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It’s that time of year when we raise glasses of bubbly and resolutions are bountiful. And this year – more than exercise, punctuality or other typical New Year’s goals – we’re dedicating ourselves to fixing our money woes. A full 51% of Americans are specifically making financial resolutions for 2021, according to a new survey from MagnifyMoney — up from 47% a year ago. Whether it’s in spite of the pandemic or because of it, an entire nation is focusing on what’s in their wallets.

See: 72% of Americans Believe in a Better 2021 After a Year in Financial ‘Survival Mode’
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Among those planning a 2021 money resolution, about half said they want to reduce debt or become debt-free, according to a MagnifyMoney survey. Here’s the full list:

  • Reduce debt or becoming debt-free (50%)
  • Increase credit scores (46%)
  • Increase savings (45%)
  • Save for a specific purpose (38%)
  • Build an emergency fund (33%)
  • Stop living paycheck to paycheck (31%)
  • Get a higher paying job (29%)
  • Create a budget and stick to it (22%)
  • Donate more money to charity (13%)

New year’s resolution is to claim cashback on EVERYTHING. It’s one of those things I always forget about, but it’s essentially free money!

Segments of the population most likely to set a financial goal include six-figure earners (67%), college graduates (64%), millennials (62%) and men (55%). Among the generation groups, millennials (24 to 39 year olds) have the highest percentage (62%) of Americans planning to set a financial resolution for the upcoming year, followed by Gen Zers (18 to 23) and Gen Xers (40 to 54) at 58% and 55%, respectively, and with just 21% of baby boomers (55 to 74).

See: How I’m Sticking to a Budget and Spending Less During COVID-19
Explore: How Spending Money in These 10 Ways Will Actually Make You Happier

Of course, the pandemic and its continued economic effects are on everyone’s minds. According to the survey, 59% of those who will set a resolution cite the pandemic’s ongoing financial impact as the top factor preventing them from achieving that goal. Other factors that might hinder the achievement of these financial resolutions include: emergency expenses that may come up (37%); not making enough money (22%); and inconsistent income (18%).

My New Year’s resolution is to learn how to manage money and create new ideas which will make money work for me????????

— Simon _Says???????? (@Anthony_1876) December 24, 2020

According to the survey, Americans are optimistic about achieving their goals, with 48% of Americans thinking they’re extremely likely to achieve their 2021 resolution, and 42% thinking they’re somewhat likely. Interestingly, the survey notes the gender gap of this finding, with 60% of men saying they’re extremely likely, while only 37% of women said the same.

The survey also notes that 62% of those who set a 2020 resolution had to change it because of the pandemic — in large part due to changes in their job status: whether due to lay offs or being furloughed, or because of reduced salary or hours.

On the other hand, the survey also notes that 43% said the pandemic helped their ability to achieve their 2020 resolutions by saving more money through reduced spending, economic impact payments and enhanced unemployment benefits.

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