Report: Financial New Year's resolutions at all-time low

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - It's officially the New Year, and if you're like me, you're likely walking into the New Year on an all-time high.

But a new report out shows New Year's resolutions are at an all-time low.

According to the ninth annual Fidelity Investments New Year Financial Resolutions Study, having polled 2,059 adults, only 27-percent of respondents indicated they intend to make a financial resolution for the year ahead.

That number was down from its highest point of 43-percent for those who considered a resolution for 2014.

So what's changed?

According to the Senior Vice President of retirement at Fidelity, Ken Hevert, it has a lot to do with many of the respondents feeling more confident of their financial health heading into 2018.

Forty percent said they were less in debt, while 11-percent said they were more in debt in 2017.

But finance experts like Hevert believe "now is not the time to take your foot off the pedal."

Top financial goals 

And for those who don't have financial resolutions, it's not too late to add these top three financial resolutions to your list:

  • 55-percent: saving more
  • 25-percent paying down debt
  • 18-percent spending less

Sixty-six percent of respondents who feel they are now in a better financial position attribute this at least in part to being able to save more.

So how do you start?

Make savings automatic! One reason that workplace retirement accounts are often successful is because saving for them happens automatically.

Consider setting a savings goal and breaking it into manageable pieces. For instance, if you can put away about $415 each month, you'll hit $5,000 by the end of 2018.

Consider using a debt payoff calculator.

If you have more than one loan or credit card, you can also use the avalanche method to pay off the lowest balance =, or snowball method which is paying the highest interest rate.

Consider using the envelope method for budgeting and day-to-day spending.

What does that mean?

It determines how much you spend on each category like groceries, utilities, and fun.

Once your fun envelope runs dry, then no more eating out!

Be sure to reward yourself for progress. Once you hit a milestone, treat yourself!

Copyright 2018 WALB. All rights reserved.