Other ways to dampen stress, including creating a sustainable budget that liberates you from constant number crunching, getting one month ahead on your bills (so you're not worried about late fees) and maintaining an emergency fund equal to three to six months' of living expenses (up to a year's worth for the self-employed).
Those who manage money stress most effectively don't do it alone, said Bufka of the American Psychological Association.
"Our survey found that people who had emotional support reported less stress," she said. "We encourage people to find an appropriate support network and talk it through." (Hint: If your parents have always judged your spending habits, choose someone else.)
If unwarranted stress over your finances continues to vex, Bufka said it may be time to speak to a therapist or health-care provider.
"If you look at your situation objectively and still feel stressed and overwhelmed and it's interfering with your health, work or ability to function as a parent or spouse, that's a sign that it's time to talk to a professional," she said.
—By Shelly Schwartz, special to CNBC.com