Get Financially Fit:

How to save more, spend less 

and work towards retirement

Getting in shape in the New Year is a classic resolution. Go one better and put financial wellness in the mix. To help, we’ve created financial workouts to help save, budget and gear up for retirement based on four financial fitness personalities. Find yours and get started on your new financial workout.

Choose your style

Click one of the four tiles below to get your plan

How much could you save with Marcus?

Find out with our savings calculator.

The Workout Wanderer

You want financial goals you can reach now, stick to and build on later.


6 Things You Can Do

1

Stop paying for checking and savings accounts

Move your money to a no-fee savings account. Then pat yourself on the back.

2

If it clinks like money, put it in a jar

Then deposit it into your savings account every week.

1

2

3

Stop paying for checking
and savings accounts

If it clinks like money,
put it in a jar

Cancel services
you don't use

Move your money to a no-fee savings account. Calculate how much you saved by being fee-free that month and deposit it into your new savings account. Repeat monthly. Pat yourself on the back.

Then deposit it into your savings account every week. (Or every month if you can resist the temptation to dip into it.)

You could track all of the services you’re using yourself, but some apps can do it for you. Clarity Money, which is also a part of Goldman Sachs, is a free app that helps you cancel subscriptions and track your spending.


"It’s OK to start small. If saving coins works, do it. If setting up recurring deposits into your savings account works, do that. Then, build from there."

– Elisabeth Kozack, Head of Lending Product and Partnerships

of Americans would choose to be debt-free rather than be in the best shape of their lives


3

Cancel services you don't use

You could track all of the services you're using yourself, but some apps, like Clarity Money, can do it for you.

4

Pay upfront for what you can

If you need to carry balances and have good credit to qualify for a lower-interest rate, a personal loan, like the ones from Marcus, could be a smart way to pay for items over time.

4

5

6

Pay upfront
for what you can

Enroll if your company
has a retirement plan

Build an
emergency fund

If you can comfortably pay for something in full, you’ll put the cost behind and avoid having to pay interest. If you need to carry balances and have good credit to qualify for a lower-interest rate, a personal loanlike the ones from Marcus, could be a smart way to pay for items over time.

If it doesn’t, you can open your own Individual Retirement Account. Two types to study up on: Traditional and Roth IRAs. Why: save now so you can spend later.

Build your emergency fund with money you’ve “found” by selling stuff, renting out stuff or earned through a side hustle.


of Americans would rather get rid of their debt than lose weight


Open a Marcus Online Savings Account in Minutes

The Class Canceller

Are You A Class Canceller?

You want a plan that helps you stay motivated and on track.

You have good intentions but need help staying on track.


6 Things You Can Do

1

Build an emergency fund with $1,000 as your first goal

Then, build up to what’s considered a good ballpark: 3-6 months of living expenses.

2

Go 1:1 on entertainment and spending

If you can, make a matching deposit in your savings account for every item or experience you spend on for enjoyment.

1

2

3

Build an emergency
fund with $1,000
as your first goal

Go 1:1 on 
entertainment and
spending

Remove auto-saved
credit card numbers
from sites you visit

Create a savings account that’s just for emergencies. Make your first goal $1,000. Then, build up to what’s considered a good ballpark: 3-6 months of living expenses.

If you can, make a matching deposit in your savings account for every item or experience you spend on for enjoyment – including streaming services.

Buying is easier when you don’t have to enter your account information. Entering it by hand may give you a needed purchase pause.


"Managing money is stressful. I can’t say it gets easier, but achieving goals is a lot like being in training: it gets you ready for the next step."

– Elisabeth Kozack, Head of Lending Product and Partnerships


3

Remove auto-saved credit card numbers from sites you visit

Entering account information by hand may give you a needed purchase pause.

4

Track your expenses closely

Free personal financial management apps, like Clarity Money, can work.

4

5

6

Track your
expenses closely

Catch up on your company’s
401(k) contributions

Set up recurring contributions to your savings and investment accounts

Old-school ledgers and spreadsheets can work. So can personal financial management apps, like Clarity Money, which is free.

If you’re 50-plus, here’s something to check: see if your 401(k) plan will let you catch up and put in more money than the annual cap.

Even setting up small, recurring amounts could go a long way in helping you reach your financial goals.

