Part of being a parent means being equally startled by your expenses as you are by the sight of yourself in the mirror. A new research out of Brandeis University suggests that these 2 alarms could have something to do with each other. The results of the study, published in the journal Research On Aging, showed that the more financial stress people experienced, the more they wore it on their rapidly aging faces. Essentially, if you had a dollar for every wrinkle you have, you’d possibly wind up with less wrinkles.
Researchers surveyed 228 people about their levels of financial stress, as well as how they felt about themselves and their appearance. Participants had their pictures taken during the time of the survey and again 10 years later, and had a panel of separate reviewers compare them. After controlling for income, other types of stress, health, and attractiveness, subjects who reported higher levels of financial stress were perceived as older than their actual age more often, and appeared to generally age faster over time. That’s why Walter White never had to do meth to look like he totally did meth. It’s also why you may want to chill out about money.
“It may be that people who are under a lot of financial stress do not pay much attention to their appearance,” explains study psychology profess Margie Lachman, the author of the study. “Stress can also accelerate the aging process.” But in her work, Lachman has found that financial stress specifically takes a larger toll on appearance than other types of stress. Interestingly, she found that people were really bad at evaluating their appearance and how much they aged across the board. So if you don’t believe that your mind on your money is showing your lack of money on your face, you might need a panel of people to tell you otherwise.