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Financial Stress and Mental Well-being

Gen Z, Women: Most Financially Stressed

Money may not buy happiness, but the weight of financial stress can take a significant toll on anyone’s mental well-being. From lingering debt to the effects of inflation on basic commodities, the impact of being financially stressed touches every generation — some more than others.

“In today’s fast-paced and ever-changing world, financial stress has become a significant concern for many individuals,” says Scott Ente, Senior Vice President, Investments at David Lerner Associates, Inc.

A recent personal finance study from Point, a home equity lender, has shed light on the impact of personal finance on mental health, with Gen Z and women emerging as the most financially stressed demographics.

Point surveyed 1,085 people aged 21-80 who were looking for work or working part or full-time. The study focused on the impact 4 stressors (social issues, personal finances, climate change, and geopolitical issues) had on mental health. Of the Gen Zers surveyed, a whopping 64 percent named personal finance the biggest stressor, which is more than any other generation.

This article delves into the reasons behind this trend, explores the unique challenges faced by Gen Z and women, and provides actionable tips for managing financial stress.

Let’s explore this pressing issue and discover ways to alleviate financial stress in these vulnerable populations.

Gen Z: Navigating Financial Uncertainty

A significant portion of Gen Z, the generation born between the mid-1990s and early 2010s, is grappling with the burden of financial stress. Factors such as the ability to save to buy a house, a competitive job market, and struggling to balance ‘living in the present’ with saving for the long term contribute to their financial concerns.

So how is a tech-savvy generation with so much expert financial advice at their fingertips struggling to feel financially secure?

Well, while they might have grown up with smartphones, it does not mean Gen Zers grew up using social media to build good money management habits. Also, Gen Zers face specific challenges, including the pressure to establish financial independence early on and the impact of social media on financial comparisons and expectations.

It’s not all doom, though. While Gen Z might feel financially insecure, they may find some comfort in the fact that, with time, they are likely to experience more financial security. Gen Z is both the youngest and biggest generation in the United States and are expected to represent 30 percent of the U.S. workforce by 2030.

A study by Guardian revealed that young Americans’ top financial goals include and creating a financial plan (39 percent), being able to pay monthly bills and expenses (44 percent), having an ample emergency fund (47 percent).

Women: Breaking Barriers, Facing Financial Challenges

Despite women breaking barriers and shattering glass ceilings in almost every industry, they bear a significant weight of financial stress compared to men.

The Point study discovered that approximately 60 percent of women (compared with about 45 percent of men) had personal finances as the greatest contributor to their mental health issues.

They face unique financial challenges, including the gender pay gap, career interruptions, and increased responsibilities in caregiving roles.

These issues can be addressed by highlighting the importance of financial empowerment, advocating for equal pay, and overcoming societal barriers to achieving financial well-being.

Understanding the Link between Personal Finance and Mental Health

The impact of personal finance on mental health cannot be overstated.

Financial stress can lead to anxiety issues, depression, and reduced overall well-being.

The complex relationship between personal finance and mental health is why it’s vital to address financial stress as a crucial aspect of overall wellness.

Strategies for Managing Financial Stress

Recognizing the challenges faced by Gen Z and women, we provide practical strategies for managing financial stress.

These include:

  • Building financial literacy
  • Setting realistic goals
  • Creating and following a personal budget
  • Seeking professional guidance
  • Cultivating a supportive network

There’s power in having open conversations about money and seeking help when needed.

Empowering Gen Z and Women to Thrive Financially

The path to financial well-being for Gen Z and women begins with empowerment.

It’s critical to foster financial confidence, promote financial education, and provide equal opportunities in the workplace.

By addressing the systemic and societal factors that contribute to financial stress, we can create a more inclusive and supportive environment for these vulnerable populations.


Financial stress profoundly impacts mental health, and it is vital to recognize the specific challenges faced by Gen Z and women.

By understanding the unique pressures they encounter, we can develop targeted strategies to alleviate financial stress and promote financial well-being.

Through education, empowerment, and a commitment to equality, we can create a future where Gen Z and women thrive financially, leading to improved mental health and overall quality of life.

Material contained in this article is provided for information purposes only and is not intended to be used in connection with the evaluation of any investments offered by David Lerner Associates, Inc. These materials are provided for general information and educational purposes based upon publicly available information from sources believed to be reliable– we cannot assure the accuracy or completeness of these materials. The information in these materials may change at any time and without notice.

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