Over 90% of Australians have Set Financial Goals for 2023, CommBank Research Reveals

As new CommBank research reveals top financial New Year’s resolutions for Australians, CBA’s Chief Behavioral Scientist explains “some practical strategies to help achieve New Year’s goals.”

With cost of living pressures top of mind, new consumer research released by Commonwealth Bank reveals Australians are “looking to reduce expenses, increase savings and lift their incomes as part of their New Year’s resolutions.”

The research highlighted:

  • 9 in 10 (93 per cent) Australians have a financial goal for the New Year
  • 1 in 2 (51 per cent) say their top financial goal is to reduce living costs and expenses
  • 1 in 2 (50 per cent) want to spend less on non-essential items
  • 4 in 10 (41 per cent) wish they were more disciplined to save more regularly
  • 4 in 10 (41 per cent) want to find ways to earn extra income

CBA Chief Behavioral Scientist, Will Mailer, said:

“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. 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.”

Mr Mailer said CBA’s Behavioral Science team is constantly “analyzing data, working with research partners and developing new tools and services to help customers achieve their financial goals.”

The CommBank app now “includes a range of services to help with feedback on spending (Transaction Notifications), cap spending (Lock, Block and Limit), set and pursue goals (Goal Tracker), find unclaimed money (Benefits Finder) and see what bills are around the corner (Bill Sense), and noted some strong results had been achieved through the Bank’s Goal Tracker savings tool.”

Mr Mailer said:

“Behavioral scientists have spent decades looking at why we so often plan to make lifestyle improvements, only to then overspend on the weekend and skip our gym visit. These insights help us to set up strategies that will increase the likelihood that those health, wealth and professional goals actually become regular behaviours and stick over time.”

He continued:

“We are certainly seeing demand for tools and services that help people to more consistently follow through on financial goals. New data2 from our CommBank app shows the number of new goals created via Goal Tracker in 2022 was 30 per cent higher than 2021. Critically, the data also tells us that 8 in every 10 of those saving goals was achieved.”

Mr Mailer said any time of the year “could be a good time to set a new financial goal, but behavioral science research shows that ‘fresh start’ dates like January are among the most popular periods.”

Chief Behavioral Scientist Will Mailer commented:

“One of the mistakes we make is to be too vague in our resolutions. Saying we want to ‘get in shape’ or ‘get on top of our money’ is very hard for us to track, and does not provide a good starting point. Break down big goals into the one or two very specific behaviours that you will need to change. This might be saving a certain per cent of your pay each payday or to limit online shopping to a set day each week, with a nominated weekly spend limit. Where possible set up ways to track and measure these behaviours over time.”

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