Survey: Not saving enough was biggest financial regret of 2016

Paying off debt tops list of 2017 financial resolutions


Paying off debt tops list of 2017 financial resolutions

Not saving enough money during 2016 was the biggest financial regret reported by respondents in a survey conducted by Student Loan Hero.

In the second-annual Financial Regrets and Resolutions survey, 34 respondents reported regretting not saving more money during the year – slightly less than the 35 percent who reported the same regret the year before. The second most common regret was “didn’t pay off as much debt as I wanted” (25 percent).

Looking ahead to 2017, the most popular financial resolution was to pay off that debt (30 percent), while 18 percent of respondents hope to “build an emergency fund.”

Interestingly, the number of respondents who reported having no financial resolutions increased over the previous year, with more than one-third of respondents saying that they would not set a money-related resolution for the year.

“With another increase in average student loan debt for college graduates in 2016, it’s no surprise many Americans are still struggling to save money and pay off debt,” Student Loan Hero CEO Andrew Josuweit said. “I’m alarmed that fewer Americans plan to make a financial resolution for 2017, but encouraged by the 30 percent of Americans pledging to pay off more debt next year.”

Key Findings

  • The biggest financial regret in both 2015 and 2016 was not saving/investing as much as desired (35 percent and 34 percent, respectively).
  • The second-biggest financial regret both years was “didn’t pay off as much debt as I wanted” at 22 percent of respondents in 2015 and 25 percent in 2016.
  • For 2016, those aged 18-24 were more likely to regret frivolous spending (23 percent) than those in other age groups.
  • 18- to 24-year-olds were also most likely to regret not saving or investing as much as they wanted (32 percent).
  • 36 percent of respondents don’t have a financial resolution for 2017, up from 23 percent last year.
  • 55 percent of respondents who said they don’t have a financial resolution are aged 65 or older.
  • The most popular financial resolution in both 2015 and 2016 was “pay off debt” (35 percent and 30 percent, respectively).
  • “Build an emergency fund” was the second-most popular financial resolution for this year. In 2015, it was “save for retirement.”