July 22, 2009
Losing sleep over your bills? You're not the only one
Once upon a time, my credit card balance was higher than my yearly income.
At first it didn't seem like a big deal. I was in my twenties and foolishly thought I'd have plenty of time to pay that nasty balance off.
When I could no longer afford the minimum payment on each of the seven credit cards I had at the time, I knew I had a problem. I don't know what was worse: the creditors calling me around the clock, or the fact that I would wake in a sweaty panic at 3 a.m. night after night.
Sound familiar? It should. A poll published last week on CreditCards.com found that 69 percent of respondents are losing sleep because of their current financial woes.
Not surprisingly, in March 2007, well before we were neck-deep in the current recession, a similar CreditCards.com poll found that only -- and I use that word with irony -- 56 percent of respondents lost sleep over their bills.
Topping the list of concerns of those polled this year: saving enough money for retirement, followed by health care expenses or health insurance premiums, then paying the mortgage or rent. Rounding out the list were education costs and credit card debt.
Curiously, 74 percent of the women contacted this June for the 2009 poll said that money matters are costing them some serious shuteye. In contrast, 64 percent of men polled admitted to a decent amount of sleep loss. (I'm beginning to detect a pattern here. Are you?)
In the less-than-shocking department, respondents 50 to 64 years old lose more sleep over their health care and health insurance bills than any other age group. And people of all ages making between $30,000 and $40,000 a year spend their nights fretting about their checking account more than any other income group.
Readers, have financial worries caused you to lose sleep this year? What, if anything, have you done to try to ease your mind at night and get your snooze on?
Karen Burns is the author of The Amazing Adventures of Working Girl, a career guide based on her 59 jobs over 40 years in 22 cities.
Lisa Quast is a certified career coach, mentor, business consultant, former corporate executive and author based in the Seattle area.
Randy Woods writes about job-search tools, networking techniques and other tips to help you land your dream job.
Matt Youngquist is the president of Career Horizons, a career counseling firm.
Natalie Singer is a Seattle writer, editor and small-business owner.
Michelle Goodman is the author of "My So-Called Freelance Life" and "The Anti 9-to-5 Guide."
Paul Anderson helps professionals in transition find their desired employment.
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