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Financial resolutions: 56% of Americans hope to become debt-free this decade

NEW YORK — Millions of Americans set new financial goals for themselves every year, and the start of 2020 is a great time for many to revisit their finances and set themselves up for success. According to a survey of 2,000 Americans, freeing themselves from debt is a financial priority for the majority of Americans not just for the new year, but the new decade. In all, 56% are aiming to eliminating their debt  by 2030.

Additionally, 51% of Americans hope to buy a home this decade. Other popular financial resolutions for the ’20s include taking a dream vacation (40%), getting married (38%), and becoming financially independent (36%).

Overall, the survey, commissioned by Capital One, showed that seven out of ten respondents were optimistic they’d achieve their financial goals by 2030, and 44% have a specific financial goal in mind for 2020. Another 63% said they are “very confident” they’ll achieve their New Year’s financial resolutions in 2020.

Of those who have a 2020 financial resolution goal, 51% said they will be putting more money from their paychecks directly into savings. Also, 51% said they will cut back on eating out to save money. In a sign of the current cable-cutting culture, 40% plan on canceling some cable services, while 47% will cancel unnecessary subscription services eating up their disposable income.

On a sobering note, 22% said that they will need a miracle in order to achieve their financial goals this year. Short of divine intervention, additional ways Americans plan on improving their finances include aiming for a higher salary (40%), getting professional financial help (26%), and paying off all outstanding loans (47%). Another 29% said they need more self-control to achieve their financial goals.Of course, setting financial goals are easier than actually achieving them. Perhaps that’s why 26% said they would rather get a cavity filled than make a working budget for 2020.

When asked what factors have blocked them from achieving their financial goals in the past, the top response was medical expenses (46%). Others blamed unemployment (35%), family emergencies (22%), and car repairs (19%). Additionally, 16% said they have a poor credit history and 64% said they’re worried their credit score will prevent them from achieving their financial goals.

In a perfect world, respondents were asked what could be done to help them achieve their financial goals. The top five responses were as follows: having all loans paid off (47%), $10,000 cash (44%), a higher salary (40%), five extra years added to their financial timeline (38%), a new job (33%).

The survey was conducted by OnePoll.

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