in 2018, with 29 percent citing dining out and 27 percent revealing food/groceries as their biggest budget busters. Clothing/apparel (21 percent), entertainment (17 percent), and vehicle expenses (17 percent) also hurt consumers’ wallets last year.
In addition, respondents said their biggest financial mistake in 2018 was not saving enough (22 percent), followed by not budgeting properly (11 percent), taking on more debt (10 percent), and accumulating credit card debt (9 percent).
“There’s no one-size-fits all magic bullet for spending versus saving. However, the more we can think about spending and saving instead of spending or saving, the better off people will be,” said Jerry Patterson, senior vice president of retirement and income solutions at Principal, in a press release. “Taking a hard look at where we missed the mark and committing to making the right changes is a key step for 2019 well-being.”
Americans are committed to doing better in 2019. The report showed that 46 percent of respondents say that their biggest goal for the coming year is to save more each month, while 38 percent want to reduce their spending each month, 29 percent are looking to pay off credit card debt, and 21 percent are going to save more for retirement.
“The new year is a chance for new opportunities and a clean slate. The challenge will be taking those good intentions and making them last into February and beyond,” said Patterson.
Of course, there are some concerns for the new year, with the top being health care instability (40 percent). Other worries include fluctuating gas (37 percent) and food prices (36 percent), political uncertainty (28 percent), and wages (23 percent).
“While Americans are feeling optimistic, they remain cautious about things that seem out of their control,” added Patterson. “The fact is we’ll never be able to control all the variables in our lives, but we can do smart, simple things to set ourselves up for success and help us better weather any possible storms.”