Are you an asset or a liability to your state?! ;)

by J. Money - Published April 8, 2019

financially literate states map
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Morning!

Who’s up for some early morning stats?! :)

A report just came out by on the most financially literate – and least financially literate – states, and I was proud to see two of those I’ve called home over recent years land in the top 6.

How about yours?

The Most Financially Literate States:

  1. Virginia <— Aww yeahh!
  2. Utah
  3. New Hampshire
  4. New Jersey
  5. Minnesota
  6. Maryland <– BOOM
  7. Maine
  8. Colorado
  9. North Dakota
  10. New York

The Least Financially Literate States:

  1. Rhode Island
  2. South Dakota
  3. Hawaii
  4. Kentucky
  5. Oklahoma
  6. New Mexico
  7. Delaware
  8. Mississippi
  9. Alaska
  10. Louisiana

If yours landed in the bottom pile there, time to hook up your state and forward this blog to everyone you know!!! ;) It’s counting on you!!! Haha…

Here’s what went into the rankings:

“WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across three key dimensions: 1) WalletHub’s “WalletLiteracy Survey” Score, 2) Financial Planning & Habits and 3) Financial Knowledge & Education. We evaluated those dimensions using 17 relevant metrics, which are listed below with their corresponding weights…”

And those 17 metrics are:

  1. Median credit score
  2. Share of adults who spend more than they earn
  3. Share of adults with rainy-day funds
  4. Share of adults who save for their children’s college education
  5. Share of adults who try to achieve long term financial goals
  6. Share of adults whose household has a budget
  7. Share of unbanked households
  8. Share of adults borrowing from nonbank lenders
  9. Share of adults paying only the minimum on credit card(s)
  10. Share of adults who compare credit cards before applying
  11. High-school financial literacy grade
  12. Public high-school graduation rate
  13. Share of students required to take at least one personal finance course
  14. Share of adults who attended financial-education classes or counselling sessions in past 12 months
  15. Share of adults using online financial services
  16. Share of adults with at least a bachelor’s degree

And then lastly – the most fun metric of all:

  1. The ““score!

Which of course I then had to take just to see how well I contributed to my own state or not ;) And I’ll be honest – there were some tricky ones up in there!!

But luckily there were also some soft balls such as “what’s your age?” and “On a scale from 1 to 7, how would you assess your overall financial knowledge?” so I confidently gave myself a 6 out of 7 and was pleasantly pleased to be on target ;)

Here were my results:

Woo!

There were a lot of questions (30), but I swear you’ll have a good time answering them ;)

Here were a few of them to give you an idea…

  • Which two factors are most important when calculating your credit score?
  • Which of the following types of deposit accounts generally pays the highest interest rate?
  • If you carry over a balance on your credit card from one billing period to the next, when will interest charges begin on a new purchase?
  • Rank the following sources of funding for higher education from best to worst… (<– this was one of the 4 I got wrong…)
  • Which of the following people likely needs life insurance coverage most?
  • Which of the following debt payoff strategies will save you the most money?
  • If you put $100 in a savings account with an interest rate of 5% per year and left the money in the account for five years, how much would you have in the account at the end of the 5th year?

Wanna play along and see if you can beat me?

Take the survey here –>

And then let us know if you’re an asset or liability to your state! Haha…

No emails or anything are required to get your score, it’s just some good ol’ nerdy fun to start out your week on the right foot….

Happy Financial Literacy Month!

{ 59 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Dave @ Accidental FIRE April 8, 2019 at 7:17 am

Any post with a map is my kind of post!

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2 J. Money April 8, 2019 at 7:35 am

Haha…

Just wait until we do a treasure map!! ;)

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3 Financially Fit Mom April 8, 2019 at 8:13 am

82%. Not horrible. 4 of the 6 questions I missed were on credit products and I probably could have scored a little better if I took more time to think some through, but it doesn’t matter to me when interest is charged on a credit card because you shouldn’t ever have a reason to worry about that! I got the higher education one wrong too…but I’ve been telling my daughter for years that she better make scholarship applications her part time job because there is so much free money out there if you just put in the work! So, I’ll happily take my 82 :) Cheers!

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4 J. Money April 8, 2019 at 9:55 am

Haha… No shame in that ;)

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5 Paul April 8, 2019 at 8:38 am

Got a 97%, missed 2. 1 was me simply not reading the question and the other was the bounced check one. Having never bounced a check I was unaware that pretty much everyone gets charged a fee. Which in hindsight seems obvious, but it is what it is… now I know.

Also, I’m definitely an asset to my state but, I’m not sure that arrangement is reciprocal. State Income Taxes are out of hand.

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6 J. Money April 8, 2019 at 9:56 am

That bounced check one got me too – fun to learn something new!

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7 Lisa April 8, 2019 at 8:58 am

Not bad, scored an 88 – missed the higher education one – but at least I know that everyone (!) gets charged a fee for a bounced check. This is something I preach to my kids. Missed on the rent vs. buy, have never rented in my life and bought the last house with cash so didn’t have to think about that. Guess I still have a way to go . . . .

