- Money is the biggest source of stress for 54% of Americans
- 44% of Americans say their finances have a negative impact on their mental health
- 39% of Americans say their finances keeps them up at night
Money is stressful for most people. Yet, much like mental health, money has been a taboo topic that has historically been shied away from. However, following a global pandemic, which weighed heavily on peoples’ minds and wallets, we’re beginning to see a shift toward more people opening up about their mental health and their finances – which, as it turns out, are more connected than one might think.
According to a study conducted by Qualtrics on behalf of Credit Karma, 54% of Americans say money is the biggest source of stress for them and many say it’s having a negative impact on their mental health. However, these stats varied across gender and age group. For instance, 62% of women reported money as a leading cause of stress compared to 44% of men. Meanwhile, 70% of Zoomers said money is the biggest source of stress, compared to 58% of millennials, 57% of Gen X and 42% of Boomers+.
What’s more, consumers who suffer from financial stress say it’s having a negative impact on their mental health, too. According to the study, 44% of Americans say their finances have a negative impact on their mental health and, this too, is disproportionately impacting women and Gen Z. Nearly half of women say their finances have a negative impact on their mental health (49%) compared to 38% of men. Likewise, 64% of Gen Z respondents report their finances weigh on their mental health, the most of any other generation.
So, what’s causing consumers to stress about their finances? More than half of consumers say the biggest cause of stress is inflation (52%), followed by economic instability (34%), not earning enough money (33%) and not having enough money saved (31%). When you drill deeper into what’s causing consumers to stress and who is impacted the most, Zoomers and millennials rise to the top. For example, more than half of Gen Z respondents say they’re most concerned with not earning enough money (53%) compared to 39% of millennials, 36% of Gen X and just 20% of Boomers+. Gen Z was also the most likely to report concerns about not having enough money saved (46%), not being able to afford necessities (34%) or their bills (30%), as well as the rising cost of rent (29%).
These money concerns can also negatively impact consumers’ relationships with family, friends and/or their significant others, and even impact their ability to sleep. According to the study, nearly one third of Americans say money negatively impacts their relationships (32%). This was especially true among Gen Z, 42% of which say money negatively impacts their relationships, that’s compared to just 17% of Boomer+ respondents.
Making matters worse, money issues are keeping consumers from getting a good night’s sleep. According to the study, 39% of Americans say their finances keep them up at night with 53% of Gen Z saying so – again, the most of any other generation.
When it comes to managing financial stress and one’s mental health, there are many tools and resources available to consumers. Yet, many don’t seek help. According to the study, 38% of Americans who say their finances have a negative impact on their mental health have not sought help to improve their mental health or their finances. However, some generations are more proactive in seeking help than others. Nearly half of Gen Z respondents who say their finances have a negative impact on their mental health say they’ve sought help to improve their finances(48%) and 64% of the same group say they have sought help to improve their mental health. At the same time, 43% of Gen X who believe their finances have negatively impacted their mental health have not sought help for improving their finances or mental health, the same is true for 56% of Boomers+ who say their mental health has been adversely impacted by their finances.
“Finances are complicated. Beyond the confusion associated with finances, many peoples’ finances took a hit during the pandemic and now, amid record inflation and rising gas prices, people are increasingly stressed about money and it’s having a noticeable impact on their mental health,” said Colleen McCreary, consumer financial advocate at Credit Karma. “One thing that stood out to me is that many people are not seeking help to improve their finances or mental health. For those who are struggling with their finances right now, I encourage you to take advantage of free online tools and resources, like Credit Karma, to stay on top of your finances and take actions to improve your financial situation. Additionally, there are a number of community resources available to consumers, such as the Foundation for Financial Planning, which is available to those who are most financially vulnerable.”
This survey was conducted online within the United States by Qualtrics on behalf of Credit Karma from September 23-27, 2022 among 1,037 adults ages 18 and older.