A recent Gallup poll revealed that Americans are among the most stressed people in the world. One of the largest factors? Personal finances related to income. This is true for military families, seemingly successful business owners, students, and masses of ordinary citizens.
According to Gallup, “Income…plays a role with worry and stress, with the lowest income Americans carrying more of the emotional burden than the highest income Americans. Nearly seven in 10 Americans in the poorest 20 percent of the population said they experienced stress the previous day, compared with less than half (48 percent) of Americans in the richest 20 percent. Similarly, 56 percent of Americans in the poorest group said they worried a lot, compared with 41 percent in the richest group.”
Basically, the poll indicates that while a larger number of poor people experience stress, even rich people experience it at a surprisingly high percentage. While there are countless influences that affect the financial situation of every individual and family in America, our culture has become one that accepts personal debt as if it’s a normal part of our lives—instead of the cancer that it is. We’re targeted with ads and marketing campaigns that make debt seem like the smart option that everyone else is embracing.
In some cases, wealthy people earn exponentially more than the typical poor person, but they’re often just as stressed and, in many ways, actually broke because of debt. The main reason is they don’t live within their means, even though they have a high-income level. The true issue is not necessarily where the money is coming from or how much is being earned, it’s how it’s being spent.