How many Americans struggle with financial stress? The answer may surprise you. Even though the Great Recession is mostly behind us, the majority of Americans are still stressing out about their finances.
In a recent study by Northwestern Mutual, 85 percent of people surveyed said they feel financial anxiety and 28 percent said they worry about their finances every day. On top of that, 36 percent said their stress about financial issues has increased, rather than decreased, over the last three years.
That’s a lot of financial angst. It takes a toll, and not just in one area of your life. Northwestern Mutual asked these financially stressed adults how their financial stress impacts the rest of their lives and here’s what they said:
- 70 percent said it’s negatively impacting their happiness
- 70 percent said it’s negatively impacting their moods
- 69 percent said it’s negatively impacting their ability to pursue their dreams or interests
- 67 percent said it’s negatively impacting their health
- 61 percent said it’s negatively impacting their home life
- 51 percent said it’s negatively impacting their social life
- 41 percent said it’s negatively impacting their career
Basically, the study found that stress and anxiety about your finances bleed into almost every other facet of your life. It’s difficult to focus on your job or enjoy downtime with friends and family if your focus is always on your money and how you’ll make ends meet this month. And, money continues to be the top-cited factor in divorce.
An employee’s financial stress impacts the people around them at work too. For example, A report from Health Affairs found that employees reporting high levels of stress cost their employers an average of $413 more per year than their more relaxed coworkers, according to the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau. Add that to the business costs of a stressed employee’s reduced productivity, and employers have a big interest in seeing that their employees are financially stable.
The CFPB’s report also cites a study that found employees who underwent nine hours of classroom financial wellness training and had up to five one-on-one counseling sessions with a financial planner measurably improved their financial health. Employee’s requests for loans from their 401(k) accounts – often a last-ditch attempt to make ends meet – stopped entirely and their installment debts decreased by 14 percent. They were also less likely to be paying their bills late.
We know that financial stress isn’t limited to your finances. That’s why the Best Money Moves team is so dedicated to helping people dial down the root causes of financial stress. We ask employees to tell us what’s stressing them out, and we provide the information and tools they need to target that stress point and relieve it, whether they need to get out of debt, build a savings safety net or work toward their financial goals. If they ever need guidance along the way, our accredited Money Coaches are just a phone call away, 24 hours a day.
Want to try it for yourself? Email us at [email protected] to get a free trial!