| August 14, 2015

Financial Stress Hits Women Hardest

Sound money management can lessen the blow.

Each week, Consolidated Credit searches for financial research that can help you deal with your debt and budget. This week…

The interesting study

Financial Finesse, a financial wellness firm, found a “sizeable number of employees” continue to experience “high” or “overwhelming levels of financial stress.” These findings are based on employee usage of the financial education services provided to them through an employer.

The big result

Regardless of age, income, or the presence of minor children in the home, women reported being significantly more financially stressed than men.

 

  • Overall 85 percent of employees report being financially stressed at least on some level.
  • Twenty-three percent of employees feel their financial stress is high or overwhelming.
  • Of those reporting being overwhelmed by financial stress, 84 percent say, they feel like their current financial situation is “not under control.”
  • Sixty-one percent of employees don’t think they can meet their future financial goals.

The fascinating details

Although it isn’t surprising that financial stress hits lower and middle income mothers the hardest and that gender is a key indicator of financial stress, the findings are no less troubling.

Gender and stress

  • 55 percent of women report having high or overwhelming levels of financial stress
  • Those with the highest level of financial stress are:
    • Women between the ages of 30 and 55
    • Women with minor children
    • Women with incomes below $60,000

Conversely those with low financial stress are…

  • Men under age 30 or over 55
  • Men with no minor children
  • Men with incomes above $100,000

Do men get financially stressed?

Yes – but to a lesser degree than women do. Just 6-7 percent of men report having high or overwhelming levels of financial stress compared to the 55 percent of women who do.

Generational component of financial stress

For Millennials, women under 30 were three times as likely to report being financially stressed compared to their male counterparts.

Income and stress

Females who earn less than $60,000 a year were more than twice as likely as their male counterparts at the same income level to report being financially stressed.

Children and stress

Ten percent of women with minor children reported having overwhelming levels of stress, compared to only 3 percent of men who – with or without children – in their household reported overwhelming levels of financial stress.

The stressors in our daily lives are many and with women having to juggle work, family and a household, it isn’t surprising that their level of stress is more elevated than men’s. What is a little surprising however, is the finding that regardless of demographic – age, income and whether children were present in the household or not – women are more stressed overall.

Overwhelmingly stressful

  • 84 percent of employees are overwhelmed because they feel like their financial situation is not under control
  • 56 percent are overwhelmed because they don’t think they will meet their future goals
  • Although 45 percent worry about the economy 29 percent are overwhelmed of how it will affect their financial future
  • 26 percent are overwhelmed because they don’t know who to trust with investing their money

Thankfully there are strategies that can be employed to lessen the stress and lighten their burden.

What you can do

The report suggests that employers offer workshops, webcasts, an online financial wellness center, and one-on-one financial coaching to help employees navigate tough financial situations to reduce financial stress. You can take control by employing the same financial practices of those who have found peace in financial success.

The few who report having low financial stress and those who have taken steps to improve their financial stress levels say reducing expenses was key. In other words, they spend less than they earn, they only take on debt they can afford and they pay off their credit card balances in full each month, they contribute to an emergency savings fund, and are enrolled in their employer 401 (k) plan.

“These are the practices that lead to financial success and freedom from debt,” April Lewis-Parks Consolidated Credit’s Director of Education and Public Relations says. “Get rid of debt and if you’ve tried on your own but with little to no success, while we can’t change your gender or offer you more money, we can help you  eliminate your debt so you can devote time to everything else that’s truly important in your life, like your kids.”

If you need help dial to speak to a certified credit counselor or request help online now.

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