This Study Says These are the 5 Best and Worst States at Saving Money
How have your savings been looking lately?
Sometimes, looking at the state of, well, your state, is a good way to hold a mirror up to your own finances.
WalletHub recently ranked the most and least financially savvy states for 2017. (Spoiler: Massachusetts took an overall gold.) The study took a deep dive into how states ranked, based on debt, spending, financial literacy, credit and saving.
That last one is what we’re focusing on today — saving.
Which States Rank Highest (and Lowest) in Saving Money?
Nope, looking at your state’s ranking isn’t a direct indicator of how you’re doing. But, c’mon and break out that state pride. (Whoo, Sunshine State, am I right?)
In the saving category, WalletHub ranked states based on factors including annual consumer-savings-account average, the number of adults with emergency funds, college savings accounts set up for their kids and/or budgets. It also looked at the number of “unbanked households,” meaning those with zero bank accounts. Each category held the same weight.
OK, so these were the top five states, in terms of saving:
- New Hampshire
- New York
- New Jersey
These were the lowest-ranking states, in terms of saving:
- New Mexico
- West Virginia
If you live in one of these states — or feel like you’re the oddball in your perfect-scoring state — don’t worry. We’ve got one easy tip to help.
How to Start Saving Money — One Penny at a Time
One of the easiest ways to get over that initial hump is to set up an automated savings account, one that’ll automatically pull money into it — without you even batting an eye.
You don’t need to feel like you have to deposit a large chunk of change each week or month. Even the smallest amount will do just fine.
Automating your savings is easier than you think. Chances are, your bank allows you to schedule payments out. But if you’re feeling a little lost, look into getting started with these tools.
1. Open an Aspiration Summit Checking Account
Many of us here at The Penny Hoarder HQ have some money stashed away in Aspiration’s Summit Checking Account.
Why? Well, it’s different from most regular checking accounts in that it earns you up to 1% interest. (Context: That’s 100 times more than my other checking account, which earned me zero.)
Plus, you can automate it.
For example, senior writer Dana Sitar has wired her account up so that a portion of her paycheck gets funneled into it. She never sees it, which makes missing that money a little less painful — and mindless.
2. Use a Set-It-and-Forget-It Investing App
You’re thinking: Investing isn’t the same as saving. Nope, but investing can be a good way to grow your money over a longer period of time.
And it’s easier to tuck that money away with micro-investing apps like Acorns and Stash, which let you do it automatically.
With Acorns, you can set the app to simply round up your debit- or credit-card purchases to the nearest dollar. The pocket change is then squirreled away into your Acorns account. If you have a balance less than $5,000, you’ll pay a $1 monthly fee, plus 0.5% of your balance.
With Stash, you can set an automatic deposit weekly or monthly — or however often you want. You can start with just $5. Plus you get a $5 bonus when you sign up. The monthly fee for accounts less than $5,000 is $1. (Your first month is free, though.)
Moral of the story? Saving is only as difficult as you make it, so automate it. And, yes, you need to get some state pride. C’mon, folks.
Carson Kohler (@CarsonKohler) is a junior writer at The Penny Hoarder. She loves easy investing options almost as much as she loves Florida.