What a Fresh Start Looks Like in 2021

By Sallie Krawcheck

It’s that time of year again. Resolution season, “new year, new you,” auld lang syne.

As much as I can’t wait to leave 2020 in my past, the whole “new year, new you” thing is just not working for me this year.

Because the past will be coming with us into 2021.

Both because nobody really knows yet when life will return to normal (it definitely won't be in January), and also because of the lessons we learned this year. The data is now clear that 2020 was a “She-cession,” with women disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. (And how. One of the lines from 2020 that will stay with me for a long time came from sociologist Jessica Calarco: “Other countries have a social safety net. The US has women.”)

In an Ellevest survey in the late spring, you noted this and said that building a “financial safety net” was a top priority for you coming out of the pandemic.

Hear, hear. This “financial safety net” can mean different things for different people, but for all of us, taking control of our money can help with our emotional resilience as well. That’s because money is women’s #1 source of stress … but taking charge of our own money, working on saving and investing it, is the #1 driver of women’s confidence in their futures.

Here are a few specific intentions we can set for the year, no matter where we are financially:

  1. “I will not ignore or delegate my money in 2021.”

    This is always relevant, but having a clear picture of your money is more important than ever in 2021. You can’t be financially resilient if you don’t know where you are with your finances.

  2. “I will set career intentions for the year.”

    In 2020 you might have had a career setback. I’m sure you saw challenges. Betting you learned a few things along the way, too. You can use everything you’ve learned to help yourself hit the ground running in 2021. We’ve got an email course for Ellevest clients help you do that. Sign up here.

  3. “I will set money goals.” Or: “I’ll check in on my money goals to see if they all still make sense.”

    If you have life goals (and we know you do), you really need money goals — shorter-term things like saving an emergency fund or buying a house, and longer-term things like living out your dream retirement and using your money to change the world. Take some time this January to think about your goals, and what their timelines might be. If you already have goals, see if they need tweaking.

  4. “I will celebrate my small wins.”

    They’re achievable, and they’re powerful. Maybe more than you think. This year, set an intention to celebrate them and give them the power they (and you) deserve.

At Ellevest, our New Year’s resolution won’t surprise you: It’s to get more money in the hands of women. Because repeat after me: Nothing bad happens when women have more money. (I know we say it a lot. And put it on posters and swag. But it’s really our thing.)

In past years, our New Year’s resolutions have been about physical wellness. And sometimes emotional wellness. Or even spiritual wellness. This year, let’s remember to add financial wellness.

Sallie Krawcheck Signature

The Ellevest 2020 Coronavirus Pandemic Survey (the “Survey”) was sent on May 16, 2020 by Ellevest to all subscribers to Ellevest’s newsletter. 3,300 people responded to the online survey. The majority of respondents were in their 30s, with 25% under the age of 30 and 30% over the age of 40. 25% of respondents reported earning less than $50,000 a year. 37.7% reported earning between $50,000 and 75,000 a year, with the rest earning over $75,000. Not all questions were answered by survey participants.

This calculation is provided for hypothetical purposes only and does not reflect the performance of any specific investment portfolio. The calculation assumes enrollment in an Ellevest plan and a 37% capital gain tax rate applied to an average return rate of 5% and 1.6%, respectively. There is no guarantee that the stated return rates can actually be achieved.


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Information was obtained from third-party sources, which we believe to be reliable but are not guaranteed for accuracy or completeness.

The information provided should not be relied upon as investment advice or recommendations, does not constitute a solicitation to buy or sell securities, and should not be considered specific legal, investment, or tax advice.

The information provided does not take into account the specific objectives, financial situation, or particular needs of any specific person. Investing entails risk, including the possible loss of principal, and past performance is not predictive of future results.

Ellevest, Inc. is an SEC-registered investment adviser. Ellevest fees and additional information can be found at

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Sallie Krawcheck

Sallie Krawcheck is the Founder & CEO of Ellevest.