Americans Set Resolutions to Fix This Year’s Financial Blunders

Americans Set Resolutions to Fix This Year’s Financial Blunders

December 4, 2018         Written By Bill Hardekopf

The month of December marks a time of reflection and planning. Families look back on the last 11 months and determine what areas they wish to improve during the upcoming year.

A new study from Principal Financial Group shows Americans are hoping to change their financial strategies in 2019. Approximately 22% of respondents said they did not save enough in 2018, and 11% said they did not budget properly.

Others said they regretted taking on more debt (10%), spending above their means (9%), and accruing a larger balance on their credit card accounts (9%). In terms of how respondents mismanaged their money, 29% said they spent too much dining out, followed closely with grocery purchases at 27%.

In the coming year, nearly half of Americans are aiming to save more each month (46%). Survey participants also said they want to reduce their monthly spending (38%) and pay off credit card debt (29%).

If you are aiming to save money or pay off debt in 2019, here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Prioritize your debts based on what will provide the most financial stability. Repay them in a way works for you: smallest to largest, highest interest to lowest interest, or highest monthly payments to lowest monthly payments.
  • Once you have paid off that debt, save the same amount of money each month that you were using to pay off debts. If you are no longer making $500 credit card payments each month, put that $500 into savings.
  • Set a realistic monthly budget and stick to it. Allot for dining out, groceries, and other expenses, but do not fall prey to last-minute temptations. Those add up quickly.
  • Look through your bank and credit card records from the past year. Find out where you overspent, and set goals to prevent those mistakes next year.
  • Act on your New Year’s resolutions right now. Don’t wait until January 1 to put yourself in a better financial situation.

The information contained within this article was accurate as of December 4, 2018. For up-to-date
information on any of the terms, cards or offers mentioned above, visit the issuer's website.


About Bill Hardekopf

Bill Hardekopf is the CEO of and covers the credit card industry from all perspectives. Bill has been involved with personal finance for over 15 years. He is a frequent contributor to Forbes, The Street and The Christian Science Monitor.
View all posts by Bill Hardekopf
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