Most Americans are significantly stressed about money — here’s how it varies by demographic – Boston Herald

Sheiresa McRae Ngo | (TNS)

One of the most prevalent and enduring types of stress is financial stress. Managing money has been especially difficult with the relentless financial constraints over the past couple of years: A global pandemic, a potential recession and persistently high prices. When keeping up with finances doesn’t go well, it seems like nothing else does either.

Financial stress refers to a feeling of worry or anxiety over money, debt and various expenses. In a March 2024 Bankrate survey, 47% of U.S. adults said money has a negative impact on their mental health, including causing stress.

Even though many external variables might be blamed for financial stress, there are strategies to lessen it and make improvements.

Here is a complete breakdown of financial stress in the U.S. today and some solutions to help with managing it.

Financial stress trends

The Financial Health Institute defines financial stress as: “A condition that is the result of financial and/or economic events that create anxiety, worry or a sense of scarcity, and is accompanied by a physiological stress response.”

Financial stress can affect someone’s relationships, work and ability to carry out everyday tasks. The American Psychological Association (APA) also finds that there is a strong link between stress and physical health. Stress can lead to chronic muscle tension, long-term heart problems and stomach pains, among other adverse health conditions.

Social media has made many people feel worse about their finances, a Bankrate poll from September 2023 found. Twenty percent of adults surveyed said seeing others’ social media posts caused them to have negative feelings about their finances. That number is higher for Gen Z and millennials — 30% for each.

Financial stress and inflation

Inflation rose to an annual rate of 9.1% in June 2022, the highest rate in 40 years. The inflation rate has since trended downward, landing at 3.4% year-over-year for May 2024, but consumer prices are still high. Over the past year, inflated costs have had a significant impact on people’s finances and their ability to afford everyday purchases.

Inflation can cause individuals to feel stressed about spending and the general state of the economy. Among survey participants who cited the economy as the primary cause of their stress, specific economic factors listed were:

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