Marcus by Goldman Sachs and Clarity Money are brands of Goldman Sachs Bank USA


of Americans feel that they are not in the best "financial shape" that they could be

How much could you save with Marcus?

Find out with our savings calculator.

The flexible CD option

With a Marcus No-Penalty CD, you can make a one-time withdrawal of your full balance and all the interest you’ve earned – penalty-free – beginning 7 days after funding

The Gym Rat

Are You A Gym Rat?

You want tips that could help you get “chiseled” results.

You're getting results and want to go next-level.


6 Things You Can Do

1

Ignore your raise

Instead, save it and let it earn interest – CDs and high-interest savings accounts could be good options.

2

Make service providers work for your business

Bundle services like internet or cable, or shop around and ask your current company to match the offers you find in the market.

1

2

3

Ignore
your raise

Make service providers
work for your business

Check the interest rate(s)
on your credit card debt

Just because you’re making more money doesn’t mean you have to spend it. Let it earn interest – CDs and high-interest savings accounts could be good options.

Bundle services like internet or cable, or shop around and ask your current company to match the offers you find in the market. Use potential savings to pay bills or drop them into a savings account.

If you’re going to pay credit card debt over time, a balance transfer credit card or personal loan could be options that help you save on interest. Look at details, like payback timelines, fees, and if interest rates are variable or fixed.


"The future starts now: what we save now gives us the freedom to live better later." 

– Marcos Rosenberg, Head of U.S. Deposits

of Americans think their financial well-being has an impact on their overall health


3

Celebrate your wins, then save the rest

You may want to celebrate a tax refund or bonus, but consider going halfsies -- play with half today, and save the rest for tomorrow.

4

Remember: The market requires time and money

If you’ve been eyeing the stock market to juice your income, you’ll want to consider putting money into a variety of stocks or industries. Known as diversification, it could reduce the impact of a sinking stock.

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5

6

Give FOMO
the boot

Celebrate your wins,
then save the rest

Remember: The market
requires time and money

Keeping up with what you see on social media can warp spending habits.

You may want to celebrate a tax refund or bonus, but consider going halfsies – play with half today, and save the rest for tomorrow. Your future will thank you.

If you’ve been eyeing the stock market to juice your income, you’ll want to consider putting money into a variety of stocks or industries. Known as diversification, it could reduce the impact of a sinking stock.


of Americans think their financial well-being has an impact on their overall health

The flexible CD option    

With a Marcus No-Penalty CD, you can make a one-time withdrawal of your full balance and all the interest you’ve earned – penalty-free – beginning 7 days after funding

Personal Loans With No Fees. Ever.

The Cross-Trainer

Are You A Cross-Trainer?

You want to find opportunities to let your money earn its keep, but still be accessible.

You've got a balanced approach that's working but you're looking for new challenges.


6 Things You Can Do

1

Up your health savings account (HSA)

Three reasons to pay into a HSA: Your money can sit there year after year. You pay with pre-tax dollars. You’re not taxed on withdrawals (as long as you use the money for what the IRS considers qualified medical expenses).

2

Check the interest rate on your savings account

Watch interest rates and change banks if you can find a better deal.

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2

3

Marcus by Goldman Sachs and Clarity Money are brands of Goldman Sachs Bank USA

Up your health
savings account (HSA)

Check the interest rate
on your savings account

Plug leaks

Three reasons to pay into a HSA: Your money can sit there year after year. You pay with pre-tax dollars. You’re not taxed on withdrawals (as long as you use the money for what the IRS considers qualified medical expenses).

Your savings plans may be working, but have you checked your rate lately? Watch interest rates and change banks if you can find a better deal.

Objective resources like financial software or apps can add an optimizing layer to your financial approach. Clarity Money, a free app, for example, helps find users opportunities to save.


"One of the challenging things about saving is that we get the benefit much later. Find a way to reward yourself now for planning ahead." 

– Marcos Rosenberg, Head of U.S. Deposits


3

Let your cash earn more

You don't necessarily have to lock away cash to get a healthy interest rate. No-Penalty CDs are one option.

4

Don’t go at it alone

We can all do a bit better. Seek tips and recommendations from companies and advisors you can trust.

4

5

6

Let your
cash earn more

Have “The Talk”
about heirlooms

Don’t go
at it alone

You don’t necessarily have to lock away cash to get a healthy interest rate. No-Penalty CDs are just one option.

