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Top Financial Goals for 2008

Written by Nickel - 10 Comments

According to a recent CNN/Money poll, here are the most common finance-related New Year’s Resolutions

1. Pay down debt (33%)
2. Save for retirement (23%)
3. Build an emergency fund (11%)
4. Buy real estate (11%)

Other than saving for retirement, this list bears very little resemblance to my own list of financial goals for 2008.

For the sake of comparison, here are the results of a similar poll from last year:

1. Saving more (32%)
2. Paying down debt (25%)
3. Making more income (15%)
4. Spending less (13%)
5. Investing more (10%)
6. Saving for a large purchase (4%)
7. Don’t know (1%)

It’s interesting to note that paying down debt is a (slightly) more common goal this year as opposed to last.

Published on January 4th, 2008 - 10 Comments
Filed under: Miscellany

About the author: is the founder and editor-in-chief of this site. He's a thirty-something family man who has been writing about personal finance since 2005, and guess what? He's on Twitter!

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10 Responses to “Top Financial Goals for 2008”

  1. 1
    Cheapsterbob Says:

    I don’t have much personal debt outside of a couple of hundred bucks on my 0% AMEX blue cash account.

    So this year I’m concentrating on only one thing and that is creating multiple streams of income.

    With the current volatility in the market this should be a good challenge indeed. In the end I want to add real estate, silver and ETF’s tracking the Healthcare sector to my portfolio.

    Best wishes on your resolutions.

    Bob

  2. 2
    Lily Says:

    It’s also interesting to note that last year’s list doesn’t explicitly mention retirement (it’s probably lumped into “Saving more” or “Investing more”). Are more people coming to the realization that pensions and Social Security won’t necessarily be there for them?

  3. 3
    Frugal Dad Says:

    I think the list is indicative of what occurred in the finance world in 2007. The mortgage debacle, boomers hitting retirement age, and credit card rate hike scrutinizing by Congress all put things like paying down debt and saving for retirement in the forefront of Americans’ minds.

  4. 4
    NCN Says:

    Here’s what I think…
    I think that a LOT of people are in a LOT more debt than they are willing to admit…
    I’d wager that many folks don’t even know how much debt they have, and they’d be shocked when / if they added it all up…
    So many people live payment to payment… and if they can make the payment, they feel “ok”…
    It’s only when they take the time to add all those payments up that they go “oh my goodness”…
    If folks were forced to do a financial audit BEFORE these polls were taken, I’d bet that EVEN more of them would cite “debt reduction” as a number one goal…
    NCN

  5. 5
    Dan Says:

    I’d like to see a follow-up poll to see how many people feel they met their 2007 goals. I have to admit I didn’t achieve my 2007 financial goals.

  6. 6
    Cheapster Bob Says:

    Isn’t it convenient that Congress changed the bankruptcy laws a few years ago making it harder to file?

    It was almost like they knew the credit crunch was on the way.

    Naaahh….couldn’t be, not those ethical angels.

    Mr. Nickel your 8 percent CD ad is not a working Ad sense link. I had no interest in it but like to click on an ad or two when I visit the network.

    Cheers,

    Bob

  7. 7
    Lazy Man Says:

    I wonder if that means that people are more conscious of their debt or if they just have more debt to pay off.

  8. 8
    PT from Prime Time Money Says:

    @lazy man – i think it’s more debt to pay off. see this article which states:

    “SAN FRANCISCO – Americans are falling behind on their credit card payments at an alarming rate, sending delinquencies and defaults surging by double-digit percentages in the last year and prompting warnings of worse to come.

    An Associated Press analysis of financial data from the country’s largest card issuers also found that the greatest rise was among accounts more than 90 days in arrears.”

  9. 9
    JSB Says:

    I agree with NCN – people aren’t seeing the whole picture. They make the payment on the credit cards each month and that’s it. They feel good that they were able to make the payment. They don’t use Quicken to track spending and they don’t use budgets to allocate funds. If they did, debt reduction would be their top priority.

  10. 10
    ChristianPF Says:

    It is good to see that people actually want to get out of debt… There are way too many people who don’t mind being in debt and don’t really consider it an issue until they can’t afford the minimum payments – just the thought of that is scary…

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