Finances Are The Top Mental Health Stressor For Millennials

Posted by Nailah Herbert in Personal FinanceJanuary 10, 2022(Last Updated July 26, 2022)4 min read
Key Takeaways
  • Many Americans are struggling with handling their finances due to various reasons, and it’s starting to take a toll on their mental health.
  • During the COVID-19 pandemic, mental health woes have increased in many young adults. 
  • More Millennials and Gen Zers are pursuing “mental wealth,” which means they strive to create a plan for their money and attain financial wellness.
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Many Americans are struggling with handling their finances due to various reasons, and it’s starting to take a toll on their mental health. A survey by OnePoll, on behalf of Laurel Road, states that almost three in four Americans under the age of 40 say that managing their finances is causing their mental health to decline sharply.


Why are Millennials and Gen Zers stressed? 


During the COVID-19 pandemic, mental health woes have increased in many young adults. Thousands of people are having a difficult time managing their money. The essential parts of money management include, but it is not limited to, budgeting, tracking expenses, investing, and handling taxes.


The survey by OnePoll found that there have been many financial stressors for Millennials and Gen Z adults age 40 and under. More than 65 percent of the Millennials who were surveyed feel as though they are falling behind on their financial goals compared to others their age. 


In addition, almost 80 percent of the respondents feel they would be less stressed if they were properly educated on achieving financial wellness. 


More Millennials and Gen Zers are pursuing “mental wealth,” which means they strive to create a plan for their money and attain financial wellness. An essential part of overall mental health and wellness is being financially well. Financial wellness is about becoming knowledgeable about financial literacy, making informed decisions about your money, and being consciously aware of your financial state and well-being.  


Although money can be a common stressor that can cause mental and emotional strain, there are many ways to cope with money issues effectively. Whether the common factor is debt, building wealth, or paying bills, there is always a solution to ease the stress. 


Remedies to Common Financial Stressors 


Paying Off Debt


In the survey, student loans were a common factor in mental health stressors. In addition, more than 700 respondents answered that they are anxious about repaying their student loans once the forbearance period is ceased.


Image Credit: Pormezz /


Although many are worried about repaying their hefty student loan debt, there are many ways to confidently and successfully repay the debt. One way to pay off debt is to create a side hustle that will help bring in passive income. Five side hustles that can be added to your schedule with minimal effort and time include:


  1. Driving Lyft or Uber
  2. Delivering food with Doordash or UberEats
  3. House hacking 
  4. Selling a course
  5. Starting a blog


Recommended Read: Ten Clever Ideas to Start Making Passive Income


Building Wealth


Nearly half of the respondents on the OnePoll survey indicated that they want to understand better investment options to build wealth. Learning about how to build wealth is crucial for anyone’s future in determining whether they can be financially stable or financially insecure. 


Image Credit: zimmytws /


Many wealth-building components can help a person secure a better financial future. Many of those components include: 


  1. Investing (stocks, bonds, real estate, etc.)
  2. Saving money consistently (your savings account is an asset)
  3. Opening a retirement account (retirement accounts include 401(k), Traditional IRA, Roth IRA, etc.)


Recommended Read: The Scale Is In The Start: Investing Within Your Paycheck


Financial Planning


As Millennials and Gen Zers are working on controlling their finances, a common area that many people fall into is not having a roadmap for their financial future. In the survey, 76 percent of the respondents said they would feel more relieved if they had a plan for their financial journey. 


Numerous respondents wanted to work on creating a plan to pay off their student loan debt and outline other debts along with reducing them. As many of the respondents were federal student loan borrowers, their anxiety about paying back their debts has skyrocketed. However, with the right plan in place, many would feel better about their financial situation. 


A financial plan is an important part of anyone’s financial journey. A plan helps to keep the planner accountable for their goals and create actionable steps to achieve them. Everyone’s journey to becoming better with their money is different. Creating a plan is important to evaluate and assess your current state and how you can adequately get to the next level using your money, time, and resources. 


The Importance of Mental Health and Finances


Mental health is an integral part of each person’s stage in life, from childhood to adulthood. Since mental health can affect how a person thinks, feels, and behaves, it is vital to be mindful of our mental health.


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When a person feels as though they aren’t able to handle their finances properly, it can cause a lot of stress, leading to feeling overwhelmed and under pressure. For example, when someone is thinking about paying off their student loans but doesn’t have a budget to account for the best way to pay off the debt, it can cause the person to shut down completely. 


Mental and emotional meltdowns aren’t easy to deal with and can leave a person feeling negative about themselves regarding their financial situation. However, focusing on your economic well-being can help positively train your mind to learn about money, become more equipped to handle money, and significantly reduce your stress and increase your overall health. 


What are a few ways that can help you deal with financial stress? Share with us in the comment section below.


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