A majority of Americans are putting their financial well-being above all else in the new year with resolutions to save more, pay down debt and spend less, according to a survey by Fidelity Investments.

The survey showed that 67% are considering a financial resolution versus 61% who made one in 2019. Their top motivation for considering a financial resolution for next year is living a debt-free life (68%), followed by getting control of daily expenses (56%) and having a comfortable retirement (54%).

Of those looking to make resolutions, 53% resolved to save more, 51% made it a goal to get rid of debt and 35% resolved to spend less.

The Fidelity Investments’ 2020 New Year Financial Resolutions Study, which was conducted online in October and included 3,012 adults revealed that Americans are so serious about money issues in 2020 that they would rather put away $5,000 (84%) than lose five pounds (16%).

They also chose committing to a budget (67%) over committing to an exercise plan (33%) and reducing debt (84%) over reducing screen time. Moreover, 69% of respondents said they would rather learn to manage their investments over learning a foreign language (31%) and 62% said they would rather put 1% more in salary toward retirement than drink one more glass of water a day (38%).

Four in five (82%) Americans said they are in a similar or better financial position this year than last year, and the goal is to continue to improve their financial situation in the New Year.

Across generation, millennials (46%) top the list in feeling they are in a better financial position compared to last year better, followed by Gen Xers (41%). Millennials and Gen Xers, equally at 20%, also indicated that they are in a worse situation than last year. Baby boomers were at the top (51%) of saying they were in a similar financial position compared to last year.

The survey showed that respondents are feeling good because they have been saving more money (47%) and budgeting (29%). One in four also indicated that they are getting ahead because they’ve been able to work more hours.

And though the markets have continued to reach new highs, only 18% cited having investments that performed well as a key reason for their success, the survey noted.

Looking ahead, the survey noted that a majority (78%) of Americans believe they will be financially better off next year; 85% plan to build up their emergency savings; 50% plan to increase annual retirement savings/contributions; and 52% plan to get themselves and family more involved in charitable giving. Gen Zers and millennials led the way in all these categories.

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