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8 J. Money April 8, 2019 at 9:57 am

In cash????

Baller!

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9 Lisa April 9, 2019 at 2:59 pm

yep, it was fun : ) and nice not to owe money. It’s also something we don’t talk about, one of the stealth wealth things . . . . ??

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10 J. Money April 10, 2019 at 6:58 am

You are my favorite person of the year.

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11 Alex April 8, 2019 at 9:12 am

I got an A! The whole time I was answering questions I kept thinking crap I’m going to fail this thing.. guess all of these financial blog posts podcasts are paying off!

Got the college funding question wrong (makes sense given that I’m still burdened with $30k worth of loans even though I went to a “cheap” state school) and the delinquent payment one wrong by 3 years.

Thanks for sharing this :)

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12 J. Money April 8, 2019 at 9:57 am

Thanks for playing along :)

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13 Akbar Muhammad April 8, 2019 at 9:25 am

B+, Yeah! Should done better…but could of should of, right? I’m representing Saint Paul, MN!!! Thanks for the quiz J Mo!

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14 J. Money April 8, 2019 at 9:59 am

And I’d say reppin’ pretty well, too. Minnesota is lucky to have you!

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15 Sarah April 8, 2019 at 12:32 pm

I’m a St. Pauler, too! :)

I got 91% / A-

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16 Adam April 8, 2019 at 9:33 am

I missed a few questions about stuff I never get exposed to. Must I be able to order the best ways to pay for college when we don’t have any kids? Who cares when interest charges start on a carried credit card balance if you never carry a balance? I’m perfectly happy for my brain to store other things instead, like the entire lyrics to Blues Traveler’s 1994 hit ‘Hook’.

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17 J. Money April 8, 2019 at 9:59 am

I mean, it is a pretty good song…

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18 David @ Dads and Dollar$ April 9, 2019 at 11:34 am

Well, the hook brings you back, after all.

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19 JB April 8, 2019 at 9:58 am

84% not bad. A-

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20 J. Money April 8, 2019 at 10:00 am

*Thumbs up*

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21 Nathan April 8, 2019 at 10:44 am

Scored a 97 (I’m only 21). I missed the bounced check one, because I’ve never had a check bounce, and the question asking about when interest on a credit card is charged. I just pay the balance in full every month so I don’t have to worry about interest.

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22 J. Money April 8, 2019 at 10:49 am

Damn – good for you man. I wasn’t thinking about money at ALL when I was your age, except for how to SPEND IT! :) You’re gonna be setting yourself up well for when you’re an old man like me…

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23 Paul G April 8, 2019 at 11:05 am

I scored a 95 (A-)! I missed the one about paying for college mostly because I have the post 9/11 GI Bill which I have signed over to my son, so I basically already have college covered. I also missed the one about credit card purchases and the one about credit score (missed 3 total). Looks like I am an asset to NE.

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24 J. Money April 9, 2019 at 6:16 am

I would say so too :)

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25 Adam @ Minafi April 8, 2019 at 12:23 pm

I’d heard from some people around here that Utah had great financial literacy – great to see it up there on the list!

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26 J. Money April 9, 2019 at 6:16 am

For once the gossip is true, haha…

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27 [email protected] April 8, 2019 at 1:23 pm

Only got two wrong on that financial literacy quiz. 99%! :) Woo hoo! It’s the little things in life.

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28 J. Money April 9, 2019 at 6:17 am

Rock it!

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29 Jeff April 8, 2019 at 1:49 pm

I scored a B. Missed the one about bouncing a check because I don’t do that. Also missed the one about what come out before you get your paycheck. I am from Texas so I don’t have state and local taxes. Answered it based on what comes out of my paycheck. That was a bulls**t question.

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30 J. Money April 9, 2019 at 6:19 am

Oh wow – I didn’t know that about Texas! That’s pretty sweet!

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31 Sparks April 8, 2019 at 2:16 pm

95%

– Misread the which charges less interest question backwards
– Actually wasn’t aware that interest is immediate if you’re carry a balance on a credit card
– I generally take exception to debit cards being safer than checks; in some cases yes, but in major cases that matter I think the check is safer, such as paying for a scam, you might still be able to cancel a check, your [email protected]#$ out of luck with a debit card unless you have a really nice bank

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32 J. Money April 9, 2019 at 6:23 am

I thought the same thing with check cancelling!! Haha… it at least gives you a few days if you’re mailing it somewhere! :)

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33 Torrie April 8, 2019 at 2:28 pm

I’m from Utah, but my score could have been better—I only got a B! Of course, in my defense, I’ve never had to worry about calculating interest on different APRs of credit cards because I’ve never carried a balance on one, and since I’ve never bounced a check, I didn’t know both parties got charged :) Always lots to learn!

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34 J. Money April 9, 2019 at 6:26 am

I’ll gladly take a B for not having to experience any of that stuff too :)

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35 steph April 8, 2019 at 4:46 pm

82% – one of the questions I knew I answered wrong right after I submitted it (facepalm). Oh well.

I’m curious; how did you rank the higher education question – if you still remember?

