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  • Written By
    Jennifer Schell

    Jennifer Schell

    Financial Writer

    Jennifer Schell is a professional writer focused on demystifying annuities and other financial topics including banking, financial advising and insurance. She is proud to be a member of the National Association for Fixed Annuities (NAFA) as well as the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA).

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    Savannah Hanson
    Savannah Hanson, financial editor for

    Savannah Hanson

    Senior Financial Editor

    Savannah Hanson is an accomplished writer, editor and content marketer. She joined as a financial editor in 2021 and uses her passion for educating readers on complex topics to guide visitors toward the path of financial literacy.

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  • Published: September 14, 2022
  • 3 min read time
  • This page features 3 Cited Research Articles
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APA Schell, J. (2022, November 21). Survey: Becoming Debt Free Is Most Common End-of-Year Personal Finance Priority. Retrieved June 10, 2023, from

MLA Schell, Jennifer. "Survey: Becoming Debt Free Is Most Common End-of-Year Personal Finance Priority.", 21 Nov 2022,

Chicago Schell, Jennifer. "Survey: Becoming Debt Free Is Most Common End-of-Year Personal Finance Priority." Last modified November 21, 2022.

A new survey examined which financial habits Americans were most interested in starting before 2022 comes to a close.

The survey asked 300 participants, “What’s the one personal finance habit you want to start by the end of 2022?” Respondents could choose from four common financial priorities: opening an investment account, starting an emergency fund, creating a monthly budget or becoming debt-free.

Survey Results

The most popular answer, chosen by 29% of surveyed respondents, was becoming debt-free. With household debt increasing to over $16 trillion in the second quarter of 2022, it’s clear to see why so many Americans are prioritizing debt relief.

The second most popular financial habit respondents hoped to accomplish before the year is over was starting an emergency fund, which was chosen by 21% of participants, while 13% of respondents selected creating a monthly budget as their top choice. Both habits are cornerstones of financial wellness, as they help you understand where your money is going and save up for unexpected expenses.

Another 10% of survey participants said they wanted to open an investment account in 2022. Investing can help safeguard your financial future by growing your wealth faster than inflation increases. The earlier you invest, the more time your investment will have to grow.

Finally, 27% of respondents showed they had another financial habit in mind or that they weren’t sure what to choose.

Developing Habits of Financially Successful People

When you’re ready to begin your debt relief journey, start by figuring out where you stand.

“The first step I would recommend you take if you’re trying to get out of debt is really assessing the situation,” said Gerri Detweiler, a credit and debt relief expert and educator who spoke to “Over the years, I’ve talked to many people and they really don’t know for sure how much they owe or what they’re paying in terms of interest rates or total monthly payments.”

But prioritizing debt relief is just one of many ways to promote your personal financial wellness before 2023. There are other simple habits to adopt that can help set you on the path towards financial stability.

Experts at Johns Hopkins University recommend setting and sticking to financial goals as the first step in creating a personal finance plan. Goals can be large, like buying a house, or smaller, like saving up for a new phone or a vacation. Choosing goals that are important to you will help motivate you to manage your money more wisely.

There are other habits you can try to help you be more mindful of your spending. For example, making a list before you go to the grocery store can help to avoid spending too much on things you don’t need.

When creating a budget, set aside money for needs and for wants and think about how your regular expenses fall into those categories. You can follow the 50/30/20 rule for budgeting, which allocates 50% of your monthly income to needs and 30% of your income towards wants.

Under this method, the remaining 20% is allocated towards savings, whether that’s putting money into a high-yield savings account or investing it in a retirement account.

Setting aside a portion of each paycheck towards savings is a wise financial habit to adopt. Experts advise putting that money away as soon as it hits your account before it tempts you to spend it instead.


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Last Modified: November 21, 2022

3 Cited Research Articles writers adhere to strict sourcing guidelines and use only credible sources of information, including authoritative financial publications, academic organizations, peer-reviewed journals, highly regarded nonprofit organizations, government reports, court records and interviews with qualified experts. You can read more about our commitment to accuracy, fairness and transparency in our editorial guidelines.

  1. Federal Reserve Bank of New York. (2022, August). Quarterly Report on Household Debt and Credit. Retrieved from
  2. Johns Hopkins University. (n.d.). Developing Good Habits for Your Financial Stability and Success. Retrieved from
  3. Raheja, M. K. (2021, March 23). How Do I Make Good Financial Habits? Retrieved from