With inflation, a slowing economy and rising layoffs Americans are stressing over money like never before. A recent study from Point found 55% of people said worries about personal finances had negatively impacted their mental health, far more than other troubling issues.
The issue is so serious that a third of those saying finances was their top concern said the issue was causing them to lose sleep. Young adults seem to be the most affected.
Members of Gen Z said that while social issues are very important to them, nearly two-thirds of that generation cited personal finance as having an impact on their mental health.
Broken down even further, women more than men are worrying about money. Nearly 60% of women said personal finances impact their mental health “a great deal” or “quite a bit,” compared with about 45% of men.
Follow the money
Personal finance experts have long advocated increasing financial literacy, not just for financial health but also for general mental well-being. Taylor Kovar, a certified financial planner and CEO of TheMoneyCouple.com, says the best way to alleviate the stress over financial concerns is to get a firm grip on spending.
“I see people every day who are stressed about money but when I ask them where their money goes, they really don't know – so remember that you can't manage what you can't measure,” he told ConsumerAffairs. “This doesn't have to be a crazy hard thing to do but sit down with a copy of everything you've spent for the past two months and see where the money is going. Give each dollar a job and you'll immediately feel some of that pressure disappear!”
Some might say that’s easier said than done, especially if you are already spending more than you’re taking in just to keep up with the bills. In that case, Kovar recommends getting some professional advice.
“We have unfortunately been taught not to discuss religion, politics, and money since they are taboo, but talking with a professional who handles these things on a daily basis can do wonders!” he said. “There are many free or low-cost advisors and financial coaches out there who have the tools, experience, and care to guide you through financial hardships and get you on the path to financial freedom!”
Credit counselors, many of them non-profit, may be a good source of sound advice. ConsumerAffairs has researched these advisors and singled out five that are best for certain situations.