By: Laura Walton AFC®
Your Economic Anxiety Index number that is. The average is 31.
Marketplace.org has teamed with Edison Research to find out how stressed we are about our personal finances. The intent is to track our level of anxiety over time. The February scores haven’t improved since the first survey was conducted last September.
You can test your personal stress level at http://features.marketplace.org/anxietyindexpoll/. Below I’ve listed those with the highest levels of anxiety by category:
- Age group: 35-44 and 45-54 tied
- Ethnicity: African American
- Employment: Hourly workers
- Sex: Female
- Community: Urban
- Marital status: Not married
- Income: Under $25k and $25-50k tied
- Voter: Those who are not Registered
- Party affiliation: Democrats and Independents/Others tied
- Family: With children under 18
- Highest level of Education: High School Graduates
Money and stress are nearly synonymous. Either we don’t have enough to make ends meet or we worry about what to do with the money we’ve accumulated. One piece of advice that can help anyone is to simply make a financial plan.
The Certified Financial Planners Board of Standards conducted a study comparing two groups of individuals: those with incomes over $100,000 but no financial plan and those with incomes under $100,000 but with a financial plan (their plan didn’t have to be a sophisticated plan but rather could be one that they wrote at their kitchen table).
The result? Those with incomes under $100,000 but with a plan:
- Lived more comfortably
- Were more confident about managing money
- Were more likely not to feel behind on any specific goal
- More of them had at least 10 months of savings
- More of them paid off their credit card bills each month
The measure of control and peace of mind offered by having a financial plan is invaluable. If you don’t have one, please sit down at your kitchen table or visit the TCI Foundation.