Life -- and finances -- are more stressful for women than men, according to a new study by Financial Finesse, a financial education firm based in El Segundo, Calif.
The stress is highest for single mothers of moderate or low income. Single parent males in the same income bracket aren’t as stressed, the study shows.
Fifty-five percent of women age 30 to 55 with minor children and household incomes less than $60,000 a year report high or overwhelming levels of financial stress. That is 40 percent more than the number of men in the same situation reporting stress, Financial Finesse says.
The firm compiles its data by polling people who use its workplace financial education programs.
In every age group, women were more likely to report significantly higher levels of financial stress than men, Financial Finesse says. The least financially stressed people were men under 30 -- 26 percent of whom said they have no financial stress at all.
“While it’s no surprise to any working mother that juggling competing financial needs is stressful,” says Liz Davidson, Financial Finesse CEO, “small steps over time can create financial balance for families at any income level.”
Women and men should build an emergency fund over time and track expenses to find ways to save in order to pay down high-interest debt. They should also take advantage of employer-sponsored benefits at work, she says. Women make up two-thirds of the participants in employer-sponsored financial education programs, the firm says.
Those feeling high or overwhelming stress say the primary reason is that they lack a sense of control over their finances. Eighty-four percent of those facing overwhelming stress describe their current financial situation as not under control.
“The workplace may be an optimum place to reach women who face significant financial stress,” says Linda Robertson, co-author of the report.