Debt.com’s annual “New Year No Debt” survey shows less enthusiasm about personal finances than this time last year.

Nearly two-thirds of Americans have made financial goals for their New Year’s resolutions in 2019 – but that may not actually be good news.

Debt.com polled more than 2,100 Americans and learned 65 percent made “financial resolutions for this year.” That was a big drop from the 77 percent who told Debt.com they set financial goals in the beginning of 2018.

Other results…

What’s your resolution?

 

  • Save more money: 66%
  • Pay off my credit card debt: 58%
  • Spend less to keep a balanced budget: 46%
  • Stop using credit cards: 25%
  • Start investing: 16%
  • Pay off my student loans: 12%
  • Buy a car: 16%
  • Buy a home: 14%

Conclusion: Americans would rather save more money this year over other financial goals.

Do you have any financial resolutions for this year?

 

  • Yes: 65%
  • No: 35%

Conclusion: The majority of Americans set financial resolutions this year.

In years past, have you ever made New Year’s resolutions related to debt, money, or your credit?

 

  • Yes: 39%
  • No: 61%

Conclusion: Most Americans have never made New Year’s resolutions related to debt, money, or their credit.

What’s your biggest financial regret from 2018?

 

  • Running up my credit card balances or maxing them out: 31%
  • I don’t have any financial regrets: 30%
  • Missing payments and damaging my credit score: 23%
  • Letting a debt go into collections: 19%
  • Draining all the money in my savings account: 17%
  • Making a big purchase on credit because it didn’t fit my budget: 11%
  • Using money out of my 401(k) or IRA: 7%
  • Going overboard on a vacation so it cost too much: 4%

Conclusion: Most respondents regret running up their credit card balances or maxing them out.

In 2019, what goal do you want to achieve?

 

  • Pay off credit cards/student loans: 41%
  • Save $5,000: 24%
  • Get your life organized: 18%
  • Lose 10 pounds: 12%
  • Learn a hobby or skill: 5%

Conclusion: Those who made resolutions this year want to first pay off debt and then save money.

This is how the survey results compare to last year’s poll…

Americans’ financial resolutions for 2018 vs. 2019

  • Pay off credit card debt: 70% vs. 58%
  • Stop using credit cards: 31% vs. 25%
  • Buy a car: 12% vs. 16%
  • Buy a home: 12% vs. 14%
  • Spend less to keep a balanced budget: 48% vs. 46%
  • Save more money: 67% vs. 66%
  • Start investing: 16% vs. 16%
  • Pay off my student loans: 12% vs. 12%

The following are the biggest differences between 2018 and 2019’s data…

Fewer respondents want to pay off credit card debt

Fewer respondents want to stop using credit cards this year

More respondents want to buy a car this year

Methodology: Debt.com surveyed 2,100 people and asked ten questions related to personal finance and the New Year to understand consumer behavior around their money resolutions. People responded from all 50 states and Washington, DC and were aged 18 and above. Responses were collected through SurveyMonkey. The survey was conducted from Dec. 21, 2018 to Jan. 3, 2019. For some graphics, percentages will not add up to exactly 100 percent because the figures were rounded up. *In 2018 Debt.com surveyed 1,349 people using the same type of consumer-focused questions regarding personal finance New Year resolutions utilizing SurveyMonkey.

Media Contact:

Michelle Bryan

Public Relations and Communications Manager

954-377-9054

mbryan@debt.com