the jobs massacre of 2008 and 2009 has come to an end
and people are seeing the value of their homes and
401(k)s shoot up, Americans remain seriously stressed
64 percent of adults say that money worries are a
significant source of stress for them, according to a
recent survey by the American Psychological Association.
Thatís an improvement from the start of the recession
and housing bust, when about 73 percent of Americans
said they were stressed about money.
money anxiety continues to take a toll on Americans,
even causing health to suffer. About 42 percent reported
lying awake at night due to stress during the past
can work themselves into a stew and not do simple things
that could give them a sense of control," said Lynn
Bufka, associate executive director for practice
research and policy at the American Psychological
who are the most stressed are parents, young adults,
women, and, not surprisingly, people making less than
$50,000. But the scars from the financial crisis remain,
even among fairly affluent people.
are less worried about losing jobs than in the midst of
the recession, but thereís still an overhang of job
insecurity and pressure. In 2007, 74 percent of
Americans were stressed about their jobs. Now itís 60
percent, according to the survey.
remains by far the largest area of stress in Americansí
lives, far more than family responsibilities or health
concerns. Those concerns afflicted about 47 percent of
a quarter of Americans said their money worries are so
intense they feel stressed about money most of the time.
About 54 percent of Americans agonize over handling
unexpected expenses and 44 percent said they even worry
about paying for essentials like utilities, food and
and millennials fret the most about essential expenses.
Seniors are the most comfortable. They reported stress
levels almost half the level of middle-aged and young
study by St. Louis Federal Reserve economists points to
why younger Americans may be the most stressed over
money. Although Americans, as a group, have recovered
the wealth lost in the recession, the average young
family hasnít. Many stretched to buy homes near the
peak of the market; then struggled with debt as the
economy weakened and job troubles hit. Generally, older
Americans had purchased homes years earlier and had
equity that allowed them to borrow in tough times.
millennials remain laden with student loan debt, and
millennials are the most likely of all generations to
say their stress has increased in the past year ó 36
percent of them versus 24 percent of baby boomers.
on average earn salaries lower than menís, and
according to other studies they generally tend to worry
more than men about various matters, not just money.
Bufka said the reasons for womenís higher stress over
money are complicated. The survey found 40 percent of
women feel uncomfortable simply talking about money. But
only 31 percent of men share the emotion.
of the cause of money stress, the American Psychological
Association found people dealing with their stress in
unhealthy ways: spending lengthy periods in front of
computer screens or TVs, eating too much or unhealthy
food, smoking and drinking.
majority of Americans are trying to do something to
improve their lives economically, according to the
survey. Popular approaches: shopping during sales and
using coupons, cooking at home rather than eating at
restaurants and cutting back on nonessentials.
economists had assumed that low gasoline prices would
prompt Americans to spend the money on other items, in
December they increased their savings rate to 4.9
percent while consumer spending fell.
American Psychological Association has found that people
relieve stress if they write a plan for reducing
expenses, and then note progress. For credit counseling,
seek help from such organizations as the National
Foundation for Credit Counseling, rather than some
questionable counselors who sometimes advertise on TV or
radio. Through garrettplanning.com, ask for a certified
financial planner who works with moderate-income people
on an hourly basis.
you feel paralyzed by stress over money and are
developing health problems, Bufka said a psychologist