More Americans are sleeping better at night knowing that the economy is recovering. Those Americans that are losing sleep over financial stress is declining in the U.S., according to a new CreditCards.com poll.
The national poll, commissioned by CreditCards.com, also found that 62 percent of adult Americans are losing sleep over at least one financial problem. This is 7 percentage points lower than the amount in June 2009, the last time this poll was conducted, but higher than 56 percent in 2007.
One of the top insomnia-inducing issues that worries many Americans is how they will pay their mortgage and monthly rent bills, the poll determined. Twenty-seven percent indicated that home and rent payments block sleep at night.
“Many Americans are still struggling financially, even as the economy rebounds,” said Matt Schulz, senior industry analyst for CreditCards.com. “Twenty-seven percent of Americans are losing sleep over mortgage or rent payments—about the same number as in 2009, in the throes of the Great Recession when we last did the survey. And 1 in 3 Americans between the ages of 18 and 49 are losing sleep over paying their rent or mortgage.”
According to the poll participants, the most common financial worry is saving enough for retirement. Two-in-five Americans noted that stress about retirement keeps them awake at night at least occasionally. The next big concern is educational expenses, which troubles young adults the most.
“Ultimately, it's about income. They say money can’t buy you love or happiness, but according to our survey, it can sure as heck buy you a better night’s sleep. Those making $75,000 or more per year were the least likely to be losing sleep, while those making less than $30,000 per year were the most likely.”
CreditCards.com found that 40 percent of poll respondents are restless at night because of retirement savings. This anxiety cause the most amount of stress, especially among those adults who are approaching retirement age. Educational expenses seem to another burden among American that causes wakefulness thought the night. Approximately 31 percent of participants pointed out that they are deeply concerned with their ability to pay their own or someone else’s educational expenses.
Americans are also worried about health care or insurance bills and how they will manage to pay these necessary expenditures. The poll found that 29 percent of people lose sleep over these financial stressors, a 6 percent decrease since 2009. Americans place credit card debt at the bottom of their list of worries, with 21 percent saying that this troubles them at night.
"I think people are better off today than they were six years ago," said James Chessen, chief economist with the American Bankers Association (ABA). "They are more secure in their jobs, their incomes are a little better, housing values are improving and they've managed their debt. There are still a lot of challenges, but overall people are in better positions than they have been since the recession."
CreditCards.com advises those Americans who are losing sleep at night due to financial woes to review their finances thoroughly, spend less, start an emergency fund, and come up with a budget.
"I'm guessing someone who is really worrying does not have the basics covered," said Edward Tonini, director of education at Alliance Credit Counseling. "For a lot of us, the unknown can really create the most anxiety. Take little steps and focus your energy on them and feel some sense of relief that at least you are making progress. It might take longer than you would like it to take, but realistically you have to work within your budget."
Click here to view the complete CreditCards.com poll.