Dealing With Money Stress – It Can Impact Your Health, Job, and Family!

Money stress is something that impacts many. According to a Better Money Habits Millennial Report, 41% of millennials are chronically stressed about money. 65% of millennials say that money stress impacts their well-being, 49% say it impacts relationships, 42% say it impacts their physical health, and 22% say that money impacts their work. That’s a…

Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Last Updated: May 27, 2023

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Dealing With Money StressMoney stress is something that impacts many.

According to a Better Money Habits Millennial Report, 41% of millennials are chronically stressed about money. 65% of millennials say that money stress impacts their well-being, 49% say it impacts relationships, 42% say it impacts their physical health, and 22% say that money impacts their work.

That’s a lot of stress!

No matter how young or old you are, I’m sure money-related stress impacts all age groups and not just millennials.

Also, don’t assume that money-related stress only impacts those who have a lower income. According to CNBC, those with a net worth of $1,000,000 or more still feel a significant amount of money stress. They fear that everything will be gone just like with a flip of a switch.

As you can see, money stress can impact all different types of people.

Money stress may:

  • Cause you to lose sleep;
  • Make you sick, nauseous, etc.;
  • Lead to high blood pressure;
  • Hurt your career;
  • Impact your family;
  • Make you angry or sad; and more.

However, you need to realize that money-related stress is something that you can have control of.

Below are several ways to fight money stress so that you can get your life back!


Figure out what’s causing your money stress.

There are many different reasons for why you may be experiencing money stress. You may be in debt, living paycheck to paycheck, spending more than you earn, and so on.

You won’t be able to eliminate your money stress unless you figure out what your problem is.

After you realize where your money stress is coming from, you can then create an action plan to fix whatever is wrong.

You may need to earn more money, pay off your debt, save more, learn how to deal with financial situations in a better way, and so on.

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Talk about money with your loved ones.

If you are feeling money stress, there is a chance that you may be feeling like you are all alone. Instead, you should talk about money problems that you may be having with your partner so that you can find a solution together.

Regularly communicating about money is an important step for every relationship. Being open about your money situation can help prevent any surprises, it will ensure that both people in a relationship are aware of what’s going on, and so on.

You and your partner should sit down every so often such as once a week, once a month, or whatever timeframe works best for the two of you.


Realize that more money won’t always make you happier.

In 2010, a study came about money and it’s relation to happiness was published. According to the Wall Street Journal:

The magic income: $75,000 a year. As people earn more money, their day-to-day happiness rises. Until you hit $75,000. After that, it is just more stuff, with no gain in happiness.

Yes, more money may help you solve some problems, but if you don’t have a firm grasp on your finances then more money may just lead to more problems.


Money Stress


Understand that money and things don’t define you.

Too many equate their worth with how much money they make or what they are able to buy. In reality, though, how much money you make and spend doesn’t define who you are at all.

Remember that keeping up with the Joneses won’t help you.

Keeping up with the Joneses will make you broke and unhappy because:

  • You will never be happy no matter how much money you spend.
  • You will constantly compare yourself to EVERYONE.
  • You will go into debt because that’s the only way you feel like you can keep up.
  • You will have a loan payment for everything because that’s the only way you can “afford” everything.
  • You won’t have any money left over for retirement, an emergency fund, etc. because you’re spending it all on things you do not need.

Read more about how to avoid keeping up with the Joneses here.


Have fun.

No matter how bad your money stress may be bringing you down, you should still remember to have fun.

Having fun and enjoying life can improve your mood, help you be more healthy, clear your mind, and more.

There’s a myth out there that being frugal means you can’t have any fun. Many believe that frugal fun doesn’t even exist. There are plenty of ways to enjoy your life while staying on a realistic budget.

Related: How To Be Frugal And Fun (And Not Boring)


Stop living in the past.

When many are feeling financially stressed out, they start regretting everything they’ve done in the past that has ever cost money.

In fact, I recently overheard someone joking about how stressed out they get when they just think about their past money mistakes, such as even something as small as buying fast food.

While thinking about your past money mistakes may help you realize that you’ve made errors in the past so that you can change for the future, dwelling on them will only waste your time and ruin your mood.

This leads to my next point…


Be positive.

Yes, I realize that thinking positively can sometimes be tough when your money problems are getting you down. However, it’s important to remember that thinking negatively most likely will not help your situation at all.

Thinking positively may help you persevere, move on, and find a better solution to your problem.

Related: Why I Believe Being Positive Can Change Your Financial Situation And Your Life

Does money stress impact you?


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Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Author: Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Hey! I’m Michelle Schroeder-Gardner and I am the founder of Making Sense of Cents. I’m passionate about all things personal finance, side hustles, making extra money, and online businesses. I have been featured in major publications such as Forbes, CNBC, Time, and Business Insider. Learn more here.

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  1. I think the most important point is your first one – You need to figure out why money is stressing you out. If you can’t address why the stress is being created, you won’t be able to solve the problem.

    Luckily, money stress doesn’t normally affect our family. We have put good systems and habits in place that has put us in a good position. Of course we have the occasional stressful moment but we are able to talk about it and move past it.

