I took the Marketplace Economic Anxiety Index test to see how I feel about the economy and my score was 7. My anxiety was way below that of the average of 37 for those in my age group. It made me believe the test says more about me as a person than about the economy (although there is a correlation about how people feel about economy that affects the economy).
It’s not like I went through the test fearless. The 7 point probably came from the fact that I’m a little afraid to not be able to pay for my kid’s colleges and very afraid for an unexpected medical bill (been there). There also wasn’t any question about “The Pulse” that will wipe out all financial records, but that’s a whole different anxiety I guess.
For fun I tried to take the test as if I was 27 again and fresh to this country living in Marin County.
My score came in at 73. That is about 40 over that of the average person in that age group. I must have been a mental wreck at the time.
So how did I go from one of the worst scores to one of the better ones? Well maybe it’s true, maybe you have to hit rock bottom before…. It was exactly that anxiety to put me on my path to financial freedom. I came to this country at the age of 27 from the Netherlands which has universal healthcare and all in all a pretty good social and financial catch net.
The two things that struck having come here was there would be no pension for me other than what I saved and a single medical calamity cut put me in bankruptcy. Neither of those seemed to be of any concern growing up in Europe (read cost of healthcare elsewhere).
I took the economic anxiety I “suffered” and turned it into a plan. I decided to take control of the situation instead of it controlling me. The story of “how” is a long one and you’ll find bits and pieces of it on this blog or you can read my book and read it all. The point is my plan to build wealth didn’t come on a whim, I was trying to remedy a situation (73) and hard work and some luck (I wish hard work could do if for everyone but I realize that isn’t true) got me where I am today, at 7.
Why do I feel the test is more about me than about the economy? Well I know it is. The economy is okay today but there is still a lot to accomplish. When I was 27 however the economy was sizzling, it was only 3 years before the internet bubble burst after-all. My anxiety index seems to be at an inverse of the economy.
To me, this makes the test so much more interesting. Yes, if enough people score high on this test it means they’ll go out and spend more money which is good for us all. What’s more interesting is how YOU feel about the economy. Check out your score. If it’s good then great, if it’s bad then act on it. Take your anxiety and turn it into something good. Take control of your finances.
You are not alone. Take the Economic Anxiety Index quiz. If you score high (high anxiety that is) because you are drowning in debt or afraid of unexpected expenses (be it about health or education), there are resources out there that can help you or at least help inspire you, including this blog.
Oh and while you are online, how about helping out the people that provided me with my score of 7. Support your local public radio. If you listen to them, donate or become a member, it seems the fair thing to do.
Good luck reaching your financial goals
feature photo source