One in three Americans struggles financially, but goal-setting is a game-changerIn a new report, Lincoln Financial recommends three specific goals to help consumers turn their finances around in the months ahead.
Radnor, Pa., Feb. 1, 2023 – Many consumers are feeling financial strain after a challenging economic year in 2022. One in three Americans say they are struggling to get by or are in trouble financially, according to Lincoln Financial Group’s Consumer Sentiment Tracker. The study also found that people aren’t necessarily seeing any relief in sight, with 76% believing factors like inflation, market volatility and debt will worsen.
However, there are a few bright spots. Those who had specific financial goals last year were two to three times more likely to say various aspects of their personal finances improved. They were also three times more likely to say they did a great job on their overall financial wellness last year and twice as likely to be optimistic about their finances in 2023. So where should consumers start in creating and reaching their own financial goals?
“Lincoln’s research underscores the importance of taking a definitive approach,” said Ed Walters, senior vice president, Lincoln Financial Network, the wealth management arm of Lincoln Financial Group. “While financial goals don’t need to be complicated, you should be able to easily track and monitor your progress. Consumers’ wallets are stretched thin with many competing financial priorities, so now is a great time to get back to the basics.”
Lincoln Financial Group recommends consumers set these three goals to help turn their finances around in the months ahead:
1.) Develop and stick to a budget. Keep it simple. Start with fixed expenses like mortgage, rent, savings and car payments, then move to the more flexible expenses like groceries and entertainment. Instead of establishing a fixed amount, consumers should bucket the flexible expenses together and adjust how money is allocated on a monthly basis to address needs and plans for that month. Tap into budgeting calculators and other expense management tools.
2.) Save some money from every paycheck. With a simple budget in place, take a few minutes to review those monthly expenses, from mortgage and car payments to morning coffee. Cutting a little bit here and there may reveal extra money to set aside. Those funds can be put toward an emergency savings account, employer-sponsored retirement plan or college fund, or be used to prioritize investments. Consumers will be surprised how quickly a little bit adds up over time.
3.) Work with a financial professional. Lincoln’s study found consumers who are advised by financial professionals are more successful in meeting their goals. A financial professional can help tailor a holistic plan to one’s specific needs, as well as provide education about various insurance and retirement solutions.
“It’s important that you’re honest with yourself about where you are financially and what your goals are,” said Walters. “With a little discipline, knowledge and guidance, you can have a strong financial year and see long-lasting results.”
Visit www.lfg.com for more tools and resources.
Consumer Sentiment Tracker 2022 Methodology
The goal of this research is to gauge consumer sentiment on a variety of financial topics. Data was collected in March, April, May, June, July, September, October, and November 2022 using the Qualtrics survey platform. Responses were collected from a total of 1000+ U.S. adults each month. The sample included quotas to be representative of the total U.S. adult population.
About Lincoln Financial Group
Lincoln Financial Group provides advice and solutions that help people take charge of their financial lives with confidence and optimism. Today, approximately 16 million customers trust our retirement, insurance and wealth protection expertise to help address their lifestyle, savings and income goals, and guard against long-term care expenses. Headquartered in Radnor, Pennsylvania, Lincoln Financial Group is the marketing name for Lincoln National Corporation (NYSE:LNC) and its affiliates. The company had $270 billion in end-of-period account values as of September 30, 2022. Lincoln Financial Group is a committed corporate citizen included on major sustainability indices including the Dow Jones Sustainability Index North America and FTSE4Good and ranks among Newsweek’s Most Responsible Companies. Dedicated to diversity, equity and inclusion, we are included on transparency benchmarking tools such as the Corporate Equality Index, the Disability Equality Index and the Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index. Committed to providing our employees with flexible work arrangements, we were named to FlexJobs’ list of the Top 100 Companies to Watch for Remote Jobs in 2022. With a long and rich legacy of acting ethically, telling the truth and speaking up for what is right, Lincoln was recognized as one of Ethisphere’s 2022 World’s Most Ethical Companies®. We create opportunities for early career talent through our intern development program, which ranks among WayUp and Yello’s annual list of Top 100 Internship Programs. Learn more at: www.LincolnFinancial.com. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. Sign up for email alerts at http://newsroom.lfg.com.