5 Ways To Stick to 2022 Money Resolutions and Why Attainable Goals Lead to Healthy Financial Habits

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Are you making New Year’s resolutions surrounding money in the week ahead? If you are, you’re not alone. The annual New Year’s Financial Resolutions Study from Fidelity Investments found that 68% of Americans are making financial resolutions for 2022, which is an increase from 2020, said Stacey Watson, Fidelity Investments’ head of Life Event Planning.

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The top resolutions, according to Watson, are as follows:

  • Save more money (43%)
  • Pay down debt (41%)
  • Spend less money (31%)

“This has held true for the last 13 years we’ve conducted this study,” Watson told GOBankingRates. “There have been fluctuations, but the top three have remained relatively consistent over time.”

Watson noted that 71% of poll respondents were able to stick to their 2021 financial resolutions, a significant increase from 2020 when only 58% were able to keep to their goals amid a global pandemic.

But even if your attempts to keep resolutions in 2021 fell short, don’t despair: the survey asserted that just making a resolution may help put you on the right path. The survey found that of those who made financial resolutions in 2021, 41% said they’re in a better financial situation now than last year (compared to 22% who didn’t make any resolutions in 2021).

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The global pandemic has also helped people shift their mindset about their financial outlook. In spite of fears surrounding inflation, unexpected expenses and the continuing impact of the pandemic on the economy, Watson said people are “
letting go of things they can’t control.” This allows them to focus on practical objectives, like spending less and saving more, she added. “People have been experiencing success in these areas and are feeling good about it.”

She noted that respondents identified their ability to become more thoughtful about saving and spending as a lesson learned during the pandemic and a rare silver lining of the past two years. Success with saving more and spending less, in turn, has encouraged people to remain steadfast with their goals and resolutions for 2022.

“Financial actions taken at the start of the pandemic out of necessity — such as budgeting better and building up an emergency savings fund — have become permanent habits for many and, as a result, many people are seeing the value of continuing to make a resolution and have a plan in place to deal with the unexpected,” Watson said. “As the Resolutions survey demonstrates each year, the simple act of setting a goal and sticking with it can help you feel better about the direction you are headed.”

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Those who stuck to their resolutions in 2021 identified five factors that helped, advising others to:

  • Enjoy the feeling of making progress
  • Be motivated by your passion to reach your goal
  • Set realistic goals
  • Set clear and specific goals
  • Set smaller milestones to stay motivated.

For those making a financial resolution for this first time this year, Watson offered this advice: “It all starts with setting a goal, which is what making a resolution is really all about. But once you’ve set that goal, take the time to develop a plan for how to achieve it. That will truly get you where you need to be.”

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About the Author

Dawn Allcot is a full-time freelance writer and content marketing specialist who geeks out about finance, e-commerce, technology, and real estate. Her lengthy list of publishing credits include Bankrate, Lending Tree, and Chase Bank. She is the founder and owner of GeekTravelGuide.net, a travel, technology, and entertainment website. She lives on Long Island, New York, with a veritable menagerie that includes 2 cats, a rambunctious kitten, and three lizards of varying sizes and personalities – plus her two kids and husband. Find her on Twitter, @DawnAllcot.
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