« Canadian businesses looking to hire new grads | Main | The cost of moving away from mom and dad »

May 01, 2021

Money stress taking toll on waistlines, friendships, and sleep: report

Money stress brought on by lighter pay cheques this year is affecting more than people's wallets — it’s taking a toll on their waistlines, friendships and sleep, according to results of a new survey.

Of those who rate their financial stress “very” or “somewhat high,” almost half, 47 per cent, said they are sleeping less; 43 per cent said they have less patience with friends or are seeing them less often; 31 per cent are eating more junk food or gaining weight; and a fifth, 21 per cent, are arguing more with their spouse or significant other.

One in six, or 17 per cent, are getting sick more often. Indeed, 44 per cent of U.S. adults currently register a high level of financial stress – with women almost twice as likely as men to say it is “very high.” Only 28 per cent of adults see a reduction in financial stress over the next six months.


What's worse, a recent study from the MetLife Mature Market Institute found that singles in particular seem to be far more stressed with their finances than couples are.

According to the study, singles reported the lowest salaries, asset levels, and homeownership rates when compared to other, more traditional family structures.

To cope, the American Psychological Association recommends the following:  

* Define stress. Everyone experiences stress differently. How do you know when you are stressed? Does that experience change during tax filing season or when making financial decisions?

* Identify money stressors. What events or situations trigger stressful feelings? Are they related to meeting tax deadlines, paying bills, money decisions, financial responsibilities at work or home? Or something else?

* Understand what money means to you. Money is often symbolic of emotional issues that may seem unrelated to your personal finances. What does money represent to you? How might that increase your stress?

* Find healthy ways to manage stress. Consider healthy, stress-reducing activities — taking a short walk, exercise, journaling or talking things out with friends or family. Try to develop these types of healthy stress management behaviors so that when you're in a financial crisis, you'll have healthy strategies available to help you reduce stress.

Is money stress a problem in your home? What steps have you taken to relieve the tension?

By Gordon Powers, MSN Money



Post a comment


Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...