More than half of Americans say they are losing sleep over money concerns as the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic on household finances weighs heavy on people’s minds. According to a new Bankrate survey (opens in new tab), 56% of U.S. adults are having their sleep disrupted thinking about at least one money issue, while 23% are lying awake at night worrying about their ability to pay everyday bills.
The findings are not surprising given the significant impact that COVID-19 has had on many American workers, both in terms of temporary layoffs and the surge in permanent redundancies that has seen unemployment rates hit levels not seen since the Great Depression.
Alongside broader money concerns, many people also have more specific worries over paying their mortgages and credit card debt. While the Government has worked with mortgage lenders and the best refinance mortgage companies to provide support to homeowners, the survey found that worries over paying the mortgage or monthly rent bill are affecting the sleep of 14% of Americans.
And following the recent news that more than 100 million loan payments have been skipped (opens in new tab) by Americans following the pandemic, 13% of U.S. adults have admitted concern over paying off credit card debt (opens in new tab) was keeping them awake at night.
How to ease your financial concerns
If you’re among those struggling to sleep due to money worries, it is vital to start working towards a solution straight away. On a general level, disturbed sleep is only likely to exacerbate stress levels even further as you get more tired, so trying to find a way to settle down for a decent night’s rest is a must.
Learning how to manage anxiety (opens in new tab) could help in this respect, while the best meditation apps (opens in new tab) can help reduce stress and hopefully lay the foundations for a more settled night of sleep. At the same time, however, it is important to try and work out how best to tackle the money problems that you face.
“People worry about all kinds of things that are both inside and outside of their control, but one of the best things to do is to know where to draw the line between what you can and can’t control and come up with a plan,” says Ted Rossman, industry analyst at Bankrate. “Whether you’re worried about finances or friends, devising a plan to improve your situation might make you feel better. And while it’s a daunting task that may not be resolved quickly, at least you’ve got a plan in place and you’re hopefully making progress.”
Talk yourself to sleep
As to where to begin, Rossman believes that asking for help is the key, particularly if you have low savings and little money coming in. “Your chief priority should be staying afloat during the crisis and seeking help from professionals if you need it,” he suggests.
For those worried about meeting their monthly mortgage payments, contacting their mortgage companies (opens in new tab) should be the first port of call. Homeowners are being afforded considerable flexibility when it comes to paying mortgages (opens in new tab), while a ban on foreclosures and evictions (opens in new tab) has recently been extended too.
Similarly, credit card borrowers with concerns over their debt are encouraged to contact their card issuers to make use of the assistance that has been widely introduced (opens in new tab) since the pandemic struck. Many companies behind the best auto loans (opens in new tab) and personal loans are adopting the same stance too and are likely to be sympathetic if you get in touch.
Of course, there will be some who were in debt before the health crisis hit, and will find themselves in an even worse situation now. For these people, doing nothing is not an option - the problem will not simply go away. Making contact with one of the best debt consolidation companies (opens in new tab) could set you onto the path to better managing your debt in the short-term and eradicating it altogether in the long-term.
Or if your situation is more serious still, the best debt settlement companies (opens in new tab) might be able to help negotiate your debt down to more manageable levels to give you a chance of a better financial future.