If you're reading this, chances are your finances can be summed up in one word: yikes. Some of it might come from overwhelming responsibilities, while other elements might come down to missteps and misunderstandings. Either way, we've got the numbers, and a majority of Americans are not happy with money these days.
According to the latest National Financial Capability Study, "More than half (53 percent) [of American adults] agree that thinking about their finances makes them anxious, and 44 percent feel that discussing their finances is stressful, with respondents ages 18 to 34 reporting the highest levels of stress (63 percent) and anxiety (55 percent)." We regret our student debt, we're struggling to save, and we're not all feeling the heat evenly — both minority groups and women overall are bearing more of this emotional and material burden.
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This news doesn't have to paralyze you, though. One of the best things you can do for yourself and your loved ones is committing some time and effort to your own financial literacy. Not only can more fully understanding how money (especially your money) works in the world relieve stress about things like debt, it can ease your golden years and bring you closer to your family.
We're all scared of our finances — money is honestly just a horror show. But financial literacy doesn't have to be intimidating. Break up your questions into the smallest pieces you can and get help from an expert when you need it. There's one more good side to brushing up on your know-how: You're better equipped to recognize prosperity when you see it.