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Do The Worst Budgeters In The US Live In Georgia?

What makes someone a bad budgeter in life?  Is it the fact that they use their ATM receipt as their personal bank reconciliation?   Is it that as long as they can pay the minimum on their credit cards, they will keep charging new purchases every month?  Is it because of poor upbringing and spending no time learning about money?

Wallet Hub recently ran a study and ranked the 150 metropolitan areas in the United States to gauge the overall budgeting capability of their residents.  They did so by examining 16 key metrics, ranging from the average credit score to the percentage of unbanked households.  They even ranked foreclosures.  Here is what the study revealed about budgeting.

Metro Areas with the Best Budgeters Metro Areas with the Worst Budgeters
1 Fargo, ND 141 Monroe, LA
2 Sioux Falls, SD 142 Alexandria, LA
3 Rochester, MN 143 Savannah, GA
4 Minneapolis, MN 144 Augusta, GA
5 Boston, MA 145 Macon, GA
6 Cedar Rapids, IA 146 Columbus, GA
7 Des Moines, IA 147 Gulfport, MS
8 Sioux City, IA 148 Las Vegas, NV
9 San Francisco, CA 149 Albany, GA
10 Duluth, MN 150 Jackson, MS

 

Georgia had five of the worst ten metro areas in the United States, which puts us amongst the top 150 metro areas and Atlanta metro didn’t fare much better at 120th on the list.   If your family finances seem to be in line with this study, here are five smart money moves to improve your family profit and loss statement.

  1. Ask yourself is this a short-term or long-term problem-  The first basic question is know whether the debt you have racked up was because of a one time occurrence (i.e.- medical expenses, big purchase) or is this a systemtic and chronic budgeting issue.    After recognizing this issue, you next need to ask whether you truly have a revenue issue or an expense issue with your family finances.  Do you need a complete overhaul of your finances or do you need to pick up a second job to make ends meet?
  2. Determine which credit card to pay off first- If your FICO score is suffering, it is important to make sure you get to paying your bills on time.   Then, irrespective of interest rate, I am a fan of paying off one credit card so you can gain some emotional wins as well as financial wins.  Remember, don’t close out the credit cards or you could hurt your overall utilization score.
  3. Shop every one of your bills- Fixed expenses can be difficult to alter unless you completely change your lifestyle.   Consider calling each and every one of your vendors anywhere from a home refinance to lowering your cable bill to shave down your fixed expenses.
  4. Use cash for a month- From the grocery store to the gas station, if you pay with cash for one full month you’ll get a better handle on exactly what you spend.  I see more families today who hardly ever read their credit card bill and because of on line bill pay it’s just easy to click without inspecting your costs.
  5. Rank your expenses– If you do have to cut something on the discretionary side, ask yourself what you could live without for the next twelve months while you clean up your mess.   Maybe you can cut out the eating out at lunch.  Or, give up the gym membership.   Whatever it takes to get yourself back into good shape with your overall family financial picture.

Usually, you can expect what you inspect.  More often than not, most families get to the bottom of the budgeting list by simply not inspecting where their money goes each month.  Let’s all pitch in to see if we can become better budgeters here in Georgia . . . or we’ll all have to take a road trip to Iowa or North Dakota!

Written by: Ted Jenkin
Request a FREE consultation: www.oxygenfinancial.net

About the author  ⁄ Ted Jenkin @ Your Smart Money Moves

Ted Jenkin @ Your Smart Money Moves

Hey!

My friends and family all think I’m a workaholic, but I say I’m just a guy that loves to help people do better in life.

My mother is still the only one that calls me by my real name Theodore Michael, my wife calls me Teddy, but for the rest of you it is just plain old Ted.

Ever since I was a little kid, I always loved money and being an entrepreneur. In fact, I still have cassette tapes of me talking to my grandmother at the age of five and my mother tells me all the time how much I played with money as a kid...

Read More About Ted Here

Ted Jenkin is a frequent guest columnist for the Wall Street Journal and Headline News Weekend Express. He is the co-CEO of oXYGen Financial. You can follow him on LinkedIn @ www.linkedin.com/in/theceoadvisor or on Twitter @tedjenkin.

Securities offered through Kestra Investment Services, LLC (Kestra IS), member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advisory services offered through Kestra Advisory Services, LLC (Kestra AS), an affiliate of Kestra IS. oXYGen Financial is not affiliated with Kestra IS or Kestra AS. Kestra IS and Kestra AS do not provide tax or legal advice.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and may not necessarily reflect those held by Kestra Investment Services, LLC or Kestra Advisory Services, LLC. This is for general information only and is not intended to provide specific investment advice or recommendations for any individual. It is suggested that you consult your financial professional, attorney, or tax advisor regarding your individual situation. 

Background and qualification information is available at FINRA's BrokerCheck website.

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