I like to feel rested when I wake up. There are a lot of things that keep someone up at night. I have a teenaged daughter. She’s great—responsible, works hard. But she’s a teenager… enough said. I also don’t like lying awake at night worrying about money.
I’m in the risk adverse camp. I don’t like losing money, and I have worked hard so I don’t have to worry about paying for things like healthcare or my daughter’s college education.
When a recent survey came out from creditcards.com on who was losing more sleep and over what issue, I was immediately interested. First, the headline made me wonder: “Women lose more sleep over money worries than men.” In fact, it’s substantially more: 68% of the women polled said they lost sleep over money—and not just over one issue but a number of them.
That’s almost 7 out of 10 women. That’s a lot of lost z’s. (58% of men said they lost sleep—that’s only half or 5 out of 10, still way too high a number.)
Tossing and turning over financial stress doesn’t just fall under one category, either. Retirement savings had 44% of women and 35% of men concerned. Health care and insurance kept 33% of women and 24% of men up at night. But anxiety over educational expenses edged out everything else, jumping to the number two slot with 32% of women and 27% of men worrying about how they’re going to pay for their kid’s education. Interestingly, credit card debt (which, according to a Bloomberg report is at an all-time high) causes the least amount of lost sleep.
So of course this made me stop and wonder. It is because women worry more than men? That’s the reason according to Heather Fraser, president and CEO of Logos Financial Solution in Miami. But that seems too easy—and just a little gender biased. I know plenty of men who are worriers.
CreditCard.com did ask a professor of economics and finance at Creighton University, Brad Klontz, who is also the co-founder of the Financial Psychology Institute. He said that “women are much more in touch with the emotions they are dealing with” and thus are going to be more honest about their stress. Men, on the other hand, are “more likely to have some sort of denial about the stress they are under.” So in other words, us guys aren’t as willing to admit to being super stressed out over money. That sounds a little more accurate—still gender biased but more in line with the men I know.
The poll was just fact-finding. It didn’t get into the more difficult-to-measure why all this stress, but that’s what interests me. Do people worry about money because they aren’t making enough? Or is it the cost of living (otherwise known as inflation) that has seemed to skyrocket the past couple of years? (It wasn’t that long ago that my wife could buy a cart of groceries for around $100. Not so any more).
As a financial services expert, I am constantly talking to people about their money. What concerns me more than any of the above is that fact that Americans just aren’t the best savers. We like to spend money, but the logic of saving money now so that we can have something later in life to live on seems to elude too many of us.
I had to ask myself, are so many Americans keeping themselves from a decent night’s sleep because they simply aren’t disciplined enough to save?
I remember the days when I didn’t have a reserve of money. It was scary. And I lost sleep.
Think of all the things that happen when you don’t sleep: you’re crabby. You’re prone to make mistakes, both physical and mental—drowsy drivers account for thousands of crashes, injuries, and fatalities every year according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. You also are hungrier so you eat more, but because you’re tired you don’t exercise. All that eventually causes potential health problems. Thus you worry more about healthcare costs. It’s a nightmare downward spiral.
I’m not a registered sleep therapist, but I do like it when my clients are well-rested and happy. I’ve made it my life’s work to find solutions that provide them peace of mind, at least about their money.
There are ways to have control over your money. You can save money in a way that protects your reserve and still earn a decent rate of return. You also don’t have to have the interest you make be subject to taxes that are too high.
If you want to find out more, I invite you to visit www.MyFamilyFinancialMiracle.com.
You’ll find out why I and others like me are probably in the 3 out of 10 people who don’t worry about finances. We may have other things that keep us up—but money isn’t one of them.
I think of a world where people aren’t stressed about money. It’s a pleasant place.
To a restful night’s sleep,