HealthFinancial stress affects women more than men, study finds

Financial stress affects women more than men, study finds

According to a study conducted by Bankrate in May 2022 it was found that women in the United States are more prone to experiencing effects compared to men. Specifically women tend to associate money with an impact, on their mental well being with 46 percent of them expressing this concern as opposed to only 38 percent of men.

Women express worry compared to men when it comes to the influence of money on their mental well being. Specifically they are concerned about having emergency savings and meeting day to day expenses with percentages of 60% and 59% respectively. In contrast men share concerns at a rate of 53%, for each aspect.

According to the research women tend to experience negative emotions in common financial situations compared to men. For instance more women (52 percent) feel worried when checking their bank account while its slightly lower for men (46 percent). Additionally a higher percentage of women (73 percent) feel stressed when faced with expenses compared to men (64 percent).

The study also reveals that women are more likely to be upset by financial events such as unplanned expenses, due bills and the act of paying bills. These situations seem to have an impact on their mental well being.

Furthermore concerns about being unprepared for retirement have a negative effect, on the mental health of women (41 percent) compared to men (36 percent).

Furthermore according to the surveys findings, men (50 percent) were notably more inclined than women (37 percent) to indicate their ownership of stocks or investments related to the stock market.

In Australia, NABs wellbeing survey for March 2022 (Q1) discovered that men continue to experience levels of financial stress compared to women and this gap has widened. In Q1 men reported a decrease in financial stress (down by 0.4 points to 38.6) while women experienced an increase (up by 1.0 point to 42.6).

When considering aspects women reported higher stress levels compared to men with the exception being credit card repayments. In comparison to men women expressed higher stress levels in relation, to home improvements and maintenance raising $2,000 for emergencies, non essential expenses major household purchases, retirement funding securing their familys future and medical bills.

In Australia, women (40.5) generally experience levels of debt stress compared to men (36.7). The percentage of women who have missed bill or loan payments is 25% while for men it stands at 19%.

This has been an issue for quite some time. In 2014 the Australian Psychological Society (APS) revealed that 53% of women as opposed to 44% of men identified ” financial issues” as a significant source of stress.

The APS identified three causes of stress among Australians ranked in order; personal finances, family matters and personal health.

One potential explanation for the stress experienced by women is the historical and current disparity in pay, between genders.

In Australia, based on the Workplace Gender Pay Gap Statistics (WGEA) the national gender pay gap stands at 13.8% as of February 2022. WGEA calculates this gap using data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Currently men earn an average of $1,846 per week for full time work while women earn $1,591.

This means that on average women earn $255 less than men.

In the United States their Equal Pay Day on March 15th 2022 highlighted that women working year round are paid 83 cents for every dollar earned by men.

To put it in perspective; if you consider a workday from 9;00 AM to 5;00 PM women effectively start working for free at around 2;40 PM. After more, than half a century since the Equal Pay Act was passed in the US there still exists a significant gender wage gap that affects American women across various occupations.

Historically women have often taken on responsibility for the everyday management of household tasks and childcare. However in times there has been an increase in womens participation in financial decision making and sharing expenses within relationships.

It is possible that the combination of shouldering financial responsibility while still earning less than men and managing more responsibilities at home contributes to higher levels of financial stress among women. Additionally research suggests a connection between money related behaviors like impulsive spending and feelings of stress, guilt, boredom and anger.

Financial stress poses a challenge as it not only affects our finances but also has a substantial impact, on our overall well being. It can influence our health, mental well being, relationships, work performance, behavior and even potentially impact our surroundings.

When it comes to dealing with our finances and the stress that often accompanies them seeking help becomes necessary at some point.

The type of assistance needed may vary from person to person. It could involve support with finances learning how to budget effectively improving your financial knowledge or finding guidance on managing the anxiety caused by monetary concerns.

For individuals experiencing stress one potential solution is practicing financial mindfulness.

Financial mindfulness refers to paying attention to your finances, your behaviors and attitudes, towards money. It involves staying aware of your thoughts, emotions, actions and the financial environment around you. By doing you can make more informed decisions when it comes to your finances.


Isabella Clark, Ph.D., held the position of a professor within Emory University’s School of Medicine, working in the Department of Mental Health and Nutrition Science. Alongside this role, she served as a research associate affiliated with the National Research Center. Dr. Clark’s primary area of research centers on comprehending the mechanisms through which adverse social encounters, encompassing prolonged stress and traumatic exposure, contribute to a spectrum of detrimental mental health consequences and coexisting physical ailments like obesity. Her specific focus lies in unraveling the reasons behind the varying elevated susceptibility to stress-linked disorders between different genders.


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