Two-thirds of Americans suffer from finance-induced FOMO, according to new research.
A recent survey of 2,000 U.S. adults found that 66% have avoided social events because they’ve felt embarrassed or uncomfortable about their financial situation.
Some said they’ve steered clear of birthday parties (33%), weddings (32%), happy hours (31%) and networking events (31%).
Recent increases in gas prices and inflation have left 56% feeling “extremely” or “noticeably” more stressed.
Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Beyond Finance for Mental Health Awareness Month, the survey also found that 67% engage in “stress shopping” when feeling financially overwhelmed and end up buying things they don’t need.
People tend to buy more collectibles they don’t really like (51%), fast food (51%), expensive clothing and accessories (50%) and even duplicates of items they already own (48%).
Three in five (61%) feel like they’re not earning enough money to live their life to the fullest. Those with annual household incomes under $30,000 were the most likely to say so (78%), as well as Northeasterners compared to respondents from other regions (75%).
On average, people think they’d need to earn a minimum of $86,000 to never feel stressed about their finances again.
However, according to the poll, earning an additional $1,331,515 per year could also lead to additional stress for respondents.
Regardless of how much money they earn, 57% said it will always make them feel stressed.
And turning to others for help may not always be an option, as six in 10 (61%) are uncomfortable talking about their financial stress with other people.
Fifty-eight percent said they feel alone in experiencing financial stress, and 51% are ashamed of their financial difficulties.
When asked who they’ve ever talked to about their financial stress, 39% noted a partner or spouse, more so than a doctor or therapist (29%).
Some people react to feeling stressed or overwhelmed by their finances by blaming themselves for “not doing enough” (35%) and avoiding looking at or paying their bills (35%).
“Our results show that people report feeling just as stressed about their finances now as they did before the pandemic — 61% of people today versus 60% in 2019 — and not everyone may be fully aware of how overwhelmed they really feel,” said a spokesperson for Beyond Finance.
Eight in 10 (80%) people reported having some form of debt. Forty-two percent said their debt has taken a toll on their self-esteem, with others noting their job productivity (38%) and physical health (38%) have also been adversely affected.
Those polled believe that on average, it’ll take them a whopping 38 years to pay off their credit card debt.
“Symptoms of acute financial stress, such as finance-related avoidant behaviors, feelings of isolation, and guilt can affect anyone, regardless of how much money they earn,” the spokesperson added. “There are options available to help diminish or refinance debt and give people greater peace of mind.”
EVENTS PEOPLE AVOID BECAUSE OF THEIR FINANCES
Birthday parties - 33%
Weddings - 32%
Happy hours - 31%
Networking events - 31%
Dates - 30%
Retirement parties - 30%
Church - 27%