Fidelity: 92% of savers to alter 2024 resolutions due to financial stress

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A new report from Fidelity Investments found the vast majority of Americans who plan on making a financial resolution for 2024 are shifting their goals due to financial pressures.

Fidelity’s 2024 New Year’s Resolutions study, released on Thursday, showed two-thirds of Americans plan on making a financial resolution for the year ahead, and of those, 92% said they are adjusting their goals based on the economic conditions over the past few years.

The top concern cited by respondents was inflation, with 40% saying they are worried about the impact of high prices on day-to-day expenses. The No. 2 concern was unexpected expenses (37%), followed by economic uncertainty (33%) and not saving enough in an emergency fund (25%). 

The Labor Department’s consumer price index showed prices climbed 3.2% on an annual basis in October. While inflation has come down from its 9.1% peak in July 2022, the past few years of high inflation has taken a toll on consumers. Compared with January 2021, shortly before the inflation crisis began, prices remain up a staggering 17.62%.

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The high cost of living has put significant pressure on household finances and contributed to more Americans dipping into their savings or turning to credit cards to cover everyday expenses.

A shopper is seen in a grocery store in Miami

More than half (54%) of those surveyed told Fidelity they feel overwhelmed by their personal finances, and 31% said they have a stressful relationship with money. More than 2-in-5 respondents who experienced financial setbacks this year admitted to dipping into their emergency savings, and 40% of all respondents said they expect continued financial struggles in 2024 due to higher cost of living.

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“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,” Lannan added.

The most common resolutions for Americans for 2024 are consistent with years past in the 15-year study. The top goal cited for the year ahead was to save more money (41%), followed by paying down debt (38%) and spending less money (30%).

FOX Business’ Megan Henney contributed to this report.

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