Frustrated Woman Using LaptopAmericans overwhelmingly experience stress when it comes to thinking about and managing their finances, according to a recent survey by Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. (CFP Board).

Overall, 86 percent of those surveyed said they feel stress when it comes to their finances. Women and people 18 to 44 years old were even more likely to feel stress about their finances, at 89 percent and 91 percent respectively.

The survey also found that Americans do recognize ways for successfully managing their financial stress, with financial planning being the top solution.

About 27 percent responded that having a financial plan will help most in reducing their stress. Other preferred solutions for decreasing the level of financial stress include having more knowledge in certain finance areas (22 percent), more knowledge about their own finances (14 percent) and more time to focus on their finances (12 percent).

Finance Stress Test

“Whether you are navigating the financial implications of living on your own for the first time or preparing to enter retirement, almost everyone – at every stage of life – experiences financial stress,” said Eleanor Blayney, CFP Board Consumer Advocate. “But as long as that financial stress does not paralyze us, it is not necessarily a bad thing. The resulting awareness should empower us to take control of our financial fate.”

The findings are particularly interesting in light of previous national research conducted by CFP Board. According to the 2012 Household Financial Planning Survey, having a financial plan leads to greater confidence and lower debt. Those who have prepared a personal financial plan are more likely to feel on pace to meet all of their financial goals, such as saving for retirement or for emergencies.