All of us are in different financial positions and have different priorities. But the chances are that, despite this, you have a lot of financial goals in common with your fellow Americans. In this blog, we’re going to take a look at a few of the top financial goals that Americans want to achieve – in 2020 and beyond!
- Saving More Money
Saving more money is the top priority for young Americans. A study published in 2019 by Go Banking Rates showed that about 25% of people between the ages of 18-24 wanted to save money for a major life event or an emergency fund, while this percentage was about 15% for those between the age of 45-54.
- Paying Off Student Debt & Other Loans
Many Americans feel that debt is the “biggest roadblock” to reaching their financial goals. Indeed, paying down debt was the top overall financial goal in 2020 across all demographic and age ranges.
Younger Americans have the highest student loan debt, owing around $32,000 on average.
However, those between the ages of 45-54 have the highest debt total, around $134,600.
- Cutting Unnecessary Expenses Each Month
About 24% of Americans have said that they want to “spend less” each month in order to save money and pay down debt.
There are a number of ways to spend less money each month, including going out to eat less, learning to cook, buying used items and clothes, and canceling unnecessary monthly services like Netflix, or changing insurance providers and utility providers.
- Building (And Sticking To) A Monthly Budget
In many online surveys and reports, surveyed individuals have responded that they want to build a monthly household budget that will help them track where their money is going, and work toward a better financial future.
In fact, it could be argued that budgeting is essential for almost every goal on this list, from spending less and saving more to paying debt down quickly, saving for retirement, and more.
Unfortunately, the idea of budgeting still seems unapproachable for many people. In fact, 26% of people said they’d rather visit the dentist to have a cavity filled than sit down and make a monthly budget. Ouch!
- Improving A Credit Score
About 10% of people in the previously mentioned Go Banking Rates have “improving their credit score” as their #1 financial goal in 2020 and beyond. This is a great goal to have – particularly for younger people.
The demographic that chose this as their #1 priority the most frequently was 25-34, with over 15% of surveyed individuals responding that this was their #1 priority. This makes sense given that this is the age when many people buy their first house or make other large investments in vehicles or take out other installment loans.
As time goes on, this priority becomes much lower. Only about 2.4% of people between the age of 55-64 chose “improving credit” as their #1 goal.
- Saving Money for Retirement/Financial Independence
A survey has found that 19% of people rank “having enough money to retire” as their #1 financial priority. Unfortunately, however, the same survey found that only 39% of people believed that they would be able to attain this goal before reaching retirement age.
This lack of confidence grows with age. 15% of people between 35-44 believe they won’t be able to retire, while this grows to 30% between the ages of 45-54, and to 52% for those who are over the age of 54.
To ensure you have enough money to retire and be financially independent, it’s very important to begin saving for retirement early. The sooner you invest in retirement, the more quickly compound interest can work its magic – and the money you invest now will be worth much more in the future.
What Are Your Own Financial Goals? Set A Target and Start Working Toward It!
As you can see there are a lot of different priorities for Americans – and they can vary quite a bit based on your age, demographics, and other factors.
So, whether you’re a millennial looking to pay off college debt, a new parent looking to save and purchase a home, or Gen X’er or Baby Boomer looking to save more for retirement, you’re not alone. Plenty of people share the same goals.
And the best time to start reaching your goals is now! Think through your personal finances, set a goal (or two) for yourself, and start taking the steps to reach it. No matter what your goal may be, prudent management of your personal finances can help you achieve it!