Money Is No Longer Top Resolution

Most cite appreciating family, enjoying life and losing weight as January 1 goals.

Money goals won’t be as big a priority for many Americans this year, according to GOBankingRates survey of the most popular New Year’s resolutions for 2016.

Enjoy life to the fullest, live a healthier lifestyle, lose weight and spend more time with family and friends are among the top responses. The only financial matters people mentioned: saving more, spending less and paying down debt.

Of respondents who voiced a resolution, more than half (55%) are pretty realistic about their New Year’s resolutions and plan to tackle only one goal in 2016. Nearly a quarter of respondents (24%) are setting two to three resolutions, and 21% aim for four or more.

The two least-popular 2016 New Year’s resolutions are those related to finance. “Save more, spend less” is a goal for only 30% of respondents; “pay down debt” is a focus for 27%. A significant portion of Americans (58%) do plan to set one or both of these finance-related resolutions.

While men chose an average of two goals each, women plan to set an average of 2.2 of the six resolutions for 2016. Slightly more men said they plan to get rid of debt in 2016, at 28% compared with 27% of women. About an equal number of men and women want to live a healthier lifestyle.

Americans ages 18 to 34 are setting significantly more resolutions than any other age group: 2.6 resolutions on average. Young Millennials (ages 18 to 24) are the most concerned of any age group with spending more time with loved ones, and are also the least likely to resolve to pay down debt in 2016. Millennials overall (ages 18 to 34), however, are the most concerned with spending less and saving money.

Among the most popular resolutions:

  • Nearly half (46%) of respondents set “enjoy life to the fullest” as a goal;
  • Two in five (41%) pledged to live a healthier lifestyle;
  • More than a third (40%) chose “lose weight”; and
  • A third (33%) want to “spend more time with family and friends.”