Americans are more in debt than ever and experts say ‘money disorders’ may be to blame

Health, Fitness & Food

The average American has $38,000 in debt — a quarter of which comes directly from credit card charges. In December 2018, consumer debt overall hit a record high $4 trillion.

Experts say a significant amount of this debt can be explained by what they call “money disorders.”

Brad Klontz, author of “Mind Over Money” and co-founder of the Financial Psychology Institute, says that money disorders is an umbrella term for recurring and self-defeating issues that people have with money.

According to Klontz, money disorders are often the result of underlying psychological issues like anxiety, depression or trauma. He says that treatment requires that people think about their behaviors and feelings toward money.

Klontz finds that most disorders fall into three broad categories: Money avoidance, money worshipping and relational money disorders. Each category can be broken into more specific disorders like overspending, workaholism and pathological gambling.

More from Invest in You:
How to retire with $2 million in savings
Here’s how not to make the most common money mistake of all

Disclosure: NBCUniversal and Comcast Ventures are investors in Acorns.

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