More Americans Make Financial New Year’s Resolutions

Resolve to improve financial health tops physical health goals

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Americans are largely making New Year’s resolutions to improve their personal finances in 2010. Slightly more people have resolved to save more money next year (63 percent), than the more traditional aims to exercise more (62 percent), eat better (60 percent), or to lose weight (46 percent), according to a recent telephone survey by TD Ameritrade and Opinion Research Corporation. The only resolution more popular than saving money was to relax and reduce stress (65 percent).

[See 10 New Year’s Resolutions for Retirement Readiness.]

A recent Putnam Investments and Insight Express survey also found that Americans are currently more focused on their financial health than their physical health. Saving more also beat out exercising more and losing weight as the top New Year’s resolution in the Putnam survey.

More specific money goals for 2010 include paying off debt including credit cards, student loans, or a mortgage (48 percent) and reducing spending (48 percent), TD Ameritrade found. Some 27 percent of respondents aim to accumulate more retirement savings in a 401(k) or IRA in 2010, up from 21 percent in 2009. The number of Americans who plan to build an investment portfolio including stocks or mutual funds also increased from 12 percent in 2009 to 22 percent in 2010.

[See Retirement Benefits: What to Expect in 2010.]

Other popular New Year’s resolutions include having more fun (65 percent), spending more time with family (61 percent), and making more time for yourself (48 percent). Many Americans would also like to travel more (41 percent) and be more adventurous (35 percent) in 2010. Only 12 percent of the survey respondents say they never make New Year’s resolutions.