As we step into a new year, the echoes of financial stress continue to reverberate across households nationwide. According to a survey conducted by Fidelity Investments involving over 3,000 adults, 40% of Americans are bracing themselves for financial stress in 2024. The looming concerns don’t stop there; a significant one-third of respondents admitted feeling financially worse off than the preceding year.
The survey shed light on a spectrum of financial resolutions and worries that individuals harbor as they usher in the new year, providing a glimpse into the economic landscape that defines their aspirations and anxieties.
Save more, spend less, pay off debt—these perennial resolutions continue to dominate the financial wish lists of Americans. Consistent with previous years, approximately 41% expressed a desire to bolster their savings, while 38% aimed to alleviate debt burdens. Additionally, 30% prioritized curbing their expenditures, underscoring the perennial pursuit of financial stability and security.
Amidst rising costs and widespread uncertainties, concerns about inflation for the upcoming year linger in the minds of 40% of survey respondents. Moreover, the survey unveiled that nearly a third of individuals find their relationship with money inherently stressful. Faced with the economic climate, a significant proportion of respondents contemplate adopting more conservative financial goals for the year ahead.
Notably, the survey highlighted a generational divergence in outlook. Younger demographics, particularly Gen Zers and millennials, appear notably more optimistic about their financial future. A striking 76% of Gen Z and 79% of millennials envision an improved financial standing in 2024. In contrast, 64% of Gen Xers and merely 52% of baby boomers share the same hopeful sentiment. The statistics reveal a shift in perspective, signaling the varying degrees of confidence and concerns across different age groups.
Kelly Lannan, Senior Vice President of Emerging Customers at Fidelity Investments, remarked, “[Gen Z and millennials] are leading the charge in reshaping their financial destinies,” emphasizing their proactive approach towards enhancing financial well-being in the upcoming year.
Despite the prevalent economic unease, the survey highlights a noteworthy trend: an average of 66% of respondents expressed intentions to adopt financial resolutions. Intriguingly, a substantial disparity emerges among different age cohorts. While 75% of Gen Zers gear up with financial resolutions, a more conservative 53% of baby boomers actively engage in setting financial goals for the year ahead.
As individuals embark on a new chapter in 2024, these statistics from Fidelity’s survey reflect the diverse spectrum of financial aspirations and apprehensions shaping the collective outlook towards economic well-being.