Is it Really that Bad?

Although the United States is one of the most thriving countries in the world, for many of its citizens it is a constant financial struggle. Over 54% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck. The average American family has about $6,500 in credit card debt and less than a third pay off their balance each month. The families are getting hit with some of the highest interest out there at an average of 20%.

Half of all families in America have no retirement nest egg whatsoever. Of the people age 55-61 (nearing retirement) half of them have saved less than $21,000 for retirement, probably not enough to live 6-12 months on. One-quarter of senior citizens rely exclusively on Social Security to fund their everyday living. The average social security check is about $1,400 a month, which is $16,800 a year which is just slightly above the poverty line of about $13,000 a year. All this is a testament to how bad American finances are.

What is the Impact of Financial Stress?

On the surface, the most direct impact of financial stress is an inability to secure the basic needs and essentials of everyday living. This may include food, rent, transportation, vehicle repairs, utility payments, medical bills, and the like. Struggling to maintain and sustain everyday living leads many Americans into debt. They borrow money seeing no other alternative in order to continue their existence and desperately hope they will be able to scrimp and save over the next few months to repay the borrowed money. Unfortunately, life is filled with curveballs such as an accident resulting in medical bills and time off work reducing income, an unexpected car repair, or any number of events that keep people in debt and often accruing more as time goes on.

The secondary impact can be as devastating as the financial impact. For many, they are plagued with the nagging stress of debt and making ends meet. The fuels anxiety, worry, restlessness, and troubled sleep to name a few. Many find themselves with shorter fuses, increased irritability, and are more emotionally volatile. Some feel overwhelmed, helpless, hopeless, and depression begins to set in. Many couples in relationships find that money and finances are one of the top arguments they have which can fuel resentments and drive a wedge in the relationship.

Is there a Light at the End of the Tunnel?

Personal money management is one of the most important life skills we can develop, yet there is little guidance in this arena. Some high schools have now begun to offer a personal finance class, but it is often an elective course. Becoming financially literate is a task most will need to undertake on their own. There are countless books that help people understand and manage their finances. They educate you on getting out of debt, creating a budget, emergency savings, and even retirement investing. There are also financial advisors who work with people to help them orchestrate a plan to meet their financial goals. Like many things in life, you must learn to help yourself.

Maple Grove Psychiatrists

If you are interested in learning more coping skills for handling the stress that finance brings to many of us, feel free to contact IPC so you can schedule a consultation with one of our psychologists or psychiatrists so we can help discuss treatment options. Please call us now at 763-416-4167, or request an appointment on our website: WWW.IPC-MN.COM so we can sit down with you and complete a thorough assessment and help you develop a plan of action that will work for you. Life is too short to be unhappy. Find the peace of mind you deserve.

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