Money Is Hard Work

A survey of employees reveals where their “financial stress” comes from.

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

The interesting study

When the financial services company PwC recently released something called the Employee Financial Wellness Survey, it might have been more accurate to call it the Employee Financial Stress Survey – because the results were uniformly bad.

 

The big result

While the economy has gotten better over the past 12 months, employees across the country are feeling worse about their own prospects. Perhaps the most damning stat: 52 percent of all employees surveyed feel “stressed about their finances.”

But what does that really mean? Well, it means money problems are taking their toll at work (17 percent say their productivity is affected) and at home (23 percent say their relationships are as stressed-out as their finances).

The fascinating details

Last year, Millennials surpassed Gen Xers as the largest share of the workforce – and they are already the most financially stressed. While the national average was the aforementioned 52 percent, for just Millennials, it’s 64 percent.

What accounts for the difference? Student loans, mostly. More than 40 percent are paying off students loans, and of those, 8 in 10 “say their student loans have a moderate or a significant impact on their ability to meet their other financial goals.”

Finally, there’s this: While 22 percent of all employees use their credit cards “to pay for monthly necessities because they are unable to afford them otherwise,” that number almost doubles for employees with student loans.

What you can do

At the end of this grim study, PwC suggests some solutions that are obviously in their best interest:

Now is the time for employers to put effective financial wellness programs into place that focus holistically on the financial well-being of employees and drive behavioral change.

Of course, PwC offers such programs. And while they charge the employer for them, these programs can indeed help employees learn how to manage their money better. In many cases, they simply refer employees to outside credit counseling firms.

One of the largest and oldest such firms is Consolidated Credit, and its president simply suggest cutting out the middleman.

“You can call a credit counseling firm today and get a free debt analysis,” says Gary Herman, who’s worked at Consolidated Credit for more than 20 years. “Even the phone call is free, and there’s never an obligation to do anything.”

Herman believes one big reason for the overwhelmingly negative results to the PwC survey is that employees don’t know there’s help available.

“It’s so easy to get depressed when you think you’re on your own, and that you’re the only one with this problem,” Herman says. “You’re not alone.”

That’s why Consolidated Credit created an entire section of its website called Overcoming Employment Challenges that can Lead to Debt Problems. Check it out, then call for that free debt analysis.