Americans “Over” Worrying about Money

After two years of resolving to do better with their finances, Americans are putting relaxing and having fun at the top of their New Year’s resolutions list.

TD Ameritrade’s Annual New Year’s Resolution Survey found that while “save more money” (65%) was included among the top three resolutions, “relax/reduce stress” (67%) and “have more fun” (67%) were the most popular responses. The opposite was true for last years’ resolutions (see Americans Vowing Better Financial Planning for 2010).  

Twenty-seven percent of respondents said they are less likely to make New Year’s resolutions about their personal finances this year than last year, with 50% saying it is because their health and well-being are simply more important this year, according to a press release. Thirty-nine percent of respondents also reported they’re in better financial shape compared to previous years.  

“When the recession was at its peak in 2008 and 2009, fear and uncertainty drove a lot of people to act on their financial plans,” said Stuart Rubinstein, managing director, investment products, TD Ameritrade, in the announcement. “Today, we’re seeing a shift and while Americans are still striving to meet financial goals, they may feel confident enough in their financial standing to put relaxation and fun first in 2011.”  

More than half (55%) of respondents describe their financial outlook for 2011 as uncertain, but say they are hopeful the economy is on the rebound. This tempered, but optimistic outlook was most pronounced among younger respondents and women (58% among young adults ages 18-34, 60% of women), the press release said. Only 23% of all respondents reported they are pessimistic about the financial outlook.  

One thousand nine (1,009) adults participated in a telephone survey conducted September 18 ─ 20, 2010, by Infogroup | ORC of Princeton, New Jersey, on behalf of TD Ameritrade.