Survey: Most Americans Overwhelmed by Higher Gas Prices and Inflation
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56% of Americans Overwhelmed by Financial Conditions Amid Higher Gas Prices and Inflation 

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(Image: iStock/Prostock-Studio)

If you are feeling overwhelmed by the rising cost of everything from food to gasoline to clothing, know that you are in good company.

A survey of 2,000 American adults shows people feel beaten from paying more for consumer goods. A hefty 56% report feeling “extremely or noticeably” more stressed by adversity like climbing gas prices and inflation.

Those surging expenses have prompted 66% to stop attending social events because they feel embarrassed or uneasy about their money. More specifically, some respondents do not attend “birthday parties (33%), weddings (32%), happy hours (31%), and networking events (31%).”

Simultaneously, according to Talker News, the survey reveals that 67% take part in “stress shopping,” meaning they buy things they don’t need when they feel overloaded. The survey was conducted by One Poll for the debt resolution firm Beyond Finance for Mental Health Awareness Month.

Overall findings show that 51% of people buy more collectibles and fast food they don’t really like, followed by expensive clothing or accessories (50%), and multiples of items they already own (48%).

“Our results show that people report feeling just as stressed about their finances now as they did before the pandemic—61% of people today versus 60% in 2019—and not everyone may be fully aware of how overwhelmed they really feel,” said a spokesperson for Beyond Finance, per Talker News.

Interestingly, some 61% of respondents believe they are not making enough money to live as fully as they would prefer. Around 78% of those with annual household incomes of $30,000 or less and residents in the northeast were inclined to report this feeling. This percentage was compared to 75% of those surveyed from other regions. On average, people would need to earn at least $86,000 to not feel stressed again about their finances. Some 57% say they will always feel stressed despite their earnings.

Furthermore, sharing their financial situation with others is not ideal, as (61%) report being uncomfortable talking about monetary burdens with other people. So, who do people talk to? The answer: 39% disclose to a partner or spouse instead of a doctor or therapist (29%).

A majority, 80% of respondents, indicate they have some debt, with 42% noting the bills hurt their self-esteem. Those surveyed feel it would take a massive 38 years to erase credit card debt.

“Symptoms of acute financial stress, such as finance-related avoidant behaviors, feelings of isolation and guilt can affect anyone, regardless of how much money they earn,” the spokesperson told Talker News.

“There are options available to help diminish or refinance debt and give people greater peace of mind.”

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