Money Stress Is Real—Even More So for Women, Survey Says
Money worries got you down? A recent survey by Stash reveals you're not alone—and that these three money management tips can help.
Money stress has a sneaky—and sometimes not-so-sneaky—way of keeping the best of us up at night. Debt, spending habits, and savings (or lack thereof) are just a few of the most common sources of financial anxiety among adults. Based on a recent survey from saving and investment app Stash, more than 60 percent of Americans claim money is a major source of stress in their lives—and nearly half that group admit to losing sleep over it. Even simply talking about money incites anxiety, say 60 percent of respondents, whether they feel it’s too embarrassing (35 percent), upsetting (33 percent), or taboo (13 percent) of a topic .
Perhaps unsurprisingly, not all fiscal worries are created equal. Per Stash’s findings, female participants were 5 percent more likely than their male counterparts to say they constantly stress over money issues, and 5 percent of women were more likely to miss an important monthly bill. And while budget anxiety holds nearly 65 percent of people back from things like going on vacation, tackling home repairs, attending weddings, and dining out, women are 10 percent more likely than men to forego these types of personal expenses and special occasions due to money insecurity.
Not letting money stress get the best of you sounds much easier said than done, but if you’re someone who’s constantly chewing over money—from paying off student loans and saving for retirement to simply adhering to a monthly budget—these actionable financial tips can help get you on the right track.
1. Get Real About Your Finances
As scary as it can be, don’t be afraid of your money situation. It's yours, and it's not going anywhere. In fact, the more you ignore it the more stressful it becomes. “Being honest with yourself is one of the best first steps you can take to tackle ballooning money stress,” says Stash communications rep Vera Hanson. “Start by assessing your current financial situation: any debt you have, how much is coming in each month vs. how much you’re spending, upcoming expenses, and long-term savings goals.”
And don't feel like you have to face it alone. While women are over 10 percent more likely than men to find talking about money stressful, it’s crucial to confide openly in someone you trust about anything from credit card debt to cutting back on that daily $6 latte habit.
2. Accomplish One Reasonable Goal at a Time
What feels better than achieving a goal, however small it may be? Once you’ve done an audit of your financial situation, set yourself one, doable financial goal at a time—instead of trying to do everything at once. “Decide on a single area where you can focus your savings efforts, whether it’s tackling student loan debt, starting an emergency fund, or upping monthly retirement contributions,” Hanson says.
3. Put Payments and Savings on Autopilot
Automating is the new delegating! With clear money goals in mind, it’s time to start working toward them—without even making it feel like work. “Setting aside small amounts of money on a regular basis over time is a nice way to feel like you’re not putting away too much at once, leaving room to pay for necessities and to have a little fun,” Hanson says.
Automating your savings is easier than ever thanks to money management apps and tools galore. “Finding the right tool for you is a great way to make saving seamless and hassle-free—something that has the potential to reduce your stress both in the short and long-term,” Hanson says. (Psst—Stash has a huge suite of tools to let you auto-save in customizable increments. It'll even make contribution suggestions based on your personal spending habits).