Many people feel optimistic about their personal finance situations.

Many people feel optimistic about their personal finance situations.

While there may be a good number of people who want to continue work on their personal finance plans, there is a sizable group who are happy with their progress.

Approximately 22 percent of Americans felt their finances improved during December, according to a report from Discover. In November, the figure was 20 percent. The age group that was most positive about their situation was those between the ages of 18 and 39. Nearly one-quarter of this group felt things were getting better, notably higher than the 18 percent who said this in November. For those 40 years of age and older, the figure was flat in the latest reading.

Spending levels also may be changing. The report showed that nearly 30 percent felt they would spend less in January than they did in December. The previous time this was asked, just 16 percent of people said the same.

Meanwhile, the way people spend their money is also changing. The report noted that 51 percent of Americans will lower their unnecessary spending in January, which was improved from the 45 percent recorded in the previous poll. Even necessary spending may become adjusted as part of a more frugal strategy. A total of 11 percent noted that they would slow their spending level for their everyday expenses, which is 3 percentage points higher than one month earlier. Half of those polled noted that they would cut their spending on home improvements, slightly higher than in November.

Financial confidence builds for 2014
Looking toward the whole year, many people are feeling more confident in their own situation. According to a report from Country Financial, nearly one-third noted that they will be in a better financial state than they were in 2013.

“It’s great to see more Americans are optimistic about their 2014 financial situation,” said Joe Buhrmann, manager of financial security support at Country Financial. “Creating a financial plan – or reviewing your existing one – will help ensure that confidence remains throughout the year. While there are outside factors affecting financial security you can’t control, focus on those you can control when laying out your short-term and long-term financial goals.”

Approximately half of Americans think they will get a salary boost this year, which would drive their improvement, the report added. Just 25 percent of those polled felt they would be in a worse situation this year than in 2013.

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