The American Psychological Association estimates 64% percent of adults in 2020 experienced financial stress. This pressure builds during the holidays. The APA suggests consciously exploring your responses to money-related stress.

Recognizing money stress

Reflect on your personal situation. Is your financial environment negative? Does your stress stem from debt management issues? Identify the issues that contribute to your money stress. By doing so, you can begin to research the solutions available to you.

Reasons why you worry about money

How do you recognize when stress is coming directly from your financial life? Linda Gallo, PhD, an expert with the APA, notes that money-related stress is often detected in low-income individuals. This stress can stem from unfulfilling low wage jobs, or jobs that expose workers to a harmful work environment for an unsatisfactory wage.

Forbes Magazine writes that many people worry about their finances because they lack confidence in making good money decisions. Other issues include lacking a financial safety net for emergency scenarios.

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Learn more about sharing and spending responsibly.

Recognize physical money stress signs

Money-related stress is one of the most common kinds of stress, and can create some physical health issues. Dr. Gallo notes stomach aches, headaches, or pain can be physical symptoms of money-related stress.

A poll taken by the Associated Press in 2017 discovered that people under high financial stress will even begin to develop ulcers. Money-related stress can even contribute to the cause factors of heart disease, according to a 2013 study in Social Science Medicine, as well as research by the Australian government health service, Health Direct.

Identify how you cope with money stress

APA writes that it is important to identify your coping behaviors for dealing with money-related stress. Some stress habits can be unhealthy. APA finds that some people struggle with substance abuse, gambling, or emotional eating. Unhealthy coping mechanisms can lead to irresponsible spending habit, which in turn, add to money-related stress.

Identify the habits in your life that you use to cope with stress. Could they be linked to money-related stress? It’s important to recognize what your stress looks like in activities, so that you can choose alternative lifestyle activities promoting healthier habits.

APA recommends seeking professional help for stress management. The association advises reaching out to a support group for alternative social activities to things like impulse shopping, emotional eating, or other harmful habits.

Reach out for community support

The APA and WebMD both recommend reaching out to loved ones on the topic of money stress and developing emotionally supportive ties to your community.

These organizations state that it is important to let your close loved ones know what is going on with your financial life, why it causes you anxiety, and how they can support your mental health through your issues. Family and friends can give you advice in a caring way.

Australia’s Health Direct service notes the importance of being honest with loved ones about money problems. This is especially important if a bad financial situation can impact the household budget.

The United Kingdom’s National Health Service advises those under money stress to stay physically active. This NHS research emphasizes the importance of community-based exercise. By joining a free fitness class in your community, you can build community support ties and help maintain your physical health.

Did you know?

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Make a budget, and track spending

Health Direct recommends making a list of all your expenses so that you can keep track of them. By doing this, you can know when it’s safe to spend money on a specific financial goal, and when to limit spending.

Once you have a clear record of all your expenses, keep track of every pay out. It’s important to have an account of real-time financial activity so you have no surprises.

Did you know?

The Vital Card App has tools that help you track all spending and financial activity in real time, straight from your smartphone.

Learn more about the Vital Card App’s expense tracking feature.

Your health matters

Money stress impacts everyone. Still, recognize that your health matters. By recognizing the causes of your money anxiety, seeking support, and healthy coping mechanisms, you can take back control of your money-life balance.

Apply for a Vital Card to start tracking finances with easy in-app features and working out a healthy money-life balance.


How To Deal With Financial Stress During the Holiday Season,” American Psychological Association

…the Stress of Money,” American Psychological Association

5 Reasons You Worry About Money,” Forbes

Financial Stress and Your Health,” Health Direct

How To Feel Less Anxious About Money,” WebMD

Coping With Financial Worries,” National Health Service, the United Kingdom

Vital Card blog posts are intended for informational purposes only and should not be considered financial or any other type of advice.