Are you irritable? Sleeping less? Impatient with your friends? Putting on weight? Thinking about divorce? Yes? Sorry to hear, you must be going through a stressful time.
Oh, wait, are you an American? Yes?! Whew, you're behaving normally then. If you were to read this AICPA press release, you might be inclined to believe that your take home pay being 2% lower than last year would have been the cause of all those things:
Money stress brought on by lighter paychecks this year is affecting more than Americans’ wallets — it’s taking a toll on their waistlines, friendships and sleep, according to results of a new survey fielded for the American Institute of CPAs by Harris Interactive in recognition of National Financial Capability Month. The telephone survey, conducted between March 14 and March 17, asked 1,011 U.S. adults to name all the ways financial stress is affecting their lives. Of those who rate their financial stress “very” or “somewhat high,” almost half, 47 percent, said they are sleeping less; 43 percent said they have less patience with friends or are seeing them less often; 31 percent are eating more junk food or gaining weight; and a fifth, 21 percent, are arguing more with their spouse or significant other. One in six, or 17 percent, are getting sick more often, according to the survey results. An increase in payroll taxes that took effect in January intensified financial concerns for many Americans, effectively cutting the take home pay for most workers by 2 percent and prompting more than two thirds of those employed, 68 percent, to cut spending, reduce savings or make other sacrifices. Indeed, 44 percent of U.S. adults currently register a high level of financial stress – with women almost twice as likely as men to say it is “very high.”