A year that is now fading into memory brought a lot of tough times. Throughout 2021, the COVID-19 pandemic continued to rage, crime exploded in big cities and inflation hit highs not seen in several decades.
But that didn’t mean the year was a total loss. In fact, following on the heels of pandemic lockdowns and massive job losses in 2020, many people were counting their blessings this year.
In fact, a new Fidelity Investments survey of more than 3,000 adults found that nearly two-thirds — 62% — feel optimistic heading into 2022.
When asked, respondents said four “silver linings” appeared during the year that helped contribute to their underlying sense of optimism. Following are the things that helped people to appreciate the state of their lives during 2021.
4. Becoming stronger as a person
Percentage of respondents who cited this “silver lining”: 34%
As “Gloomy Gus” German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche famously said, “What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.”
Many of us have learned that there is more than a kernel of wisdom in those words. After two years of tough times, one-third of survey respondents believe they have come out stronger for the experience.
3. Growing closer to family
Percentage of respondents who cited this “silver lining”: 39%
Many of us have spent long periods of time tightly huddled with family members over the past couple of years. While such closeness has the potential to drive people apart, for a large percentage of survey respondents, the pandemic has cemented familial bonds.
2. Becoming more thoughtful about spending and saving
Percentage of respondents who cited this “silver lining”: 42%
Millions of people lost their jobs in 2020 as the pandemic shut down businesses everywhere. But a lot of workers turned those lemons into lemonade. As has been well-documented, Americans recently have saved money and paid down debt in a manner not seen in decades.
If you are still knee-deep in red ink but would like to join the crowd of people turning over a new financial leaf, check out “How to Pay Off $10,000 in Debt Without Breaking a Sweat.”
1. Sticking with financial resolutions better than in the past
Percentage of respondents who cited this “silver lining”: 71%
Like getting physically fit, building and maintaining good financial habits takes time and effort. But it appears that the newfound desire to avoid debt and to save instead already is paying dividends.
Nearly three-quarters of survey respondents said they managed to stick with a financial resolution in 2021. That is up from just 58% of people who managed that feat in 2020.
Such newfound success appears to be grounded in taking a more pragmatic approach to setting goals. Among survey respondents, 38% are considering more conservative goals next year, and 34% are only considering goals within their control.
Hoping to turn around your financial life? Enroll in the Money Talks News’ course Money Made Simple. Taught by Money Talks News founder Stacy Johnson, this 14-week online course offers lessons about money basics, including:
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After finishing these lessons, you will be ready to manage money efficiently while spending less time to get the results you want.
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