Looking ahead to the New Year, more than a third of Americans (36%) believe another major recession may be in the cards for 2018, according to the ninth annual New Year’s Resolution Survey compiled by the Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America.
Yet the firm’s online poll, which yielded 1,004 responses, also found that Americans were still more optimistic about making money in the near future (39%) versus pessimistic about losing money (23%). That level of optimism is an increase from the 32% recorded by Allianz’s 2016 survey.
With that outlook in mind, Americans plan to focus more on their financial stability (71%) than health/wellness (67%) in the New Year, with 42% including “manage better/save more” in their New Year’s resolutions for 2018, which is up over the 37% reported in 2016.
“While Americans are concerned about the future state of the economy, the silver lining is they want to take action and control of their own financial fate,” said Paul Kelash, Allianz’s vice president of consumer insights, in a statement. “Even though one-third worry about a potential recession, optimism still rules the day.”
When asked about what they would do to improve their finances in 2018, Americans first want to build an emergency fund. This was followed by paying down credit cards, making a budget, and increasing retirement savings.
However, respondents also admitted to having some financial hurdles to overcome in the survey, with the worst financial habit “spending too much money on things I don’t need” (32%), which was the highest percentage reported since 2012.
Other bad financial habits include: “not saving any money” (29%), “saving some money, but not as much as I could,” (24%) and “not paying down debt fast enough” (23%).
“The start of a New Year is an ideal time to take action and develop a financial strategy for both short- and long-term goals,” added Kelash. “Attaining financial stability should remain top of mind, no matter what the economy has in store for 2018.”