The Top New Year’s Resolutions for 2018
A new poll about New Year's resolutions provides insights into Americans’ priorities when it comes to saving, spending, and lifestyle.
Women have money on their minds for 2018, while men are thinking about love and babies more than women are, a new survey shows. The goal of saving money topped the list of priorities for 56 percent of women, but only 48 percent of men.
Meanwhile, men need some hugs. They edged out women in making it a priority to find love (17 percent to 12 percent) and start a family (nine percent to five percent).
Plus, only 16 percent of women want to have more sex in 2018, compared to 34 percent of men. It may just be that women are turned off by guys who sport the newly popular “man bun” hairstyle: A full 38 percent of Americans want the man bun to go away.
These insights come from a survey of more than 1,000 U.S. adults polled in November 2017 for Varo Money, a mobile-banking start-up. The Varo app is designed to help people who are hands-off with money find new ways to easily organize and save.
Varo’s survey yielded plenty of juicy observations about how people are living, and especially “how people are thinking about holiday spending and saving,” says Emily Brauer Gill, the company’s director of brand and communications.
The holidays are a “cash trap,” Brauer Gill says. A whopping 74 percent of Americans say they neglect to budget properly for holiday spending.
In fact, 25 percent of Americans will be paying off holiday debt for the next six months. Last-minute gifts are the top-rated expenditure, followed by a tie between food and regular gifts.
New Year’s Resolutions: Financial Fitness vs. Physical Fitness
Looking into the New Year, there may be bad news ahead for personal trainers: For most Americans, saving money is a bigger priority than getting in shape. According to the survey, 53 percent of people say that adding to their nest egg is their top priority. Meanwhile, only 45 percent of respondents cited weight-loss or fitness goals.
“That is really positive for us,” says Brauer Gill, who suspects that while working out is always a popular New Year’s resolution, saving money came out on top because there are more financial tools and advice platforms available than ever before. “People are more enlightened,” she says.
As for how people are spending on guilty pleasures: Eating out (42 percent) and ordering in (27 percent) are about the most popular, as is shopping online (33 percent) and in-store (25 percent).
Fifth on the list of guilty pleasures — at 20 percent — is streaming entertainment services like Hulu and Netflix. That may be because streaming is not seen as something extra or a vice. Only seven percent of those surveyed said that they want to spend less on such services in 2018, whereas 16 to 30 percent want to cut down their spending on eating out, ordering in, and online and in-store shopping.
Self-Perception and Generational Differences
And don’t assume that’s all about millennial TV-watching habits. While market researchers love to group demographics into age-based categories, it appears that individuals don’t see themselves as fitting in those slots. Among 18- to 34-year-olds, 51 percent don’t consider themselves millennials. But 33 percent of Gen Xers and 24 percent of baby boomers do. What accounts for this self-perception is unclear. It may simply be a result of people focusing on their behavior rather than their age.
And that distinction applies to Varo’s findings on how customers view banking, as well. Previous generations were dedicated to balancing checkbooks and going to physical banks. However, millennials tend to check their balances on a weekly basis and just have a general sense of money flowing in and out.
“The majority are hands-off,” Brauer Gill says. “They don’t like budgets and spreadsheets.”
But as tools become increasingly available for hands-off users, more people outside the millennial age range (18 to 34) may connect to that approach and identify with millennial behavior.
Maybe we’re all millennials now. Even if we’re not, there’s one stat that’s common across ages: 72 percent of Americans say that they’re more likely to keep a New Year’s resolution if someone else is on board, as well.
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