Two Ways to Make Thanksgiving More Fun11/19/2018
How to Spot Fake News01/31/2019
Data shows that Americans are drowning in financial troubles. Credit card debt, registering in excess of $1T, is a record high per the Federal Reserve. Along with carrying way too much debt, people are not saving – 1 in 4 Americans doesn’t have a single dollar saved for an emergency.
A couple of organizations that track this data say that the additional costs associated with debt are hugely significant. Examples:
- The American Institute of CPAs – excessive debt can negatively impact all areas of a person’s life.
- The American Psychological Association – money woes are the No. 1 cause of stress for Americans and have been since they began collecting and analyzing data in 2007. Meaning, this factor it is not connected to a political party or even the overall economic climate.
- LendingClub – Americans in poor financial health also tend to have poor physical health and are significantly less likely to practice healthy physical habits.
“Bad wealth begets bad health,” the survey concluded.
Of particular note is disrupted sleep. CreditCards.com interviewed 1,000 adults in 2016 and reported that well over half of both men and women say their sleep is disrupted because they’re worried about money. Also consider that Americans spend more than $40B on sleep aids. The costs of disrupted sleep due to financial worry are indeed high for individuals, families, work teams and organizations.
The hard message is that we Americans are losing sleep over worrying about finances. I perfectly timed this article for the season where we typically spend the most money: The Holidays. What can we do to reduce this stress?
My remedy for this particular message is to consider the concept of buying into a less cluttered life.
This is only partly about spending less and living with less – it is not about minimalism, but it is about being intentional. Think about being more intentional with your purchases, and not buying something just for the sake of buying.
I recently came across the website called BuyMeOnce.com founded by Tara Button, who advocates that REAL retail therapy comes from more purposeful (and intentional) purchases. I like that line of thinking. BuyMeOnce serves as a type of consumer report for the longest lasting “stuff.” The company researches and compares products in multiple categories and they have found more than 1000 sustainable items.
Intentional thinking – and shopping – is in stark contrast to our plastics-laden, single use and toss-away society. But it is one that merits consideration. By being purposeful and intentional in all of our purchase this holiday season, and throughout the year, you will aim to reduce your financial burden and stress. In turn, you may find yourself sleeping better and living an overall healthier and wealthier lifestyle.
Now, I also want to tie this message to some data that is important for organizational leaders. Financial stress is consistently one of the top issues employees seek help for via Employee Assistance Programs. Stressed employees are not fully engaged employees. They are also costlier to your organization. Coaching can help you and your employees find ways to reduce stress and enhance productivity – contact me to discuss what that would look like for your team.
Also, check out BuyMeOnce.com and let me know your thoughts. Happy intentional shopping! 🙂