New Year, Same Money? 

The New Year is upon us and resolutions are in full swing. While some have weight goals, travel aspirations or hopes of finding love, securing the bag is a universal concept and setting financial goals in the New Year can help set the precedent for financial freedom for years to come. However for some families the concept of saving money is not the issue rather having the money to save is. Michigan organizations are stepping in to continue the fight towards economic freedom and financial mobility in 2022.  


For those who have been working steadily on their financial goals throughout 2021, transitioning into 2022 may not seem daunting. However, it can be easy to get caught in the financial pitfalls of the holiday season forcing a financial recovery into the new year. As the year closes out, it becomes increasingly important to revisit financial goals and plans established for 2021 and determine how they can be best used for 2022.  


Having a savings account, minimizing expenses, creating a budget and even purchasing a piggy bank are simple methods on the road to financial success. Advisors can also help families get on the right path to financial wellness. 


Families who are struggling to make ends meet may not have the means to hire a financial planner or additional funds to store for a rainy day. Low income families have been the hardest hit during the economic fallout of 2021. While some programs extended during the coronavirus pandemic are set to expire at the top of the year, the State is stepping in to continue to provide financial assistance to families who are having a hard time.  


The Michigan Poverty Task Force has been able to assist families through several measures including increasing eligibility for child care services, expanding school breakfasts and after school program and investing $2.5 million to further the MI Tri-Share Child Care program, allowing parents, employers and the State to split the cost of child care. These initiatives and more have helped families find a silver lining in their financial situations.  


“Michigan Poverty Task Force has made significant progress in accomplishing our recommendations to ensure every Michigander has access to economic opportunity and prosperity,” said Kim Trent, deputy director of prosperity, Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO). “This team has been focused on the key issues that will have the most impact on struggling families, and working hard together to move the recommendations and Michiganders forward.” 


The pandemic has caused a ripple effect across several industries causing shortages and rising costs for goods. Heading into 2022, inflation is expected to continue to rise as a direct response to the pandemic. Fidelity, a financial institution, released their 2022 Financial Resolutions Study showing a top concern for consumers is the rising cost of inflation. The annual report measures how individuals feel about their finances heading into a new year. The study explores thoughts and perceptions around making New Year financial resolutions.  


The 13th Annual New Year’s Financial Resolutions Study surveyed just over 3,000 adults, 18 years of age and older. Results highlight Americans’ concern for rising inflation and how it will affect their day-to-day lives and wallets. However, despite their concern, Americans are feeling generally optimistic about 2022.  


“The country has been through a seemingly unrelenting roller coaster over the past two years, so it’s encouraging to see people feeling more hopeful about the coming year and placing a priority on themselves,” said Stacey Watson, senior vice president of life event planning for Fidelity Investments in a statement. “This study confirms that actions taken at the start of the pandemic, such as budgeting better and replenishing that emergency savings fund, are becoming permanent habits for many. Americans are connecting their new perspective on well-being to the way they approach their finances, and as a result becoming more thoughtful about saving and spending.” 


The study finds 68 percent of Americans are considering implementing a financial resolution this year. Additional concerns are unexpected expenses and the overall effect of COVID on the economy. With 70 percent of participants actively making a financial resolution, consumers are remaining cautiously optimistic for their financial goals into 2022.  




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