The Best (and Worst) States for Your Budget

The Best (and Worst) States for Your Budget

If you're struggling to get out of debt or annoyed that your budget is always breaking, you might feel the cards are stacked against you.

Well, maybe they are.

Answer this question for us: Do you live in Arizona, South Carolina, or Maine? If so, you're living in a state with a high cost of living and low earning potential. To put it more simply, you're spending more and earning less, just because of the state you call home. (And it might be time to get together a smart budget. Try our budgeting tool.)

Groceries are more expensive, you're getting killed at the gas pump, and there doesn't seem to be a job that pays what you're worth. Meanwhile, your friends are living the good life in Utah and Nebraska.

What's the Rent Like?

What $1,500 will get you across the country.

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It's not often we get to throw a dart at the map and choose our state, but if we did have the chance, where would be the smartest place to live? 

Check out our handy matrix below. (Then follow our tips to figure out how to get a job in that perfect state.)


MERIC Cost of Living Data Series

U.S. Department of Commerce Data


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