Americans are more focused on their waistlines than their bottom line

Millennials, of all the generations, are the only ones to favor financial goals over health goals

Sabrina Karl
Personal Finance Writer
Data whiz and visual storyteller



The two most common goals Americans set for themselves each year revolve around improving their health and boosting their finances. And at least right now, we are prioritizing our waistlines over our bottom lines. 

A TD Bank survey released in May asked U.S. adults which goals or resolutions they had established for 2018, and 3 out of 4 (75 percent) reported having one or more health-related goals. In comparison, only 67 percent said they have at least one financial focus. 

As for their specific goals for the year, the three most commonly cited were all about getting healthier: eating better (54 percent of adults), getting in shape and staying fit (46 percent), and losing weight (43 percent). 

Rounding out the top five were the financial goals of saving more and spending less (39 percent) and paying off debt (35 percent). 

The balance differed between genders. While women respondents were significantly more likely to have health goals than financial goals (78 percent vs. 63 percent), for men the two categories were even, at 71 percent. 

Across generations, millennials were the most focused on financial goals (79 percent) and were the only generation of the three (Generation X, boomers and millennials) to tip the focus toward finances. Gen X and boomers lean significantly toward health goals. 

TD Bank’s online survey was conducted by MARU/Matchbox among a nationally representative sample of 1,091 U.S. consumers who have set a new goal or resolution for themselves in 2018. Responses were gathered in January 2018, and the findings were released May 22, 2018.

Americans are more focused on their waistlines than their bottom lines

See related: 9 baby steps that lead to big financial goalsCharged Up! podcast: How to make financial resolutions stick, More infographics


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Updated: 08-15-2018