Women top the polls for most stressed over money

Women (14%) are always stressed about money, a figure that compares to just 8% of men.

Women (14%) are always stressed about money, a figure that compares to just 8% of men.
This is according to a new study by Insurers AXA that say that symptoms such as increased anxiety, weight gain, depression and sleeplessness is on the rise. The findings show that a worrying nine out of ten people are displaying these symptoms because they are worried about their financial situation.
This ill health is becoming particularly prevalent in high earners with 21% of top managers suffering from constant money-related stress. A figure that compares with just 9% of skilled manual workers.
More than 57% of top managers and 64% of middle managers say their finance-related stress has worsened in the last year compared with 58% for both skilled manual workers and pensioners.
The findings suggest that over 33 million people have seen their worries magnify over the last year, blaming factors such as the higher cost of living and bills. 
Dr Henderson, a leading mental health expert said: ‘Money Sickness Syndrome refers to the symptoms of stress arising from the anxiety generated by feelings of poor financial understanding or control of personal finances. With two-thirds of people saying their money worries have increased in the last 12 months, this is a cause for concern in terms of their health as well as their wealth.”
He added: “For some people it may be the issue of making ends meet that is the problem but for others symptoms emerge from worrying about how to maintain a lifestyle that includes school fees and several foreign holidays.” Further findings from the report show that on average respondents know six people close to them suffering from money stress.
Significant symptoms suffered overall include anxiety (41%), weight gain (25%), depression (23%), loss of concentration (22%), insomnia (21%) and loss of sense of humour (16%).
AXA’s top tips for regaining your financial fitness include:

  • 1. Record your spending. If a spreadsheet fills you with dread, a notebook and pencil will do.
  • 2. Look at your lifestyle. Cut back on clothes buying and eating out and watch your cash flow steadily come back to life. Make getting out of debt a priority.
  • 3. List all your spending priorities. Start with mortgage payments, car costs and savings and go all the way down to takeaway coffees. If you can’t cross anything off lower down the list, at least cut down the amount you spend on some of them.
  • 4. Set goals for repaying debts. Decide a budget and stick to your payments.
  • 5. Seek independent financial advice. A third party can give you an objective view, help you regain control and reduce the impact of Money Sickness Syndrome.

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