Gen Z and Millennials Lead the Charge in Making Financial Resolutions for 2024 and Improving Financial Wellness
Inflation and Economic Uncertainty Among Americans’ Top Financial Concerns
Fidelity Shares Resources and Insights to Help Make and Keep Financial Resolutions
BOSTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–According to Fidelity Investments®’ 2024 New Year’s Financial Resolutions study, Americans are poised for a resolution revolution – improving their financial lives by conquering their financial goals and gearing up for a year of ‘new chapters’ and ‘living practically.’ The study, which has been conducted for the past 15 years, shows two-thirds of Americans are considering a financial resolution for the year ahead, perhaps motivated by their current situation and concerns about the future.
In fact, the study shows more than half (54%) admit to feeling overwhelmed by their personal finances and 31% say they have a stressful relationship with money; more than 2-in-5 adults who experienced financial setbacks admit to dipping into their emergency savings while 40% of all respondents anticipate continued financial struggles in the year ahead due to higher cost-of-living. And yet, the good news is 70% of Americans claim they have a plan for reaching their financial goals – paving the way for a steady and secure 2024. So much so that planning is making a resilient comeback, with women leading the way: 83% agree having a plan in place will help them better handle the unexpected, compared to 78% of men. However, the younger generations continue to express the most confidence, with more than 3-in-4 claiming they’ll be better off financially in 2024.
“With the number of Americans tapping into their emergency savings after a year of financial stressors and setbacks, it’s not surprising to see them look forward to new, brighter chapters in 2024,” said Kelly Lannan, senior vice president of Emerging Customers at Fidelity Investments. “Encouragingly, it’s great to see so many taking a practical and confident outlook for the year ahead while they navigate choppy financial waters and fine-tune their financial wellness habits and savings goals.”
When it comes to evaluating financial resolutions, inflation remains the top reason Americans were not able to stick to their 2023 goals with 40% claiming they had less money to work with due to inflation’s impact on day-to-day expenses. Looking ahead, nearly a third (32%) plan to readjust their budget due to student loan payments resuming.
Resolution revolution: thinking differently in 2024
Of those planning a financial resolution for the year ahead, 92% are thinking differently given the events of the last couple of years with one-third planning to make their finances more of a priority and 38% considering more conservative goals. These findings are similar to trends seen in Fidelity data1, including an increase in customers completing plans – totaling 6.6 million to date. Even with the majority committed to thinking differently, the top resolutions remain consistent with years past: save more money (41%), pay down debt (38%), and spend less money (30%).
In a slight shift from the 2023 study, more Americans look to prioritize long-term savings goals (52% vs 48%) for 2024 compared to short-term goals (47% vs 53%) for 2023 as part of their New Year’s resolution. Notably, savings priorities differ across age, race, and gender identity with more women (54%), Baby Boomers (57%) and Hispanic (51%) respondents still prioritizing short-term savings.
From setbacks to comebacks: the impact of inflation
As inflation lingers and concerns about the global economy remain, 45% of respondents and 51% of young respondents who experienced financial setbacks say they had to dip into their emergency fund. With 3-in-4 Americans worrying about cost-of-living increases having an impact on their budget, it’s encouraging to see most respondents (81%) say they plan to build up their emergency savings in 2024.
Realistic resolutions: helping to plan and set achievable financial resolutions
Achieving financial mobility is about more than just making money, it’s about developing the skills, financial discipline, and confidence necessary to achieve greater economic independence, and reach their most important life goals. In fact, younger generations are already taking steps in the right direction with more than half claiming they stay up to date with market developments, and interestingly enough, 10% of Gen Z and Millennials would even go as far as to say their relationship with money is their “Roman Empire” – in other words, they’re always thinking about their finances.
“The results show ‘financial mobility’ is clearly top of mind for the next generation and Fidelity is passionate about helping young people understand its importance as they’re just starting their journey into the world of personal finance,” said Lannan. “Whether someone is focused on short-term goals or long-term savings, there’s no denying the benefits of planning ahead and its impact on achieving upward economic progress.”
Helping people unlock their financial potential and build a path to economic success is something Fidelity cares deeply about as it is core to helping individuals achieve financial well-being, particularly for underrepresented communities. To help, Fidelity has a number of free resources to get people started.
Build a plan: No matter the goal, Fidelity can help create a free, flexible plan to make progress towards what matters most: www.fidelity.com/freeplan.
Financial education & tools: Fidelity’s learning center is an online resource created to help people, whether someone is a Fidelity customer or not, plan for and manage life’s most significant moments. This includes free resources, digital tools, newsletters and educational content that breaks down the basics, including investing, planning for retirement, and saving for short-term financial goals with Fidelity Goal Booster.
Financial Wellness: In January during Financial Wellness month, Fidelity offers 31-days of educational resources, including daily financial tips, interactive tools, events and a broad range of solutions to inspire people to kick off the new year with a renewed focus on their finances.
Fidelity has a legacy developing new offerings and education for a range of investors. This includes meeting the youngest investors where they are and empowering teens age 13-17 to learn how to save, spend, and invest with the Fidelity Youth app. Fidelity also focuses on providing financial education and access to education for all through programs like Invest in My Education (ME)℠, a $250M social impact initiative that provides access to education and ongoing support to historically underserved students.
About Fidelity Investments’ 15th Annual New Year’s Financial Resolutions Study
This study presents the findings of a national online survey, consisting of 3,002 adults, 18 years of age and older. The generations are defined as: Seniors (78+)(78 respondents) Baby Boomers (ages 58-76) (758 respondents) , Gen X (ages 42-57) (683 respondents), Millennials (ages 26-41)(1,015 respondents), and Gen Z (ages 18-25)(468 respondents); although this generation has a wider range, we only surveyed adults for the purposes of this survey. Young is defined as those ages 18-35. Interviewing for this CARAVAN® Survey was conducted October 20-29, 2023 by Big Village, which is not affiliated with Fidelity Investments. The results of this survey may not be representative of all adults meeting the same criteria as those surveyed for this study. Go here for more information on Fidelity’s 2024 New Year’s Financial Resolutions Study.
About Fidelity Investments
Fidelity’s mission is to strengthen the financial well-being of our customers and deliver better outcomes for the clients and businesses we serve. With assets under administration of $11.5 trillion, including discretionary assets of $4.4 trillion as of September 30, 2023, we focus on meeting the unique needs of a diverse set of customers. Privately held for 77 years, Fidelity employs over 73,000 associates who are focused on the long-term success of our customers. For more information about Fidelity Investments, visit https://www.fidelity.com/about-fidelity/our-company.
Views expressed are as of the date indicated, based on the information available at that time, and may change based on market or other conditions. Unless otherwise noted, the opinions provided are those of the speaker or author and not necessarily those of Fidelity Investments or its affiliates. Fidelity does not assume any duty to update any of the information.
Keep in mind that investing involves risk. The value of your investment will fluctuate over time, and you may gain or lose money.
Fidelity’s Planning and Guidance centers allows you to create and monitor multiple independent financial goals. **While there is no fee to generate a plan, expenses charged by your investments and other fees associated with trading or transacting in your account would still apply.** You are responsible for determining whether, and how, to implement any financial planning considerations presented, including asset allocation. suggestions, and for paying applicable fees. Financial planning does not constitute an offer to sell, a solicitation of any offer to buy, or a recommendation of any security by Fidelity Investments or any third-party.
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