Congratulations to the people of the State of New Hampshire for being very financially capable! The citizens of The Granite State are rock solid in personal finance compared with the rest of the United States.
The FINRA Investor Education Foundation surveyed five characteristics of financial capability.
New Hampshire was the only state to rank in the top five in four out of the five categories of financial capability. We visited The Granite State last fall and loved it. How can you not like a state with the motto Live Free or Die? We didn’t know the beautiful fall scenery, ultra-clean highways and a deep history was hiding a state full of financial smarty-pants!
Check out the best and worst states in this table for cheers or heckling depending on where you live.
According to survey, about 60% of Americans don’t have a 3-month emergency fund. It’s no wonder we are in the greatest economic crisis since The Great Depression.
When your income stops or big medical bills show up the money must come from borrowing or savings. If you don’t have emergency savings the money must be borrowed (or not paid at all). That might force you to more expensive, non-traditional lending sources like pawn brokers and payday loan shops.
You’d need the granite shovel of financial discipline or lottery winnings to dig out of that borrowing state. You might need to find someone that knows borrowing and can coach you through the big dig.
It’d be tough to live free of that debt again and some would rather die. If they’d rather die then they had better… Oooops I just had a runaway mind train with Ebenezer Scrooge aboard A Christmas Carol express. Strike the last thoughts.
Live free of the bondage of sketchy debt or watch your free cash flow die a slow death from high interest and late charges! You can fight that fight with an emergency cash reserve and preserve your financial legacy.
Forty-two percent of the people of New Hampshire live up to their Live Free or Die slogan by stashing at least three months emergency cash. This isn’t great but better than most of the rest of the country.
How did my home state of Arizona do in the survey?
According to the summary map only 20% of Arizonans spent more than they earned in the last year. I’m confused because the state by state tables don’t rank Arizona in the top five in this category and show 60% of the nation spent more than they earned last year.
I believe the 60% U.S. average is more true and I know personally from the number of home foreclosures in Arizona that Arizonans were some of the most free spending residents in the country. According to an Arizona State University study there were 2,095 foreclosures in November 2010 and that number is low because of the moratorium by Bank of America.
I can definitely believe only 20% of Arizonans spent less than they earned, not the other way around.
Does anyone else see this discrepancy? Am I missing something? Please reply to this post and help me. Maybe someone from FINRA will help me out here with an explanation.
Sixty-four percent of Arizonans did not have a 3-month rainy day reserve and 32% used non-traditional lenders. It’s a philosophy of live and spend freely and hope you don’t get sick or die!
Arizona is also slightly more financially literate than the rest of the country with an average score of 3.1 out of 5 questions answered correctly on the quiz. The score is not exactly a granite state of financial I.Q.
By the way, New Hampshire is the smartest state in the nation with an average score of 3.3 correct answers out of 5. They have much to be thankful for this holiday season.
How do you compare to the national average? Take the financial literacy quiz and comment to this post with your score.