staffer Fred O. Williams collects average credit score and household income data from residents across the U.S. to compile a ranking of money management styles in different states. Williams writes,

"To measure money management ability, compared consumers' average credit scores, from the credit bureau Experian, to their median household income, per the U.S. Census. We then ranked the states by differences between the two: The top states had credit scores much higher than their income. In the middle, credit scores about match income rank. Poor performers had high income, but relatively low credit scores. Differences in state job markets and the age of their population influenced their scores, but didn't explain all the variations in money management ability.

Looking at consumers' ability to handle money can help spot traits shared by effective money managers and not-so-effective ones. So it's not about packing up and moving to another state for the sake of your credit -- which probably wouldn't help anyway.

The results found that the best money managers were scattered from the Rocky Mountains to the Great Plains and the East Coast. Poor money managers were also scattered across the country, with a concentration in the mid-Atlantic region."

The way an individual does (or doesn't) manage their money has a great impact on their financial status down the road, and dictates how quickly they can realize their dreams to buy a home, hot-rod, hot tub, or any hot-ticket item.

The top five states for money management are Montana, South Dakota, North Dakota, Maine, and Vermont. The five states at the bottom are Maryland, Washington, D.C., Alaska, Virginia, and Texas

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