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4 Reasons People Kept Their Money Resolutions in 2023 — and 1 Reason They Failed

Senior man with full wallet
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Sticking to New Year’s resolutions is not easy. In fact, most of us fail to achieve at least a few of the goals we set in January.

However, some folks manage to stick to their pledges and end the year in a better place than where they began it.

Recently, Fidelity Investments polled more than 3,000 adults as part of its “2024 Financial Resolutions Study.” Fidelity asked participants to list the main reasons they successfully kept their financial resolutions during 2023.

Following are the top answers they mentioned — plus one reason why many other folks failed to meet their goal.

4. Goals were realistic for the long term

Happy saver holding a piggy bank
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Respondents who cited this as a reason they kept their 2023 resolutions: 24%

Trying to save $1 million before you retire is a realistic goal for almost anybody, given enough time and a lot of determination.

Deciding that you someday want to become richer than Elon Musk is a bit more of a stretch.

When your goals are realistic, you are far more likely to stick with your plans and try to overcome the inevitable obstacles that will arise.

3. Making progress felt good (tie)

Woman with money jar
Dean Drobot / Shutterstock.com

Respondents who cited this as a reason they kept their 2023 resolutions: 26%

Here is one of the most basic, yet often overlooked, truths about building wealth: It’s fun.

Yes, scrimping and saving can be hard. But there is deep satisfaction in seizing control of your finances and watching your nest egg grow.

For more tips on getting rich, read about the “13 Smart Habits of Millionaires You Should Adopt.”

3. Goals were clear and specific (tie)

Couple and money
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Respondents who cited this as a reason they kept their 2023 resolutions: 26%

Deciding to “grow wealthier” during the year is nice. But being a little more specific — such as saying you want to save an extra $5,000 over the next 12 months — turns a dream into a goal.

And remember, the process of reaching your goal doesn’t have to be miserable. Money Talks News founder Stacy Johnson offers some pointers in “9 Tips to Tackle Your Financial Goals and Still Have Fun.”

1. Motivated by their passion to reach goals

Superhero suit with dollar sign on chest
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Respondents who cited this as a reason they kept their 2023 resolutions: 30%

You’ve decided to chase a big money goal? Great.

Just know that it won’t be easy:

  • Unexpected expenses inevitably will arise, sapping your ability to save for a while.
  • Your investments will go south from time to time, pushing you further away from your goal, at least temporarily.
  • Relationships might crumble, your health could face a setback, or your job might disappear overnight.

Life is unpredictable, and there surely will be no shortage of hard times that will tempt you to fold your cards and give up on pursuing your money goal.

But those who simply keep going — who have an unshakable determination to reach their goal, no matter the difficulty — usually have a motivating passion that pushes them forward.

If you are ready to make 2024 the year you start chasing your money dreams, learn more about the “14 Simple Strategies for Building Long-Term Wealth.”

Why many Americans didn’t keep their resolutions

Man looking at inflation
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Unfortunately, not everyone managed to keep their 2023 financial resolutions. In fact, 2 in 5 (40%) respondents to the Fidelity survey said inflation’s impact on their finances left them with less cash to devote to their money goals.

Although prices remain high, you don’t have to let that reality derail your money resolutions in 2024, especially if you learn more about the “10 Sure-Fire Ways to Beat Inflation.”

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