Worries about personal finances cause more harm to the mental health of more than half (55.1 percent) of US adults aged 21 to 80 than concerns about climate change, geo-political or social issues, according to a new study(1) from Point, the leading home equity investment platform.
Well over one-third (36.5 percent) said the issue was causing them to lose sleep.
Related article: Workers feel overwhelmed by debt, reveals study
Financial stress is most pronounced for women and adult members of Gen Z, born between 1997 and 2011.
Women(2) carry a heavier burden when it comes to stress about personal finances than men(3). Nearly 60 percent of women said personal finances impact their mental health “a great deal” or “quite a bit”, compared with about 45 percent of men.
Among generations, Gen Z was most likely to say their worries about personal finances impact their mental health. While they are also the generation that says social issues impact their mental health the most (47.4 percent said “a great deal” or “quite a bit”), even more (64.7 percent) cited personal finance as having an impact on their mental health.
Homeowners less worried about personal finances
“The impact of stress on personal finances can be profound for people, and clearly some groups, like women, are bearing the brunt more than others,” said Amanda Woolley of Point.
“Interestingly, homeowners feel more secure than non-homeowners, even as chatter that another recession is looming. Homeowners today are sitting on record equity, unlike in 2008, so it’s unlikely we’ll see the same impact as during the Great Recession. This equity provides security, giving them something to fall back on if the need arises.”
Indeed, homeowners were less worried about their personal finances overall, with 37.9 percent saying personal finances impacted their mental health “a great deal” or “quite a bit”. More than half (51.5 percent) of non-homeowners said the same.
Percent of each generation that said the below issues impact their mental health “a great deal” or “quite a bit”.
|Baby Boomers (1946-64)||Gen X|
|Adult Gen Z (1997-2003)||All generations|
Percent of each gender that said the below issues impact their mental health “a great deal” or “quite a bit”.
|Male||Female||Percentage point difference|
Differences in concerns and dealing with financial stress
How people across generations and genders respond to financial stress is similar — everyone cuts down on non-essential expenses and tries to exercise more. A few highlights from the report include:
- Gen X (23.9 percent) and Millennials (26.1 percent) were much more worried about losing their jobs than other generations.
- People across generations have side hustles to address their financial concerns. It was most common among Gen Z (37.7 percent), but many working Baby Boomers also have side hustles (26.1 percent).
- While pets are not the most common way to deal with the stress from financial worries (cutting down on non-essential spending is), 16.2 percent of all people said they got a pet to lessen the stress caused by finances. This was relatively even across generations.
- Gen Zers were most likely to turn to social media for financial advice — and TikTok in particular. 15.8 percent have done so.
(1) For this survey, we asked 1,085 people ages 21-80 who were working full- or part-time, or looking for work, about the impact different stressors had on their mental health. We defined the generations according to Pew Research’s definitions, and used Survey Monkey’s online panel. The survey was conducted from April 28, 2023-April 30, 2023, with a margin of error of +/- 3.043%.
(2) Defined here as people who answered “female” when asked about gender
(3) Defined here as people who answered “male” when asked about gender
– Globe Newswire, Palo Alto, Calif
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