A report released by the American Psychological Association this week has revealed that despite a supposedly improving economy, the majority of Americans are still stressed about their finances.
The Stress in America report showed that over one in four Americans feel stressed over money most or all of the time. Fifty-nine percent of those who participated in the survey also claimed that their stress over money has not changed since last year and 29 percent reported that stress over their finances has gone worse.
"Stress about money and finances appears to have a significant impact on Americans' lives. Nearly three-quarters (72 percent) of adults report feeling stressed about money at least some of the time and nearly one-quarter say that they experience extreme stress about money," the report reads [pdf].
Respondents coming from lower-income households were nearly twice as likely as their wealthier counterparts to say that financial insecurity hampers their ability to live a more healthy lifestyle, with the high-stress and low-income participants saying they were more likely to skip or consider skipping a visit to the doctor because of financial concerns compared with the participants with higher income and less stress.
Over 54 percent of the adults also either had "just enough" or not enough money to make ends meet by the end of the month.
The report likewise pointed out that significant sources of money-related stress among Americans included paying for expenses that they were not expecting, paying for their essentials, and saving for their retirement.
Interestingly, more women than men bear the heavy burden of stress. Only 38 percent of men reported that paying for essentials was a significant course of stress, but nearly half or 49 percent of the women did. The report also revealed that women who are financially stressed have increased tendency to eat, drink or sit in front of the TV or computer.
The Stress in America report also said that 71 percent of the respondents say that having more money may make them happier while 38 percent claims that money makes them tense.
Although money stressed majority of Americans, the report nonetheless revealed that people have a positive attitude about their finances, with 80 percent claiming that they are confident in their money-management ability, and 71 percent reporting of having a healthy relationship with money.
Other sources of stress among Americans include work, responsibilities in the family and health concerns.