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36 J. Money April 9, 2019 at 6:28 am

The only thing I remember was not knowing what “Parent PLUS” was so i think i ranked it close to the bottom? But from the responses I’ve been getting even the people who *know* all about it failed this question and thinks it’s broken haha… fwiw

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37 StackingCash April 8, 2019 at 5:10 pm

88% kinda sad for how long I’ve been interested in PF. However, some of those questions are so situation specific that most responsible people would not know. It’s good not to learn the hard way when it comes to

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38 J. Money April 9, 2019 at 6:29 am

Haha agreed.

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39 April April 8, 2019 at 10:26 pm

Woo hoo! We tied! I don’t really care about the ones I missed since they don’t really have anything to do with me. :)

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40 J. Money April 9, 2019 at 6:29 am

*virtual hand shake*

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41 Jen April 8, 2019 at 10:41 pm

It said 100% but I “missed” 2. One was the mortgage prepayment penalty – which can actually be a thing but I don’t think is common anymore. The other is what’s most secure payment types. It’s debatable. I’d put cash as more secure than debit because cash you have a finite amount on your person to lose, whereas debit you’re able to lose more and it’s got less fraud protection.

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42 J. Money April 9, 2019 at 6:33 am

ooooh great answer for the cash one!!! That is true, isn’t it??

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43 Huong Meeks April 9, 2019 at 11:27 am

So KSL just posted this today, and I thought it goes so well with this post of yours. Funny that Virginia and Utah are the two most financial literate states, but also among the top 10 states with the highest amount of per capita household debt. Although I’m not surprised with DC being in the top— based on how our countries are in so much debt, it only makes sense that the DC politicians’s household debt are so high :)

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44 J. Money April 10, 2019 at 7:05 am

Hah! I would believe it! Going over to check out the link now – thx.

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45 David @ Dads and Dollar$ April 9, 2019 at 11:45 am

95%. Not bad. Missed two I probably should have known (went for the snowball method instead of the choice I kept trying to tell myself was right…because it was), guessed right on the ones I didn’t.

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46 J. Money April 10, 2019 at 7:09 am

I personally think the snowball method is better for most people as most people are emotional human beings!, however math-wise unfortunately it is not :)

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47 Stephanie April 9, 2019 at 12:38 pm

Woohoo, got a 97%!! Must be because I live in NJ, which is a very financially literate state. ;-)

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48 J. Money April 10, 2019 at 7:11 am

Must be, haha…

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49 Holly G April 9, 2019 at 12:53 pm

Love these quizzes! So much fun! I got an A. :)

I missed the question on payment of the credit card fee being a min of $15 payment I was thinking paying more. Oops! Even yesterday at the JA financial literacy event they said 3 months of living expenses not 6 months of living expenses. lol I prefer 6 months+ in my mind.

I got the college loans correct since I actually used each of those when I went to school. My father took out Direct loans and I had subsidized and unsubsidized loans. Plus, I did get some scholarship money – wish I had applied for more! I plan on having my kids apply for lots of scholarships. We have some 529k money saved so far.

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50 J. Money April 10, 2019 at 7:15 am

Haha yup!! My parents forced me to apply to a ton too which I def. wouldn’t have done without their prodding :) Will have to continue the tradition with my own kids too – hah!

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51 FullTimeFinance April 9, 2019 at 5:18 pm

Ouch Delaware at 48. I’m reminded that I have yet to come across another finance blogger here.

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52 J. Money April 10, 2019 at 7:16 am

On the side, that means you’re Delaware’s #1 top blogger!! Woo! ;)

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53 CJ April 10, 2019 at 1:22 pm

From Canada, I got A- , questions about college was difficult, because it is different here….was pleased with my score…

I really like your blog, first time commenting, you are doing a great job educating young people.

from me, to you

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54 J. Money April 10, 2019 at 5:21 pm

Way to represent!!

(And glad you’re enjoying the blog – thanks for letting me know!! :))

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55 Gene Roberts April 12, 2019 at 2:22 am

Your WalletLiteracy Score is:A
You scored higher than 100%
Below 0%
Above 100% of survey responders.

I reversed the order of 2 sources of financial aid.
College was a couple of decades ago and I have no kids. So I’ll take the win. :)

I’m going to need them to show the math when they say I scored higher than 100% of respondents (since it would technically include my own score).

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56 J. Money April 12, 2019 at 6:11 am

Haha… just take the win and shut it!

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57 Wendy April 13, 2019 at 12:51 pm

It would be interesting to see a map overlay of cost of living per state on top of this map. I live in Oklahoma and Kentucky (yes, I have dual citizenship, LOL.) OK ranked #2 for lowest COL and KY ranked #14, but Virginia ranked #32. Maybe ignorance is bliss. :-)

I scored quite high on the test, but I love all money matters.

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58 J. Money April 15, 2019 at 4:38 pm

You fit in well here then :)

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59 April 20, 2019 at 10:57 am

I got an A (99%) and missed 2, although one it marked wrong (ranking investments from least to most risky) it appears I actually got right, based on the answer they gave.

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