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90% of Americans say money impacts their stress level, according to survey

A survey from Thriving Wallet, a project backed by Arianna Huffington's Thrive Global and Discover, found that 90% of Americans say that financial considerations have an impact on their stress levels.

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It's no secret that money stresses people out.

The majority (90%) of Americans say that financial considerations have an impact on their stress levels, according to a study from Thriving Wallet, a new partnership between Thrive Global and Discover.

The goal of Thriving Wallet, which launched today, is to: "Reframe our relationship with money so that we can reduce financial stress and achieve positive behavior changes," Arianna Huffington, founder and CEO of Thrive Global, tells Select.

Below, we provide insight into the new Thriving Wallet study along with tips on how to make your finances less stressful.

Key findings

  • 90% of individuals say that money has an impact on their stress level
  • About 65% report feeling that their financial difficulties are piling up so much they can't overcome them
  • Roughly 40% report that they are currently taking no notable steps to secure their financial future
  • Over 40% wish that they could have a 'fresh' financial start
  • Less than 25% feel extremely optimistic about their financial future
  • Nearly 25% make purchases they later regret when experiencing significant stress
  • 40% say managing their money on a daily basis limits the extent to which they can enjoy their day-to-day life

The study found that financial stress is either very or extremely influential on many major life milestones and everyday activities, including:

  • Retiring: 51%
  • Buying a home: 51%
  • Purchasing/leasing a car: 44%
  • Daily leisure activities: 36%
  • Purchasing clothing/groceries: 34%
  • Making social plans: 32%
  • Getting married: 28%
  • Having/adopting children: 28%
  • Daily personal care routines: 26%
  • Engaging in exercise: 24%
  • Getting a pet: 23%
  • Choosing what to eat: 1%

How to make managing your finances less stressful

There are steps you can take to minimize stress of managing your money. Thriving Wallet provides readers with microsteps (small, science-backed steps by Thrive) alongside Discover's financial tools, resources and products to help improve your financial well-being. And an online quiz can help you set individual goals and determine which specific financial priorities your should focus on.

Below we summarize some microsteps you can take to help make managing your money less stressful:

Discuss your finances with a close family member or friend

Odds are your family and friends are also stressed out about money. When you discuss your worries with them, you may find ways to help each other and come up with solutions to your issues. Thriving Wallet found that 60% of individuals who had recently successfully navigated a stressful financial situation relied on family support to help manage their stress.

Review finances with your partner during recurring monthly meetings

If you're in a relationship, discussing money is crucial. While it may be awkward at times, it's an essential task that has a direct impact on your everyday life. You should regularly discuss financial topics, such as your budget and long-term goals, which may include purchasing a house or car. Discussing these topics and creating a plan together can take some of the stress out of wondering how much money you have.

Set reminders to pay bills on time

Payment history is the most important factor of your credit score, making it essential to always pay on time, not to mention you won't incur late fees. Autopay is a helpful feature you can set up, or you can rely to calendar reminders. If your due date isn't ideal, consider moving it to a day that works best for you. Many credit card issuers allow you to change your due date.

Work toward a big financial goal

Identify any major financial goals you want to achieve and create a plan on how to work toward them. This can include contributing more to your 401(k), setting aside money each paycheck for a down payment or paying off credit card debt. For example, if you're carrying a balance on a high interest credit card, consider transferring it to a balance transfer card, such as the Discover it® Balance Transfer.

Discover it® Balance Transfer

On Discover's secure site
  • Rewards

    Earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places you shop each quarter like grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations, and more, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases-automatically.

  • Welcome bonus

    Discover will automatically match all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year.

  • Annual fee


  • Intro APR

    0% for 18 months on balance transfers; 0% for 6 months on purchases

  • Regular APR

    17.24% to 28.24% Variable

  • Balance transfer fee

    3% intro balance transfer fee, up to 5% fee on future balance transfers (see terms)*

  • Foreign transaction fee


  • Credit needed


*See rates and fees, terms apply.

For rates and fees of the Discover it® Balance Transfer, click here.

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.
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