Chicago Economy Helps Earn City ‘Most Stressful’ Title

It's a three-day weekend and, in theory, we're supposed to be relaxing. But these are stressful times, particularly here in the Windy City.

For the second year in a row, Chicago has been dubbed America's most stressed-out place to live by Forbes magazine - and it's largely thanks to the economy. Unemployment is at 11%, higher than the 9.7% national average. Property values have fallen fast. And the cost of living isn't exactly cheap.

But while I agree all these factors help make Chicago frazzled, I certainly don't think they make it the only stressful place to live. Just look at the national statistics. About one-quarter of participants in a recent sleep study said they are getting less shut-eye because of the recession, according to Forbes. And more than half the people in a healthcare survey said they are cutting back on medical expenses.

Stressing over the economy makes sense, but it doesn't make life any easier. Being under constant pressure isn't good for your health (and you want to save on medical bills, right?), nor is it good for your finances (I know my biggest shopping sprees happen when I'm having bad days, not good ones).

If your stress-o-meter is overwhelmed by the recession, it's high-time you figured out how to lighten up. And the best way to do that could be lightening your debt load.

Freeing up all that money that's going to debt payments will give you a greater cash cushion to spend on other necessities, like the rent or mortgage, gas and groceries. Heck, if you play your cards right, you might even be able to squeeze in a little splurge for yourself now and then.

If a budget and a strong sense of discipline is enough to get you back on track, then more power to you. But if - like many Americans - you're struggling to gain control over massive debts, don't give up. Instead, consider turning to the experts.

Bankruptcy is one of the most effective ways to eliminate large debts, while also protecting your assets. Wondering if bankruptcy is right for you? Get all the information you need for free when you sign up for a complimentary one-on-one debt analysis with one of our Chicago bankruptcy attorneys.

Life is too short to be stressed out all the time. The day you free yourself from debt is the day you stop losing sleep over interest rates and creditors and start celebrating your financial independence.

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