The Most Frugal States In The US Are Also The Most Expensive

If there’s one thing that New Yorkers can agree on, it’s the fact that New York City is expensive.

Food is expensive, drinks are expensive, rent is expensive, the list goes on.

But, according to a study done by WalletHub, consumers in New York state are some of the most conservative in the US when it comes to their spending habits.

The study analysed the 50 states (and the District of Columbia) in terms of consumer spending, and then ranked the states according to which ones spend the most.

WalletHub used ten metrics to determine the rankings, including spending on food and beverage, housing, and health care, as well as auto and credit card debt, annual savings account averages, and the per cent of the state’s population spending earning more than they make.

It is important to note that this particular ranking was adjusted according to income and cost of living in each state. Some metrics were divided by income and cost of living data for this adjusted ranking. WalletHub did a second ranking that was unadjusted, whose results you can see here.

Overall, the most frugal states in the US are, in descending order:

  1. Washington, DC
  2. New York
  3. California
  4. Maryland
  5. Connecticut
  6. New Jersey
  7. Hawaii
  8. Alaska
  9. Rhode Island
  10. New Hampshire

You might notice that the three most frugal — Washington DC, New York, and California — are home to some of the most expensive cities in the country, like New York City and San Francisco. However, more expensive doesn’t necessarily mean more likely to overspend. When WalletHub looked closely at the states where residents spend more than they earn (you can see that ranking in the infographic below), none of these three ranked at the top of the list.

The least conservative spenders live in:

  1. Mississippi
  2. Idaho
  3. New Mexico
  4. Alabama
  5. Utah
  6. Missouri
  7. Indiana
  8. Tennessee
  9. Montana
  10. Georgia

See the complete adjusted state ranking and more detailed methodology at WalletHub.

Those are the broad rankings, but WalletHub also broke down rankings by some of the metrics used in their study. Take a look:

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