Increase Retirement Savings on the List of New Year’s Resolutions

December 21, 2011 ( – Most U.S. adults have at least one financial New Year's resolution.

When asked what their number one financial resolution would be for 2012, in a survey from, respondents listed: 

  • Accelerate paying off my debt, 
  • Be less wasteful when buying groceries, 
  • Buy store brands instead of name brands to save money, 
  • Try to get promoted, 
  • Get on track with making student loan payments, 
  • Save for a down payment on a house, 
  • Increase my retirement savings, 
  • Move to a more affordable apartment, 
  • Pay my credit card balance off each month, 
  • Plan shopping trips well to save gas and time, 
  • Cut back on unnecessary purchases of clothes, shoes and handbags, and 
  • Use more coupons when shopping. 

Thirty-seven percent of U.S. adults surveyed said they feel less financially secure than they did at the beginning of 2011, while 43% said they are neither more or less financially secure. More than one-in-five (21%) said when they look back at the start of 2011, they feel more financially secure this year.  

Nearly four-in-10 (39%) respondents said they plan to overhaul their finances in 2012. When it comes to how they will do the overhauling, three-in-four (77%) said they plan to cut back on unnecessary expenses.   

In addition, they plan to: 

  • Cut back on “extras” (e.g., eating out, going to the movies) – 62%, 
  • Set a budget and stick to it – 54%, 
  • Use coupons – 54%, 
  • Plan payments to get out of debt – 40%, 
  • Make investments (e.g., stock market, mutual funds) – 21%, 
  • See a financial adviser – 8%, and 
  • Open a savings account – 7%. 

The survey was conducted online nationwide by Harris Interactive on behalf of from November 14-16, 2011, among 2,207 U.S. adults ages 18 and older.