Debt ruining your sleep?
Image via Hernan Sanchez on Unsplash
If you’re up late in Wilmington unable to sleep because of stress, you’re far from alone. A recent study presented by Market Watch says Americans are increasingly stressed and money is a primary trigger of both stress and sleeplessness. CreditCards dot com conducted a study that found a shocking increase over the past decade in debt-related stress and insomnia. Here’s a look at what’s keeping Wilmington consumers from getting a good night’s sleep and what you can do to get some much-needed rest.
Insomnia worse now than in Great Recession
Surprisingly, our healthy economy hasn’t eased debt stress in the minds of consumers. Compared to 2007, just as the Great Recession was sparking, more of us are losing sleep over cash concerns. A decade ago, just 56% of Americans were suffering debt-induced insomnia. Now, 65% of us are up all night with visions of financial problems dancing in our heads. The study assessed five primary sources of debt stress that triggers sleeplessness, and this is how they ranked:
The amount you owe on your plastic is less likely than the other sources to keep you up late. Just 22% of those surveyed said they think about credit card debt when they can’t sleep. This might be a growing concern, though, with retail debt higher than ever in Wilmington and climbing thanks to holiday spending.
The second from the last in the list of insomniac debt sources among those surveyed was debt associated with their home. Roughly 25% of consumers say they lie awake tossing and turning and thinking about their mortgage. With the real estate market healthy and recovering in Wilmington, greater North Carolina and beyond, this concern may abate.
If you still owe debt for your education, you might be one of the 34% of survey respondents that say they stay up late worrying about school debt. Student loans are growing every year although, in our state, we don’t rack up as much in college bills, on average, like those in other areas. NC is among the lowest for school debt in the Southeast.
A larger concern for many insomniacs is their future and how they’ll fare financially in their golden years. Approximately 37% of study participants said this is a hot button topic for them. That makes sense because Americans don’t save as they should and roughly one-fourth have no savings or financial safety net at all.
The top issue that keeps 38% of consumers up at night, according to this study, is health care costs. Health care expenses are high and rising. Premiums are skyrocketing, policy choices are thinning, and many deductibles are shockingly high. Even if you have insurance, you might not be able to afford to use it if you can’t pay your deductible first (plus your premium).
How can you sleep better?
Telling someone who’s stressed to relax isn’t a solution, nor is spending money chasing solutions like acupuncture therapy or hot stone massages. The best path to chilling out about debt and getting better sleep is to decrease your debt and get on a financial path to a brighter future. But how can you do this if you’re drowning in student loans, credit card debt, medical bills, and falling behind on payments?
As we head towards the New Year, it’s the perfect time for Wilmington consumers to assess their finances and make decisions about the future. If you’re making all your payments, but your budget is tight, that’s manageable. You may be able to cut back, work extra hours, or restructure your debt to create breathing room in your budget.
However, if you’re behind on your mortgage and car loan, that’s a bigger deal. If you don’t have significant (or any) equity in these assets and cannot afford the payments, it may be time to make some tough decisions about changing your lifestyle and downsizing. If you suffered a financial hiccup and just need time to recover, that’s a different solution set.
If you’re stressed by debt and losing sleep, schedule a bankruptcy consultation with a well-reviewed, local attorney. Chapter 13 bankruptcy puts you on a plan to catch up on past-due mortgage and car loan payments. Chapter 7 bankruptcy wipes out most unsecured debt to give you a clean slate. To find out more, contact the Law Offices of John T. Orcutt. Call 1-888-234-4181 now for a free Wilmington bankruptcy consultation at one of our locations in Raleigh, Durham, Fayetteville, Wilson, Greensboro, Garner or Wilmington.