Saving money is on the forefront of many people's minds.
The economy is slowly gaining ground and millions of people are still looking for employment. That's not to say that saving money is impossible. In fact, certain cities across the country make it easier to pad your basic savings account, according to a recent report from GoBankingRates.com.
The report listed the best and worst cities to save money based on the 100 most populated cities in the nation. The report determined affordability rates by looking at cities with high yields, low taxes, a good job market, affordable homes and higher incomes. You might be surprised at some of the results.
The top city for money saving was Atlanta, the most populated city and capital of Georgia. The median household income in the city is $56,024 and the median home value is $101,300. Those two factors, combined with a low unemployment rate of 6.8 percent and just 8 percent sales tax, make it easy for the city's residents to save cash.
Of the top 10 cities making it easy to save cash, Atlanta also had the highest average savings rate for a saving account with a 1.4 percent annual percent yield.
Rounding out the top five
Jacksonville, Fla., finished second on the list due to 7 percent sales tax and an unemployment rate of 5.6 percent. Jacksonville trailed Atlanta in median home value, household income and the annual percent yield on savings accounts.Third on the list might be most surprising: Honolulu. Known for its lavish hotels and as a popular travel destination, Honolulu was surprisingly affordable thanks to its sales tax of just 4.5 percent and its stellar unemployment rate of 3.8 percent. It wasn't a shocker to see the sticker price of the average home value, which is where Honolulu missed out on catching up with Atlanta or Jacksonville. While the city's median household income is about $10,000 more than that of Atlanta, the median home value in Honolulu is more than six times the Georgia city's, coming in at a whopping $627,900.
Houston and Anchorage, Alaska, finished fourth and fifth, respectively, on the list. Houston notched its spot with a good saving yield and low cost of acquiring a home. Anchorage made the list due to no sales tax and a higher median household income of $72,555 compared to Houston's $58,567.
It's easy to save in Texas
Along with Houston, the Lonestar State had six of the top 11 best cities to save money. Lubbock, Texas, came in sixth, Arlington and Garland tied for seventh, Plano came in eighth and Fort Worth was ninth.Dallas wasn't far off, finishing 12th thanks to a top-25 finish from its median household value of $60,383. It failed to make the top 10 because of its median home price, which was in the bottom 50th percentile, according to the report. The median home value of a Dallas residential property is $170,600.
Good luck saving in these cities
Four of the top 10 worst cities in which to save money were found in California. The lowest-ranking cities out of the 100 surveyed were Mesa, Ariz.; Riverside, Calif.; and Long Beach, Calif.
Chicago was the 76th least affordable city and New York came in 44th.
Shelly Selin, a volunteer tax preparer, told the New York Post she can't even consider saving money living on Manhattan's Upper East Side. Selin, 80, spends $2,500 a month on her mortgage payment. She is living mostly on her investments, annuities and Social Security.
"Bank interest rates are at less than 1 percent, and I've heard stories of people saying, 'I thought I had enough money in CDs, and now I don't,'" Selin said. "They forget these CDs don't pay any interest."
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