This is how often the average American stresses over money every day.

3 minute read

Stress can kill you, and people in this country feel stress over money often.

How often? A recently released poll says six times a day – every single day. A “buy now, pay later” tech company called Affirm, asked 2,000 Americans how badly their financial situation makes them feel. One in three said they would give up sex in exchange for financial stability.

It may sound like an extreme, but for many financial stress is no joke. It can lead to physical ailments.

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Mental health can impact physical health

A study on how debt affects our health from Northwestern University says, “high debt could be hazardous to your health.” Debt is connected to higher diastolic blood pressure and poorer self-reported general and mental health in young adults (24 to 32 year olds). When you have your blood pressure taken, diastolic is the bottom number or the measure of your resting heartbeat.

Higher debt holders had a 1.3 percent increase in their diastolic blood pressure – a clinically significant rise, according to the study. A two-point increase in that type of blood pressure is associated with a 17 percent higher risk of hypertension, and a 15 percent higher risk of stroke.

“We now live in a debt-fueled economy,” says Elizabeth Sweet, lead author of the study. “It’s important to understand the health consequences associated with debt.”

Below are five simple tips that can be helpful while getting your finances in shape. Some will benefit your physical and mental state while you’re at it.

Find out: How to Cope With Financial Stress

1. Set a plan

Because being in debt can feel overwhelming, it’s helpful to focus on what you can do instead of what you can’t. Mapping out what your financial goals are can help you stay disciplined and on a course that works for you.

2. Make a budget, and stick to it

Once you know your plan, it’s time to put it in action. Every debt relief and saving strategy starts with a budget. You need to know how much you regularly earn and spend to create a successful plan for your finances.

There are digital budgeting products like Tiller, Mint, and You Need a Budget (YNAB). Or maybe you’re like most Americans who prefer budgeting with a pen and paper, according to research from Debt.com.

3. Get moving

That means mentally and physically. You don’t need a gym membership. Outdoor exercise and fresh air can help clear your mind. A bike ride or a run can help improve your mood and help  lower your stress levels. Exercise releases endorphins, pleasure-causing chemicals that make us feel less stress and pain. And since exercising keeps your body in shape, it’s beneficial for both your body and your mind.

4. Find a support group

Enlisting the help of a friend is always beneficial in therapy and your finances are no different. Talking about money is taboo to some, but you may be surprised to find a friend or family member of yours wants to make a positive change in their life too. Open up and talk. Just like a spotter in the gym or exercise partner, you two can keep each other accountable while fixing your finances.

5. Keep a positive mental attitude

Having a positive attitude is necessary if you’re struggling with anything – including finances. Cutting back can be difficult. When the going gets tough it’s going to take grit to get through. A positive mental attitude can help you achieve more than you originally knew. Getting out of debt and saving is a journey. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. Stay focused on the plan and the results will come.

Debt.com has previously reported on the effects of money and mental health. If you’re truly not feeling yourself it’s important to check-in with a medical professional. Seek professional help from a doctor. There may be more to the cause of overspending or depression.

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About the Author

Joe Pye

Joe Pye

Joe Pye started writing about debt and personal finance five years ago while attending Florida Atlantic University, where he served as Editor-in-Chief of the student-run newspaper, the University Press. Before graduating with a bachelor's degree in multimedia journalism, Pye placed as a finalist for the Mark of Excellence award by the Society of Professional Journalists Region 3 for feature writing and in-depth reporting. In 2021, Pye earned First Place in the Green Eyeshade awards for "Best Blog" for his side-project BrowardBeer.com. Since taking a full-time position as associate editor at Debt.com in 2018, Pye has become a certified debt management professional who's applied what he's learned to his personal life by paying down more than $22,000 worth of combined credit card, student loan, auto and tax debt in less than two years.

Published by Debt.com, LLC