Goldman Sachs Survey Reveals More Than Half Of Individuals Plan To Adjust Their 2023 Financial Goals Due To The Economic Environment

By Goldman Sachs Personal Financial Management

Despite Inflation, Findings Show Many Still Remain Optimistic About Their Financial Situations in the New Year

Amidst an uncertain economic environment, consumers kept an eye on their spending. The survey found that three-quarters (76%) of individuals surveyed limited their spending to save money leading up to this holiday season. Nearly half of individuals surveyed (47%) limited their spending on dining out, 36% limited their spending on entertainment, 35% limited their spending on shopping, and 32% limited their spending on travel.

Even with cutting back on spending, 32% of individuals surveyed plan to dip into their savings to pay for their holiday spending this year, with younger generations more likely to do so. Thirty-seven percent of Gen Z respondents and 34% of millennials plan to dip into their savings to pay for their holiday spending this year compared to 32% of Gen X and 30% of boomer respondents.

The inflationary environment has also altered how people shop for gifts this year. According to the survey, more than half (54%) of individuals surveyed expect inflation to cause them to buy less expensive gifts this year, and 40% expect it will result in them buying gifts for fewer people. Nearly six in 10 (57%) respondents also plan to set a spending limit for their significant other’s holiday gifts this year due to inflation.

“Inflation has driven up the cost of nearly everything and is having an impact on how much people are able or willing to spend, and holiday shopping is no exception,” said Jennifer Huisking, Vice President at Goldman Sachs Personal Financial Management. “It is important to have a well-established and comprehensive financial plan that accounts for shifting market conditions and unexpected costs so that there less of a reason to utilize any of your savings to make purchases during the holiday season.”

An Optimistic Outlook for 2023

Despite inflation impacting how people approach spending this holiday season, individuals are still optimistic about their finances next year. Forty-five percent of individuals surveyed expect their financial situation will be better in 2023, while 39% expect it to be the same. Out of all the generations, Gen Z is feeling the most confident, as 77% of Gen Z respondents expect their financial situation will be better in 2023 compared to 54% of millennials, 45% of Gen X, and 28% of boomers.

And what is causing them to feel confident? It turns out the confidence stems from prioritizing saving in the new year. Of those individuals surveyed who expect their financial situation will be better in 2023, almost four in ten (39%) think so because they’re focusing more on saving.

While in 2022, less than one-third (30%) of those surveyed said they grew their savings, over half (55%) of respondents want to focus on growing their savings in the new year. To help keep them on track, nearly half (48%) plan to make a New Year’s resolution that will help them save money.

Investing in the New Year Appealing to Some, But Not the Majority

In 2022, 14% of individuals surveyed said they started investing, and 14% of respondents said they grew their investments, with younger generations at the helm. Nineteen percent of Gen Z and 19% of millennials surveyed said they grew their investments in 2022 compared to 12% of Gen X and 10% of boomers.

While many are prioritizing saving money in the new year, investing is less of a focus. Only seventeen percent of individuals surveyed want to focus on starting to invest in the new year. Furthermore, just one-fifth (20%) of respondents want to focus on growing their existing investments in the new year, with Gen X (22%) and millennials (22%) making it slightly more of a priority than boomers (20%) and Gen Z (18%).

And when it comes to retirement, 15%  of individuals surveyed want to focus on contributing to a retirement account in the new year, particularly Gen X (19%) respondents who cite it as more of a focus compared to millennials (17%), Gen Z (14%) and boomers (13%).

“Although many people may find investing intimidating and avoid it altogether, it is crucial to think beyond just contributing to a traditional savings account if you want to continue to grow your wealth, particularly in an economic environment like we are in right now,” said Joe Duran, Co-Head of Goldman Sachs Workplace and Personal Wealth. “Contributing to an employer-sponsored 401(k), especially if your company matches, is also a good introduction to the world of investing and an easy way to maximize your savings.”

Consumers Are Revisiting Their Financial Plan in the New Year

Although there is optimism for next year, consumers are still cautious and reacting to the current environment accordingly, particularly younger generations. Fifty-nine percent of individuals surveyed plan to adjust their 2023 financial goals due to the economic environment, with eight in ten Gen Z (81%) respondents planning to adjust their 2023 financial goals compared to 66% of millennials, 65% of Gen X, and 41% of boomers.

In addition to adjusting their financials goals, over three-quarters (78%) of individuals surveyed plan to limit their spending in 2023 due to the economic environment, with Gen Z (84%) and Gen X (83%) more likely to limit spending compared to millennials (75%) and boomers (75%).

In terms of how they plan to limit their spending, 70% plan to cut back spending on dining out, 58% plan to cut back spending on shopping, 55% plan to cut back spending on entertainment, 50% plan to cut back spending on travel and16% plan to cut back spending on health and fitness.

“The turn of the year is a great time to reevaluate your financial plan. A financial plan helps you prioritize based on your goals now and in the long term,” said Duran. “A financial advisor looks at your full financial picture and helps you understand how to adapt and change based on your circumstances. A good advisor can also help you chart a spending plan so that you don’t need to compromise on what is important to you, whether reaching your retirement goals faster or even purchasing gifts for loved ones during the holidays.”

Methodology

The holiday survey was conducted in the U.S. by Goldman Sachs and Qualtrics Experience Management in October 2022 among 2,418 individuals across generations (Baby Boomers, Generation X, Millennials and Generation Z).

Click here to view the full list of results.

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Goldman Sachs Personal Financial Management

United Capital Financial Advisers, LLC d/b/a Goldman Sachs Personal Financial Management (“GS PFM”) is a registered investment adviser and an affiliate of Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC and subsidiary of The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc., a worldwide, full-service investment banking, broker-dealer, asset management, and financial services organization.

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