The survey found millennials more optimistic for 2023, with 44% expecting their financial situation to improve, compared with 25% of Gen Xers and 16% of boomers. Gen Xers were more likely than either boomers or millennials to say their financial situation had worsened over the last year.
Resolving to Write a Financial Plan
On a brighter note, fewer participants in this year’s survey said they have fallen into bad habits this year. Spending too much, for instance, is trending downward, from 32% who owned up to this in 2020, to 28% in 2021 and to 26% this year.
Still, 17% admitted that their worst financial habit is spending more than they make, and 15% said they have no household budget.
Despite worries around their finances this, more respondents said they expect to make and keep New Year’s resolutions to manage money better and save more. Thirty-two percent ranked financial stability as their top focus area for next year, up from 23% in 2020.
Eighteen percent of participants included financial planning as a New Year’s resolution for 2023. Allianz Life noted that this is up from recent years, but not as high as post-recession years 2009 and 2010, when 33% said they would include financial planning in their resolutions.
Here are the top ways respondents said they want to improve their finances:
- Build up an emergency fund: 21%
- Pay-down credit cards: 17%
- Increase retirement savings: 14%
- Make a budget: 12%
“Everyone should have a written financial plan,” LaVigne said. “This is especially true for anyone who wants to reduce their financial stress and feel more in control of their money. It helps to have a documented strategy for your money — particularly one developed with the help of a financial professional — to review when you’re feeling financially overwhelmed.”
The survey found that 33% of Americans are more likely to seek out advice from a financial professional in 2023, compared with 22% in 2021.
Fifty-three percent of respondents said they are likely to start or continue to search for a new job in 2023. Forty-two percent of job-searchers said salary or low pay for their skillset is the main reason. Twenty-six percent cited lack of opportunity to advance their career in their current job, 25% blamed lack of flexibility to work when or where they want, and 25% cited toxic company culture or workplace.