Most Common Financial Resolutions

According to an article in the January 2007 issue of Money, these are the most common financial resolutions for 2007:

1. Saving more (32%)
2. Paying down debt (25%)
3. Making more income (15%)
4. Spending less (13%)
5. Investing more (10%)
6. Saving for a large purchase (4%)
7. Don’t know (1%)

While resolutions of this sort are all well and good, I’d really like to see a followup article that reports on what percentage of those polled actually stuck to their resolutions. As for me, my own personal financial goals for this year are most in lines with #1, #3, and #5 — and things are already shaping up nicely.

5 Responses to “Most Common Financial Resolutions”

  1. Anonymous

    Well, I think 2007 is the year for me. I limit my tax withholdings throughout the year to the extent that I will not be specially tracked by the IRS. Your employer is required, by law, to send in documentation to the IRS if you claim a certain number of exemptions. So, with that being said, I still get a sizable refund each year (because my wife and I are in school, we own our home and pay mortgage interest, and we have three kids). Usually, we have some expense lined up that will use most, if not all, of the money from our refund. In 2006, we finally went from debt accruing to a holding pattern where we paid our minimum payments and accrued no new debt. If we simply did this for three more years, we would have almost all of our debt paid off (We don’t have hardly any credit card debt, $300).

    So, I sat down the first week of the year and made some financial goals. They encompass all of these goals, and more. I am refinancing my home next week, and I will be able to skip two months worth of payments. Now, I know this isn’t the best thing for everyone to do, but it will greatly improve my cash flow, because my rate is going to be lower, and my monthly payment will be lower… in addition, those two skipped payments, along with my tax refund, will allow me to pay off every last bit of debt I have besides my mortgage, student loans, and my two vehicles. The refi and payoff of my debts will increase my monthly cash excess by $700. Then, I will be able to easily meet my other goals which include finally get my emergency fund fully funded, increasing my stock portfolio to where I want it to be, and I will be able to meet my 529 plan contribution goals, as well.

    I already exceed my goals for my retirement accounts, which is to have $2M by the time I retire; I exceed my contribution needs to reach that goal by about $120/month, and that will only increase as time goes on, because I increase my 401(k) contributions by 1% each year. I think I will probably stop increasing it when I hit the 10% mark. I am able to get there so easily because of my generous employer contributions. By the time I hit the 10% mark, I will probably have moved on from this employer, and I will likely not receive such a generous match from my future employer, but I would not settle for something bad. Being at 10% will be a good place with the level of match I am willing to accept, because I will likely be exceeding my contribution needs by $200/month, at that point, if you include raises, the fast growth of my portfolio (due to large early contributions), and the amount of match I will accept. Starting this year, I am contributing 6% of my salary, and with my match, I am saving 20% of my salary. The good news is that I am still young! By the time I hit 10%, I will be 30!

    I am a firm believing in not becoming poor while having a high net worth that is mostly tied up in real estate and retirement income. So, my financial goals beginning in 2008 will be to pay off my two vehicles and start a vehicle savings plan and never finance a vehicle again… for at least until my youngest child is done with college (but, by then, I probably won’t care to start financing still). Now, I have never been one of those people that buys new vehicles, but even with modest vehicles, you can still keep your financial goals out of reach by rotating vehicles too quickly. If I can get these two paid off and hold onto them for as long as I plan, I will only need to save the amount that I currently pay for the cheaper of the two… and that will be enough to buy replacement vehicles that will be better than what we had when we purchased these current vehicles.

    I am rambling again… it is funny when I do that and write comments that are longer than the post. 🙂

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