The national recession caused a lot of fiscal problems for millions of people across the country, and even as the economy continues to recover, some are still being cautious about how they handle their money and their credit card debt. However, many are also optimistic that the country will be in better financial shape in 2011.
Consumers seem to be more optimistic about their financial futures, according to a new poll conducted by the Principal Financial Group. Of those polled, 40 percent of workers and 39 percent of retirees believe the economy in general will improve in some way over the next year. Further, both groups believe this recovery will be significant compared to what was observed by the end of the third quarter this year. In addition, the number of workers who said they were "extremely happy" about their current financial situation, including credit card debt, jumped to 31 percent from just 19 percent in the previous quarter.
"We are seeing some confidence return as Americans are starting to feel better about their finances and the economy, which is resulting in some positive behavior for long-term savings," said Luke Vandermillen, vice president of retirement and investor services at Principal Financial. While the road may still be bumpy, many Americans are taking personal responsibility to improve both their short and long term financial well-being."
When asked about their New Year's resolutions, 35 percent of workers said they would pay off more of their credit card debt in the coming year, the study found. Another 30 percent said they wanted to put more money into savings every month.
Among retirees, the most popular resolution was finding a way to better budget their money, and 17 percent want to reduce their total credit card debt, the report said. The third-most popular option was saving more money.
However, many consumers polled still expressed concern over their holiday budgets. Because of the economy, 41 percent of workers and 39 percent of retirees say they will spend less per gift this season. In addition, some will also travel less.
Many consumers have dealt with their credit card debt recently by both reducing the amount they spend on these accounts and increasing the total of their monthly payments.