It’s nearly that time again—time to make promises to yourself for what you’ll accomplish in the next 12 months. About one in four people (27%) intend to make a financial resolution for 2018, according to a recent study from Fidelity Investments, down from 43% who considered making a money resolution for 2014.

“Financial resolutions are on the decline because many people are feeling better about their personal financial situation and are generally optimistic about what 2018 will bring,” said Ken Hevert, senior vice president of retirement at Fidelity, in the press release. Indeed, 47% of respondents feel they’re in a better financial situation this year, and 76% predict they’ll be better off financially in 2018.

Of those who are engaging in financial resolutions, top picks are saving more (55%), paying down debt (25%) and spending less (18%). But more than half (57%) are concerned about unexpected expenses, and 53% are worried about rising health care costs.


Successfully making and keeping a financial resolution takes commitment, but here are a few people whose promises worked out for them:

Bump up retirement savings

“I made a financial resolution in my mid-30s to save 22% of my gross income until retirement. That seemed to be a very daunting task at first, but as my income grew, I simply restrained my spending and maintained my lifestyle at the current level, and it became much easier to accomplish. By the time I retired, I was saving half my gross income.” –William Worsley, 66, Arlington, VA

“I made a resolution to increase my contribution to my 401(k) every time I received a raise in salary. I vowed to at least split it in half, keeping half, the other went into my 401(k). Within a few years, I was contributing the maximum of 15%.” –Dan Shube, 60, Palm City, FL

“I decided my resolution would be to get to the point where I could max out my Roth IRA. I knew I couldn’t get there in one month. So, I started by finding an extra $40…