Greenville is the best place to live to keep costs down

Even with lower-than-average income, Greenville is the best place to live if you want to stay within your means.

LendingTree says Greenville residents do better than others due to their low levels of housing debt, credit usage, and loan balances. Greensboro, South Carolina; Kansas City; Buffalo, New York; and Charlotte, North Carolina round out the top five.

Credit usage in Greenville is tied for the lowest in the country — residents there use 27.6 percent of available credit, on average. The standard recommendation is to use less than 30 percent of your available credit to showcase a good usage. Raleigh residents in North Carolina use the same amount of credit.

Many areas spend more than that. San Diego is 41st on the list, where residents use 32.8 percent of their credit, more than the recommendation.

“Boosting the city’s score are factors like low use of revolving credit lines, low levels of housing debt, and a low average balance on installment loans (including auto, student and personal loans),” LendingTree says of Greenville. And Greensboro in North Carolina “benefits from low housing costs and relatively fewer credit inquiries compared to residents in other cities on the list.”

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How you can spend within your means

If you want to be like Greenville or Greensboro residents, take some time to account for your finances.

The first step to living within your means is to know what your means are: How much do you make? How much are your necessary bills? What are your needs as far as food and other living expenses?

Once you make a budget and simultaneously detail how much spending you’re doing each month, you’ll start to see where your finances are failing. Maybe you grab lunch one too many times each week. Maybe you pay a lot for cable and internet. Maybe your car is costing you more than you realize. Maybe your credit card fees are hitting your account without you realizing it.

Whatever your financial hold-ups are, you can take steps to lowering those problems. You can cut cable entirely or bundle it with other services to save money. Start meal prepping and buying only from your grocery list when at the store to avoid dining out when you’re at work. If it’s your car, see if you can sell it or turn it in early if it’s a lease. If you’re stuck there, negotiate with your insurance company for a lower monthly cost. You can also bundle your insurances to save money every month.

If credit card fees or student loans are putting you further in debt, you can talk with a financial adviser or visit our education center to see which debt you can pay off first to pocket more of your money later. Sometimes it’s as simple as realizing how much interest is costing you. Sometimes it’s debt consolidation. Sometimes it’s moving to pay off your student loan debt sooner.

Once you realize what your setbacks are, you can make a conscious decision on how to tackle your money problems. You can start your money management journey now.

Meet the Author

Dori Zinn

Dori Zinn

Writer

Zinn is a freelance journalist based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Budgeting & Saving, Credit & Debt, News

credit card debt, credit score, income

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Article last modified on November 9, 2017. Published by Debt.com, LLC . Mobile users may also access the AMP Version: Move to South Carolina to Live Within Your Means - AMP.