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What Are Your 2014 Financial Goals?

Poll QuestionLet’s be straight: We don’t care for the term “resolution.”

So even though Fidelity recently surveyed people on their 2014 financial resolutions, we’re going to talk about them as goals instead.

Resolutions are almost always forgotten by Jan. 2 – if not sooner – and the entire concept is, well, tired.

But goals – they’re a different story. You meet goals. Goals give you purpose. Goals are important.

Especially considering, as Fidelity found, 46% of 1,000 U.S. adults are looking to change their ways in 2014, financially at least. That’s up 31% since this survey debuted in 2009.

For the second year, the top “goals” were to save more (52%), spend less (19%) and pay off debt (19%).

These are financial goals we fully support.

The average amount people plan to save is $2,400. Although that was the same during last year’s survey, it’s double 2010’s amount.

And to be clear, socking away $200 a month isn’t a lofty, insurmountable goal.

Even given that 26% of respondents say their financial situation is worse now than last year and 17% reported being more in debt.

Also impressive: 65% are saving toward a long-term goal, predominately retirement, college and health care costs during retirement.

Only 29% are saving for short-term goals – and this is where it gets really interesting. Out are luxury items, like boats, jewelry and fancy cars; in, practical investments.

An astounding 67% of that group are saving in the short term for an emergency fund. To us, this signals that folks are doing better at meeting their monthly expenses, to the point that they’re able to replenish the emergency funds they perhaps spent down during the recession or never had at all.

Paying down debt and home improvements were two other named short-term goals. People investing in their homes again is another positive sign.

Look, we accept that goals are easier to set than meet. But identifying how you can improve your financial situation is a huge first step.

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My main financial goal for 2014 is to:
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