Worrying about your wallet can mess up your head.
Weighing whether to buy a house or a car or even how to budget for the week doesn’t just take a mental toll — those decisions actually impact brain function, according to a new study by Northwestern Mutual.
Eight in 10 Americans are anxious about their finances, and that stress can lead to bad financial choices, the 2017 Brain on Finance study found.
Northwestern Mutual partnered with neuroscience research firm ThinkAlike Laboratories to measure the electrical activity of people’s brains when they are evaluating different financial scenarios.
Those who felt pressure to make a hasty financial decision were more prone to buyer’s remorse, said Sam Barnett, a neuroscience researcher at ThinkAlike. That proved true across all ages, demographics and education levels, he said.
On the upside, getting advice, either from a peer or a professional advisor, alleviated stress and improved brain function, making it easier to make good decisions about saving, spending and tackling debt, Barnett said.