  2. So many people try to keep up with everyone else, especially with the prominence of social media. One thing I remind myself of every time I see someone else with the best and latest, is that they are not me. They don’t share the same dreams or goals I have and I would rather worry about what I’m doing and not be concerned with having the best decorated home or best wardrobe. I’m happy with all of my diy home projects and my minimalist wardrobe.

    1. Yes, exactly! Everyone is different.

  3. My student loans stress me out on an hourly basis. I wrote a post that I reread to help me “find contentment in the journey” so it doesn’t ruin me. But it is certainly the driving force behind becoming an online entrepreneur (and a lot of other decisions I make).

    1. I’m so sorry Natalie. I definitely believe you will be able to pay those off in no time!

  4. I longer stress about money, but it wasn’t always that way. It’s nice to have enough money in the bank that you no longer have to worry about every single “what if” in life. Being debt-free helps, too.

  5. These are all great points. I used to stress out about money a lot and while I still tend to obsess over my financial goals, I changed my perspective and started making an effort to change my life and my financial habits to eliminate most of the stress that money can cause.

  6. I’ve been impacted by money stress before. This year I’ve learned not to worry about some things that I can’t control. I’ve also been able to save some moeny for emergencies. That alone has helped me out in a couple of situations.

  7. Sarah

    Being positive is SO important. My husband and I are extremely stressed out about our finances right now and his Negative Nancy attitude isn’t helping any. His mother likes the play the “victim” card and I see a lot of that in my husband lately. He has this “nothing we can do” attitude that is starting to drive me up the wall and back down again. I refuse to believe such things. Nothing is out of your control. Buck up, come up with a plan, and pull yourself together.

    Unfortunately money does make the world “go round” but it isn’t the key to happiness. I think most people just want to feel secure and they think that more money is the key to that.

    1. Yes, being positive is so important. Being negative is just a waste of time!

  8. Patricia Folks

    Agree, need to find the cause of the stress before we can make the right plans to eliminate the source.

  9. Jen

    I love the idea of not keeping up with the Joneses. I think that is my #1 source of money stress because I have this idea that I should be at a certain place at a certain time. I try to follow the mantra to trust that my life is supposed to be at this point in time. I can see how making $75k+ a year can make someone less happy. If they buy more stuff they can create more debt and become even less happy = more stress!

  10. Thank you for this. I am a millenial who stresses about money daily, maybe even hourly. I lost my job in 2015 and racked up medical debt with a critically ill baby. The stress is affecting my health, my sleep, and my marriage. I need to take your tips to heart.

    1. I’m so sorry Erin. Stay positive! 🙂

  11. ps you are such an inspiration and I really need to go read everything on your site! 🙂

  12. Fervent Finance

    Money does not necessarily stress me out, but I believe that is because I have a solid plan in place. Also I live well within my means and that leaves me room after bills are paid which I think is where some people stress about if they have no room between income and expenses. I’ve also prioritized paying off a ton of debt in the past several years, so don’t have credit card debt or a mortgage weighing me down. I think living within your means is huge to not stressing about money.

  13. Amy @ DebtGal

    Before we consolidated our credit card debt, money was causing me a LOT of stress. It sounds cliche, but I was literally waking up in the middle of the night from the stress. Talking to my husband – who didn’t know any of the specifics – and making a plan (taking out a home equity loan to consolidate and get a better interest rate), gave me a huge amount of piece of mind.

  14. The sad part about not having money like that is people judging you. And, it’s always the ones closest to you; family, fake friends, ex’s, and so on. When they see you doing good and dressing better and driving that car, then people try to be slick and come back around the block either trying to speak directly or speaking through other people. That’s not what true peoples is about. Money problems are only temporary and it shouldn’t place a strain on relationships. Transformation is not about that,

  15. Bryan

    Great article. The part about making more money won’t always make me happier is so true. Once I was taught being wealthy is about money habits, and not making more, life changed for me. Michelle you remind me and others of that. Thank you so much. Having control and knowledge of my money feels so much better.

  16. Some excellent points here. It’s important for people to know how to get through this particular type of stress. I’ve seen it affect pretty much everyone I’ve met in one way or another.

  17. I am agree with the post, finally I am debt free but when I was on debt I was still thinking about it, so is true is necessary finds a money stress deal

  18. Putting money in our savings account (emergency fund) was a big stress reliever for us. It makes us feel so much better that we have it “just in case”.

    1. Yes! Having an emergency fund is always a good idea.

  19. I think your last point about having fun is a fundamental life pillar often overlooked by those with (or working towards) money sense. We try to make it a point to set aside time for fun and usually it doesn’t cost us much. Thanks for posting!

  20. Maria J. Minton

    I totally agree with you, Michelle, this post reminds me the time 3 years ago, when I was depressed by stress, and then I lost my job, my boyfriend and my money too!

    1. That sounds like a bad time Maria. I’m so sorry!

  21. Jay

    One thing that’s really kept me “Stress free” with money is the fact that I grew up a saver and basically never had money problems ever.

    Anyways great article as always Michelle.

  22. Mike @ TipYourself

    This is a great post! Money is a huge source of stress. I completely agree that our mindset and hesitation to talk about money is absolutely main contributors. Stay Positive indeed!

  23. Lindsey

    I stress about money ALL the time. One of my goals for this year is to be more grateful. I know that my bf and I are very fortunate and we are in a great place together but it’s hard not to be down when you are so far from your financial goals.