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Now that we are three months into the new year, I’ll be curious to hear how everyone is doing with their new year’s resolutions. I plan to put out a post later this month to share my progress, or lack thereof, thus far.
I, however, do not appear to be alone with the lack of progress in my goals for the year. Nearly 80% of new year’s resolutions are broken by February. Furthermore, by the end of the year, only 8% of new year’s resolutions are kept.
I’m sure it won’t surprise most people to find out that weight loss is a popular #1 goal. However, I recently came across a really interesting statistic that nearly 3x as many people believe that they need to improve their physical shape versus their financial health.
Wallet or Waistline?
According to data from Marcus by Goldman Sachs, 60% of U.S. adults claim that they keep track of their exercise. 51% regularly check their weight. However, only 43% stay on top of their credit card balances.
While we shouldn’t ignore our physical health, I am concerned that people aren’t taking their debt more seriously. In February, it was reported that U.S. consumer debt hit an all-time high of $13.15 trillion dollars, making it the 5th consecutive year of annual household increases for debt growth in mortgages, student loans, auto, and credit card categories.
Recently, I came across a survey by Credit Karma. They asked Americans what was more important to them in 2018, their waistline or their wallet.
Admittedly, that question stumped me. Both are very important to me.
On one hand, I really would like for my finances to stay in good working order. On the other hand, I would take my health over money anyday of the week.
According to the survey, 38% of Americans reported that they would be willing to take on debt, or additional debt, in order to avoid gaining just 10 pounds.
Oh man only 38%– that means that I’m in the minority. Yes, I would take on debt to avoid gaining ten pounds. Why? To me, physical health is more important. How enjoyable is a great financial situation if you have poor health, feel sluggish, and are at an increased risk for early death?
Looking further into it, those in the 38% would rather see their debt balance grow by $129.90 per pound, or $1,299 for 10 pounds, than see their weight increase.
So 38% (nearly 2 out of 5) of people believe a pound is worth $130! Who knew?
I guess that’s why gym memberships can be so expensive. I was always floored by the amount that gyms could get away with charging in the DC area.
Conversely, 56% of Americans would be willing to gain an additional ten pounds in order to avoid gaining $1,000 of debt. Hopefully these people aren’t the ones wasting $130 on a monthly membership that they don’t even use.
Speaking of gym memberships, 38% of Americans would be willing to work out 6x a week for a year in order to eliminate their current debt. If that could really work, I’d totally do it too if I was in debt. Plus, those who workout consistently are more likely to earn a higher paycheck.
Men vs. Women
Finally, men would be willing to take on nearly 3x as much debt to avoid gaining 10 pounds ($1,973 vs. $692) compared to women.
I would have never guessed that. Maybe women are less vain than people assume. It’s either that, or women know how to negotiate better when it comes to keeping off the pounds.