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5 tips to manage your finances

By Marcie Geffner ·
Friday, December 27, 2013
Posted: 2 pm ET

A new survey has found that U.S. adults plan to better manage their finances in 2014.

The survey, "How America Buys and Borrows," was released by Wells Fargo, headquartered in San Francisco.

The survey found some consumers were practicing healthy financial habits. About 39 percent of respondents said they pay off their credit cards every month, 38 percent reported that they save for major purchases rather than rely on credit and 32 percent stated that they stick to a budget every month.

Boomers and Gen Xers were more likely to say they were actively reducing debt, while millennials more often said they were focusing on increasing savings.

Boomers were more likely to believe the economy was weak. Millennials had a more positive outlook about the future and were more likely to expect their current situation would improve. However, one-third of millennials were concerned about finding a stable job and paying off debt.

Saving for retirement was a big concern for both boomers and Gen Xers, with slightly more than 50 percent of each group saying retirement savings was their top financial concern.

In a statement, Gary Korotzer, executive vice president with Wells Fargo's Consumer Credit Solutions Group, said the bank wanted its customers to "take charge of their finances by understanding their current situation and their options."

With those findings in mind, Wells Fargo offered these five tips for 2014:

  • Develop a realistic budget that includes your income, expenses and savings.
  • Manage your cash flow and savings by tracking spending, paying down debt, saving for emergencies and not overspending.
  • Set financial goals, create a plan to reach those goals and be prepared to adjust the plan if life circumstances warrant a course correction.
  • Understand the real cost of debt, know your credit score and check your credit report for accuracy once per year.
  • Safeguard your personal information to help protect yourself from fraud and identity theft.

The survey of more than 2,000 U.S. adults age 18 or older was conducted online in September 2013. Age, gender, education and income were weighted to make the result more representative of the nation's population, Wells Fargo said.

Will you be paying down debt or increasing savings in 2014.

Follow me on Twitter: @marciegeff.


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1 Comment
December 28, 2013 at 11:25 am

If I could give one solid piece of advise to anybody, it would be to begin every new year with the focus on planning on your taxes. yes, it is important to have a solid savings plan in effect, but with the government "inventing" ways to pull your hard earned dollars at every turn, my focus has been to look for every tax break you can find. Planning to invest now for your 401 k for the following year early will allow you to keep as much money that you "earned".