Following nearly one year of Americans having to deal with the repercussions of COVID-19, including the financial ruin that some business owners have been subjected to, a large percentage of the country will be focusing on finances in 2021, as opposed to weight loss or other typical aims.

I was one of the lucky ones this year. The word, grateful, doesn't even come close to describing how I feel about this current year that will officially end at midnight on Friday (January 1). Both my wife and I managed to retain employment, and no immediate member of my family became ill with the Coronavirus.

While doing things like getting into shape and improving my diet are goals that I do typically work on after the holiday gatherings have ended, expanding my workforce skills and paying debt down have moved way up to the top of my resolution list. I was very fortunate in 2020, and want to be even more prepared when (and if) another national crisis surfaces.

While I'd like to believe my work history would secure me another job relatively easily should I be laid off from present employment, there are no guarantees in life. Protecting my family and home is my number one priority.

A recent survey of 2,000 Americans found that paying off debt and learning a second trade are the two biggest focuses of Americans in 2021. More than 60% who took part in the survey say debt consolidation is their top priority.

I would imagine that if 2020 has taught us anything, it's that frivolous spending should be curbed, and those of us who haven't managed to save money sufficiently, should get to work on it immediately.

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