It’s almost the end January. How’s it going with those New Year’s resolutions?
The most common goals people set at the start of the year are to lose weight and to get their finances in order — two seemingly distinct areas for improvement. Now a survey from TD Bank suggests they may go hand in hand.
The majority of people polled, 81 percent, said other goals are easier to accomplish once they’ve got their finances in order. One third said they need to have their finances in line before they can work on their health. “If you are financially fit, you’re physically fit as well,” says Ryan Bailey, head of retail deposit products for TD Bank.
About one third of people surveyed said they were satisfied with their financial health, but that increased to 65 percent among people who were also satisfied with their physical well being.
Some of the correlation could be because of discipline, Bailey says. The people who made plans to improve their finances — and stuck to them– may also have created a structured routine for exercising and meeting other goals, he says. “It shows these people can plan for their lives,” Bailey says.
When asked to describe the link between health and finances in their own words, 30 percent of people surveyed said money problems can cause health issues like overeating and trouble sleeping. Twenty-seven percent said the two were connected by stress. And Bailey points out that people who feel healthy have more energy, can work longer days and may be more productive.
So how are these people doing with their resolutions so far? As of mid-January, 51 percent were working on their goals overall and 49 percent had slipped or given up. More respondents had made progress with becoming physically fit: Fifty-five percent said they had started working on their health goals, compared to 46 percent of financial related goals.
TD Bank polled 1,444 people online between Jan. 13 and Jan. 19 who had set 2015 goals or made New Year’s resolutions.
It’s hard to determine which would have the bigger influence on the other– health or money– but people were clear about which they would rather have, if forced to choose. When asked if they would rather have $1 million or be as fit as Chris Hemsworth or Serena Williams, eight out of 10 chose the cash.