Lifestyle

How Financially Fit is Texas?

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What does it take for a city to have a fit wallet? A recent study conducted by Wallet Hub used various metrics and created a ranking system on which U.S. cities had the fittest wallets. The study measured the 150 biggest U.S. cities among 27 key domains to make their determinations. How did Texas stack-up?

Get that wallet fat!

Photo: Flickr/whity

Plano, Texas was the highest overall ranking Texas city, coming in at number 14 on the cumulative ranking. Austin was the next highest-ranking city from Texas coming in 23rd on the list. On the other hand, San Antonio and Brownsville did not fair so hot according to the study, coming in at 127th and 149th on the ranking system.

Austin also ranked #2 on lowest foreclosure rate. Akron, Ohio ranked #1 on the highest foreclosure rate. Plano, Texas also came in at #3 on the highest median income adjusted according to cost of living. Texas scored poorly as a state on the percentage of households with no health insurance. Five out of the five top cities with no health insurance are all in the state of Texas, with Houston holding the #1 spot.

6 Keys to Building a Fitter Wallet:

Next stop, $$$!

Photo: Flickr/401(k) 2012

The study also gave six key tips into creating a fitter, and fatter, wallet. By following this protocol maybe you can help make your city more financially fit.

  1. Building Good Credit—the study recommended the number one thing you could do to build good credit was to make your payments on-time. On-time payments also will lead to several thousands of dollars (sometimes millions of dollars) of money saved over a lifetime.
  2. Minimizing Debt—this is a big one. Minimize debt one thing at a time to the point where you carry no more debt. Monthly income should always exceed the amount of bills and other expenses you pay. A quick practical place to start is to pay off the bill with the highest interest rate first and make minimum payments on all the other outstanding debts.
  3. Getting Better Deals—the study related this mostly to interest rates regarding loans. It is important to shop around and know your credit score to ensure you’re getting the best deal you can get with your current score.
  4. Maximize Earning Power—part of this comes from being smart with your money at your current income level. The other part of this is making yourself more marketable by learning new skills.
  5. Have a Plan for Financial Emergencies—the way to do this is simple but not always easy. Create a separate savings account or store cash on hand and do not spend it. Part of your monthly savings should go towards an in-case-of-emergency “account”. The purpose of this money is to offset costs in case of an unexpected emergency.
  6. Retirement Savings—compound interest is your friend. Let it work for you. Over the course of several years, compound interest will turn a small amount of money each month into a substantially large sum.
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