All in all, 2019 was a pretty strong year for the economy.
Job growth was brisk, with both inflation and interest rates low. Economic growth was decent as recessionary fears have abated. Consumers remain confident, highlighted by solid holiday sales.
But this doesn't mean everyone is prospering. Here are some money and finance trends to watch for in the coming year:
Continuing debt overhang
Now 10 years into the economic recovery, plenty of Americans are only treading water. Pay raises have been spotty, and many people continue to live paycheck to paycheck. Too many households still lack emergency funds, let alone long-term investments.
Some 82% of people who participated in a survey released this month by Fidelity Investments said they're in a similar or better financial position compared to last year. Yet in the same poll, respondents revealed continuing anxiety about making ends meet and keeping debts under control.
Dealing with unexpected expenses was the top concern among respondents heading into the new year. Another was keeping a lid on debts. The top three New Year's resolutions cited by respondents are to save more, pay down debt and spend less.
Many individuals still aren't prepared to meet unforeseen money pressures.
"A large portion of the people I talk to in a given year find that their financial troubles come in steps that cause significant hardship: medical debt, a job loss, a major car repair, a family emergency," said Jonathan Walker, executive director of the debt-focused Elevate Center for the New Middle Class in Fort Worth, Texas.
Yet many people just keep adding debt until the hurdles eventually become too high, with unexpected challenges finally pushing them over the edge, he said.