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Money Management International reveals survey results and offers resources for accomplishing financial goals

The vast majority of Americans realize the importance of good financial habits and are resolving to improve their own in 2011. In fact, Money Management International’s (MMI) 2011 survey results show that 9 out of 10 Americans are determined to improve their finances in 2011.

When asked which financial resolutions survey participants planned on setting for 2011:

• 19 percent said save more;

• 19 percent said get out of or decrease debt;

• 20 percent replied make more money/get a job/start a business/sell property;

• 21 percent responded watch spending/manage money better/set a budget;

• 5 percent said they wanted to control or eliminate credit card use; and

• the remainder of survey participants said they either didn’t know what their 2011 resolutions were or that they weren’t making any.

Interestingly, financial resolutions have shifted since last year. In 2011, 7 percent more people resolved to watch their spending and 7 percent fewer people plan to beef up their savings as compared to financial resolutions from MMI’s 2010 study.

Turning your financial resolutions into an action plan

Which financial resolutions have you set for 2011? Are they aligned with the survey results?

Regardless of your financial focus in the New Year, resolutions are only beneficial if they are kept. If your financial goals seem unattainable, try breaking them down into a series of small, more manageable goals. Kim McGrigg, manager of community and media relations at MMI, offers this advice, “Remember to be specific when setting your financial goals. A goal like ‘manage my money better’ probably won’t get you far because it doesn’t really say anything. How are you going to manage your money better? Are you going to create a spending plan? Do you have a budget? Without the specifics, you’ll have a lot of trouble motivating yourself to pursue your goal.” McGrigg also suggests that you remind yourself of your goals on a regular basis. At the very least, you should write your goals down and post it them where you will see them every day.

Resources to help you succeed

Resolutions are normally spurred by a need to change, but change can be hard. If you’ve resolved to improve your financial situation, look for helpful resources, like free financial webinars or a weekly eNewsletter that offers frugal financial tips, to help you stay committed to your financial resolutions. Another valuable resource, New Beginnings: A Guide to Getting Your Finances in Order for the New Year, is a free downloadable eBook that speaks specifically to the topics of clearing clutter out of your life and achieving your financial goals.

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About Money Management International

Money Management International (MMI) is a nonprofit, full-service credit-counseling agency, providing confidential financial guidance, financial education, counseling and debt management assistance to consumers since 1958. MMI helps consumers trim their expenses, develop a spending plan and repay debts. Counseling is available by appointment in branch offices and 24/7 by telephone and Internet. Services are available in English or Spanish. To learn more, call 800.432.7310 or visit www.MoneyManagement.org.

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