While we are being bombarded with news from the mainstream media that the current United States economy is “booming,” 90% of Americans say they are stressed out about money.
What could possibly be stressing us out if the employment rate is low, there’s no inflation, and everyone has disposable income? Or are we being manipulated by the government’s lapdog media to keep us spending and consuming?
According to a study from Thriving Wallet, a new partnership between Thrive Global and Discover, the vast majority of Americans are stressed out about money. The goal of Thriving Wallet is to: “Reframe our relationship with money so that we can reduce financial stress and achieve positive behavior changes,” Arianna Huffington, founder, and CEO of Thrive Global tells CNBC Select.
The key takeaways from the survey are:
- 90% of individuals say that money has an impact on their stress level
- About 65% report feeling that their financial difficulties are piling up so much they can’t overcome them
- Roughly 40% report that they are currently taking no notable steps to secure their financial future
- Over 40% wish that they could have a ‘fresh’ financial start
- Less than 25% feel extremely optimistic about their financial future
- Nearly 25% make purchases they later regret when experiencing significant stress
- 40% say managing their money on a daily basis limits the extent to which they can enjoy their day-to-day life
The study found that financial stress is either very or extremely influential on many major life milestones and everyday activities, including:
- Retiring: 51%
- Buying a home: 51%
- Purchasing/leasing a car: 44%
- Daily leisure activities: 36%
- Purchasing clothing/groceries: 34%
- Making social plans: 32%
- Getting married: 28%
- Having/adopting children: 28%
- Daily personal care routines: 26%
- Engaging in exercise: 24%
- Getting a pet: 23%
- Choosing what to eat: 1%
If you are one of the Americans struggling with stress related to money, there are some ways to alleviate some of the burdens. First, pay down debts and decrease the amount of outflow each month. This may require cutting back on extras like cable and eating out, but once you’ve eliminated several monthly bills, you’ll have extra money each month. Not living paycheck to paycheck can go miles in reducing financial stress.
Next, reduce stress in other areas of your life. This will help free your mind for things like remembering to pay bills on time to avoid late fees. Stay on top of what you spend and stick to a budget. This isn’t fun the first time you do it, but it gets easier and you end up wondering where all your money had been going before you started tracking it.