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Can You Guess What the No. 1 Source of Stress Is in the U.S.?

Young worried man doing finances at home
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A new study from Northwestern Mutual says that money is the leading source of both happiness… and stress. Rather, having financial security is the leading cause of happiness, and feeling unprepared for financial emergencies is the leading cause of stress.

Is anyone surprised?

But it’s always important to remember how seriously financial stress can affect people.

Over half of study respondents said they regularly experience financial anxiety and insecurity — a quarter reported they experience it often — and almost half said they deal with financial fear.

Interestingly, people stated they’re more stressed out by money than by personal relationships or work. And what gives them the most financial anxiety? Concerns about the rising cost of health care, being unprepared for emergencies, income and outliving their savings.

And to top it off, 28% of those surveyed said that financial anxiety makes them feel depressed at least monthly, with 17% reporting feelings of depression on a weekly, daily or even hourly basis.

Sometimes the solutions to financial anxiety are easy, like making a budget (you’d be surprised by how anxiety relieving it is to simply lay out your income and expenses) or downloading a mental health app.

But oftentimes, the solutions are a little more complex. If that’s the case for you, don’t be afraid to seek emotional or financial counseling; you’re not alone.

There are low-cost therapy options and free hotlines, such as the Crisis Call Center, to help you understand what’s going on and how to manage it.

Jen Smith is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder and gives money-saving and debt payoff tips on Instagram at @savingwithspunk.

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