With cost of living pressures top of mind, new CommBank research revealed 93% of Australians have a financial goal for 2023.

Of those, the most common resolutions included reducing expenses, 51%; spending less on non-essential items, 50%; saving more regularly, 41%; and finding ways to earn extra income, 41%. 

CommBank Chief Behavioural Scientist Will Mailer said any time of the year could be a good time to start a new financial goal, yet research shows dates like January are most popular for a ‘fresh start.’

“It’s that time of year when millions of Aussies will make New Year’s resolutions to get on top of their money, get in shape, or to live a greener lifestyle,” Mr Mailer said.

“Sadly, we also know that a huge number of these resolutions won’t make it to February, as statistics historically show that many of us fall back into old habits in the first weeks of the year.

“We are certainly seeing demand for tools and services that help people to more consistently follow through on financial goals.”

Similarly, new NAB data across a survey of 2,000 Australians found 26% of Aussies will place finances at the top of their 2023 wish lists ahead of travel plans, while 17% will prioritise finances over weight loss or cutting down on social media.

To achieve financial wellbeing in 2023, 41% of Aussies said eating out would be the first expense to be be sacrificed, while 40% also indicated keeping up with the latest fashion will remain on the backburner throughout the year. 

NAB data showcased women are more willing to reduce spending behaviours than men across dining (45% vs 37%), fashion and clothes (44% vs 35%) and major household items (36% vs 30%).

NAB Executive Everyday Banking Paul Riley said the research reinforced just how much finance was top of mind for many Australians entering the new year.

“It’s no surprise many people are willing to put other traditional new year resolutions aside to prioritise getting to grips with their money,” Mr Riley said.

“Many of our customers are telling us they’re making changes given the current cost pressures.”

Mr Riley noted young Aussies in particular were taking a proactive approach to their finances in the new year. 

“About 30% of people aged 18 to 29 say they’d sacrifice travel to get on top of their money in 2023, while about 26% say it’s more important than reducing time on social media,” he said.

“This is particularly interesting given millennials and Gen Zers are digital natives who are often very driven by experiences like travel.

“They’re also willing to give up or reduce things they’d normally spend money on to achieve those financial goals in 2023. Eating out, clothes, and alcohol top that list.”

To help Aussies familiarise themselves with their financial situation, NAB has partnered with a leading Australian psychotherapist to launch ‘Money Mondays Guide' encouraging couples to take time out of their daily lives on one Monday per month to talk about the current state of their spending and savings habits.

See Also: How to have the uncomfortable money conversation with your partner


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