Increase Retirement Savings on the List of New Year’s Resolutions

Most U.S. adults have at least one financial New Year's resolution. 

When asked what their number one financial resolution would be for 2012, in a survey from, respondents listed: 

  • Accelerate paying off my debt, 
  • Be less wasteful when buying groceries, 
  • Buy store brands instead of name brands to save money, 
  • Try to get promoted, 
  • Get on track with making student loan payments, 
  • Save for a down payment on a house, 
  • Increase my retirement savings, 
  • Move to a more affordable apartment, 
  • Pay my credit card balance off each month, 
  • Plan shopping trips well to save gas and time, 
  • Cut back on unnecessary purchases of clothes, shoes and handbags, and 
  • Use more coupons when shopping. 

Thirty-seven percent of U.S. adults surveyed said they feel less financially secure than they did at the beginning of 2011, while 43% said they are neither more or less financially secure. More than one-in-five (21%) said when they look back at the start of 2011, they feel more financially secure this year.  

Nearly four-in-10 (39%) respondents said they plan to overhaul their finances in 2012. When it comes to how they will do the overhauling, three-in-four (77%) said they plan to cut back on unnecessary expenses.   

In addition, they plan to: 

  • Cut back on “extras” (e.g., eating out, going to the movies) – 62%, 
  • Set a budget and stick to it – 54%, 
  • Use coupons – 54%, 
  • Plan payments to get out of debt – 40%, 
  • Make investments (e.g., stock market, mutual funds) – 21%, 
  • See a financial adviser – 8%, and 
  • Open a savings account – 7%. 

The survey was conducted online nationwide by Harris Interactive on behalf of from November 14-16, 2011, among 2,207 U.S. adults ages 18 and older.