Slideshows | December 24, 2015

Might a New Year resolution give finances a fresh start?

New Year traditionally symbolises a new beginning, a chance to turn over a new leaf and wipe the slate clean.

It can be an opportunity to draw a line under previous years when it comes to finances too. Deciding to make a fresh start on a special date or occasion can help us make changes by boosting motivation, as research suggests.

Money matters for 2016
Findings from the ING International Survey on Christmas and New Year 2016 suggest New Year remains a popular time-based landmark for making changes to personal finances. Fully 71% of people in Europe who planned New Year resolutions for 2016 said they’d make a resolution to improve their money situation. Results for the US and Australia were similar.

Saving more and debt reduction were two of the most favoured ways to improve. However, results varied across all 15 countries surveyed.



Making changes worldwide

In Turkey, 86% of people planning New Year 2016 resolutions set a money goal. In the Netherlands, 82% indicated they’d make a resolution around finance. In Australia (71%) and the US (78%), finance resolutions are also popular.


Eyes on the prize

However, just 52% of people in Europe said they kept money-related resolutions set in the previous year. A lesson could be to choose a financial goal that is easy to achieve – paired with a reward for achieving it.


Time to make savings?

Saving more was the most popular option for people in Europe (41%) when given four choices of New Year 2016 resolution. Why not consider moving a certain sum into savings accounts each pay day?


From debt to freedom

Most know that debts can hold back financial plans. Second most popular goal in the study was reducing debt (27%). It was top New Year resolution choice for 33% of people in Poland and 36% of people in Turkey.


Rein in the spending

Across Europe, 27% said they wanted to control their spending better in 2016. More people in Romania and France chose this option than in other countries. Taking time to think money decisions through may help.


How to change your life

In the ING research, 5% of the nearly 15,000 surveyed across 15 countries prioritised other key New Year goals that can affect finances – such as opening a business, getting a job, or buying a home.


New Year, new beginning?

Overall, nearly half of people (44%) in Europe begun 2016 by setting themselves a specific financial goal – 71% of those who planned New Year’s resolutions for 2016. A ”fresh start” can help willpower.

This article is related to the ING International Survey:

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eZonomics team
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