Young adults are increasingly saying no to their parents' wedding china along with other mementos.  If you can, sell what they don’t want now and use the money for your retirement or their future benefit.

We can all do a bit better. Seek tips and recommendations from companies and advisors you can trust. They could give you a holistic assessment of your current and future goals (and how to go beyond).


of Americans do not have a financial plan for 2020

Financial Fitness Survey conducted by Marcus by Goldman Sachs® in November 2019 among 1,550 Americans

This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for individualized professional advice. Articles on this site were commissioned and approved by Marcus by Goldman Sachs®, but may not reflect the institutional opinions of Goldman Sachs Group, Inc., Goldman Sachs Bank USA or any of their affiliates, subsidiaries or divisions. Goldman Sachs Bank USA is not providing any financial, economic, legal, accounting, tax or other recommendation in this article. Information and opinions expressed in this article are as of the date of this material only and subject to change without notice. Information contained in this article does not constitute the provision of investment advice by Goldman Sachs Bank USA or any its affiliates. Neither Goldman Sachs Bank USA nor any of its affiliates makes any representations or warranties, express or implied, as to the accuracy or completeness of the statements or any information contained in this document and any liability therefore is expressly disclaimed.

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Full Financial Fitness Survey Findings:

Finances and Health

  • Over one-third (34%) of consumers think their financial well-being has a major impact on their overall health.
  • 40% of Americans do not spend any money on working out/fitness-related activities or fitness equipment.
  • Americans are more likely to talk about their weight (59%) than their finances (41%) with friends and family.
  • Americans consider paying off credit card debit (58%) to be more stressful than losing weight (42%).
  • More Americans would rather hire a financial advisor (61%) over a personal trainer (39%).
  • Over half (52%) of Americans believe that it is easier to get into better physical shape while 48% of Americans believe that it is easier to get into better financial shape.
  • Americans believe that it is easier to get into better physical shape (52%) than financial shape (48%).

Resolutions

  • Over a quarter (26%) of survey respondents who made a resolution, made a financial resolution in 2019.
  • Of those who made a resolution, 26% of Americans made financial resolutions in 2019 compared to relationship (18%) or work (14%) resolutions.
  • Of those who made a resolution in 2019 and stuck with them, 22% followed through with fitness resolutions and 19% followed through on their financial resolutions.
  • Of those who plan to make a New Year’s resolution in 2020, 37% plan to make a financial resolution.
  • Of those who plan to make a New Year’s resolution in 2020, more plan to make financial resolutions (37%) than fitness (30%) resolutions.
  • Of those who plan to make a New Year’s resolution in 2020, 37% of Americans plan to make a financial resolution in 2020 compared to 26% of Americans who made a financial resolution in 2019.

Financial Goals and Plans

  • The top financial goals among Americans are saving more money (30%) and paying off debt (27%).
  • 35% of Americans plan to pay off credit card debt.
  • Only a quarter of Americans (23%) plan to set up a financial plan or budget.
  • 9% of Americans do not have any financial goals for 2020.
  • Nearly three-quarters (73%) of Americans either have a financial plan, or expect to set a financial plan for 2020.
  • 38% of survey respondents who established a financial plan for 2020, established it between 1 and 3 months prior.
  • More Americans feel confident that they will improve their financial situation (60%) than lose weight (40%) in 2020.

Savings

  • Nearly half (45%) of Americans plan to start saving better.
  • More Americans are motivated to save for an emergency fund (43%) than for a future big expense (27%) or to grow their wealth (27%).
  • 39% of Americans are motivated to save in order to reduce stress and ensure good health.
  • Nearly half (46%) of Americans plan to save their money in order to grow their overall savings in 2020.

Financial Personality Types

  • Of the following personality types: you’re stuck, you could use some future proofing, you’re on the verge of turning a corner or you have a balanced approach but are looking for new opportunities, one-third (33%) of Americans say they are the type of personality who feels that their finances could use some future proofing.
  • Given the following personality types from which to choose from (you’re stuck, you could use some future proofing, you’re on the verge of turning a corner or you have a balanced approach but are looking for new opportunities), 41% of Americans feel they have a balanced approach for their finances but are looking for new opportunities for their money.