Personal Finance

2011 New Year’s Resolutions: Reduce Stress or Save Money?

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There’s no doubt that the recession has had caused many consumers to be more aware of their financial well-being, but it appears to have also influenced how consumers view “quality of life” over money.  A new study shows that consumers are less concerned about building their bank accounts in 2011, opting instead to reduce stress by having more fun or realizing. The results of TD Ameritrade’s annual New Year’s Resolution survey shows 65 percent of respondents said saving money was their top concern, while 67 percent said they plan to either “have more fun” or “relax/reduce stress.”

The shift from financial-related resolutions to focusing on overall health and happiness seems to indicate that more consumers are becoming more comfortable with their finances. However, respondents did have other reasons.  Only 39 percent of respondents said they are better off financially than they were last year however, 50 percent of participants said their health and well-being is simply more important to them.

The study also shows that Americans are more optimistic about the economic recovery. Fifty-five percent said that although their personal financial outlook is “uncertain,” they are optimistic the economy will rebound.

“When the recession was at its peak in 2008 and 2009, fear and uncertainty drove a lot of people to act on their financial plans,” TD Ameritrade Investment Products managing director Stuart Rubinstein said. “Today, we’re seeing a shift and while Americans are still striving to meet financial goals, they may feel confident enough in their financial standing to put relaxation and fun first in 2011.”

More Americans are taking strides to reduce debt, set budgets and improve their savings, as evidenced by reports from credit card lenders and consumer credit counselors who have seen their numbers swell. Financial professionals are encouraging Americans to continue improving their financial literacy to build strong money management skills.

For more information on budgeting and financial resolutions check out’s Ten Resolutions to Make Your Financial Life Easier.

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  • flash cards

    I am optimistic that the economy will recover in 2011. I am going to spend more time trying to learn something new to make myself more marketable and build my mind. In the past I always focused on my weight. Time to try something different. Thanks for the nice post.

  • Allison D. Ingram

    What a great article! For those with iPhones/iPads, there are many apps to get your act together: LifeTopix is my favorite, but there are many, many more. Give a good tool a chance to help you this year.

  • Taryn

    My number one new year resolution is still financially focused, spend less – save more. I’m very proud to say that I’m heading in the right direction this year. I cut my cell phone bill by more than half each month by switching to StraightTalk and ended up with better coverage and more minutes (unlmited) than before! Pretty psych about that! I’ve also begun to do a lot less dinning out and even started to pack lunches to work! Now, the next one is to lose 20 lbs, which is “a bit” harder to achieve!

  • kevin knight

    My resolutions are to set budgets,as the article touches on. With kids it’s a must! Specially on their cell phone usage. New yeear,new plan. Got them on the unlimited by Straight talk, only one I could find with no contract and web and text included,which is all they do! Comes with a bunch of other good perks,like carried on the Verizon network.Already seen savings,no activation fee. As for me,have to budget my groceries,gonna start cutting coupons–ahhhhh,that will proof to be harder than the cell for the kids!

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