UK least likely in Europe to make New Year’s financial resolution

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LONDON, England – Nearly half of people (44%) in Europe plan to begin 2016 with a financial goal, but in the UK, money resolutions may not be a priority.

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LONDON, England – Nearly half of people (44%) in Europe plan to begin 2016 with a financial goal, but in the UK, money resolutions may not be a priority.

The ING Special Report on Christmas and New Year, which surveyed almost 15,000 people across 15 countries, reveals that only one in four people in the UK (27%) are set to make a financial resolution in 2016 – with Germany (30%) and Austria (35%) following the UK in shunning financial goals[1] .

Interestingly though, while these three countries have the fewest people planning a money-focused resolution, those who do make one are among the most successful at sticking to their pledge. Those in Austria (68%), Germany (68%), and the UK (65%) score far higher than the average across Europe (52%).

In addition to showing a lack of interest in financial resolutions, generous UK consumers are actually likely to spend more on Christmas gifts than any other European nation[2]. Furthermore, with 15 percent willing to pay for the entire festivities on credit, UK shoppers are among the most likely to get into debt, only just behind those in Romania (16%).

Favourable conditions for UK consumers and optimism in the economy may have led to fewer resolutions around saving or reducing debt, with potentially fewer Brits feeling under pressure due to low inflation and increasing wages.

In contrast, the majority of people who are resolving to address their finances in 2016 can be found in Turkey (69%), Romania (56%) and France (50%).

For those making financial New Year’s resolutions, ‘saving more’ is the highest priority across the continent (41%), despite low interest rates, compared to reducing debt (27%) or controlling spending (27%), while five per cent have other key goals such as opening a business or buying a home.

Ian Bright, senior economist at ING, commented: “For many of us, New Year is a time when we reflect on certain aspects of our lives and have an opportunity to make a fresh start. It makes it a natural time for many people to think about how they manage their finances. However, about half of people across Europe report that they did not manage to keep the financial resolutions they made last year. There may be many reasons for this but given the difficulty many have in keeping financial resolutions, it may be a good idea to consider setting easier goals.”

ING European financial resolutions league

Percentage who Percentage who made
plan financial financial
resolutions for resolutions in
Country 2016 2015, and kept them

United Kingdom 27% 65%
Germany 30% 68%
Austria 35% 68%
Czech Republic 35% 55%
The Netherlands 36% 62%
Belgium 42% 52%
Poland 42% 49%
Spain 44% 44%
Italy 49% 45%
Luxembourg 49% 66%
France 50% 62%
Romania 56% 51%
Turkey 69% 43%
European average 44% 52%

[1] Figures represent the proportion of the population in each country who plan to make a financial resolution (a proportion of all respondents). These statistics do not appear in the ING Special Report on Christmas and New Year, only in the raw data

[2] Sample size for this question is 13,633 as Turkish consumers were not asked this question

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Editor in chief is Linda Hohnholz.