Making a move is a huge financial commitment. And when it comes to getting the most bang for your buck, you should consider the best and worst states to live in for your money. There’s a lot to think about. So to help make the decision easier on you, we put together as many financial factors unique to each state that we could come up with.
Unfortunately, there’s no utopia. Take California, for instance: its median household income is $60,336, which is about $11,000 higher than the national median average, according to public data provider Department of Numbers. 
California laws allow workers to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid family leave in a 12-month period, and the state also offers up to six weeks of partially paid leave to care for a newborn, adopted child, or seriously ill family member.
Sounds great, right? But with that comes some steep living expenses. The L.A. Times  reported that California is also home to some of the highest taxes in the country, and the state’s median home price is more than $600,000, according to Business Insider. 
When it comes to deciding where your home will be, you’re going to have to pick and choose your battles — but we’re here to make things a little easier for you. Without further ado, here are the best and worst states for your money in America.
The costs of living in each state
Making a move for a job can earn you more money. But it can also drain your accounts quicker than you can replace them — especially if you make the leap without considering the costs of living.
Before you pack and head to another state, check out how much you can expect to make, and more importantly, how much it costs to live there. Take a look at our interactive map to see what it costs to live in each state. They’re ranked from least to most expensive…
And where are the most expensive of these states? Click or swipe through this content slider to see…
The costs of living in these volcanic islands are so expensive people are moving to the mainland. Almost 14,000 left from 2016 to 2017 alone, which is up from previous years, according to Hawaii TV news station Hawaii News Now. Who can blame them when homes are the most expensive in the United States?
On the bright side, the average income per person is the highest in the country and unemployment rates are the lowest.
- Median Home Price: $635,000
- Rent Price: $2,300
- Income per person: $54,565
- Tax Burden: 9.10 %
- Average Yearly Grocery Costs: $4,081
- Gas Cost per Gallon: $3.00
- Unemployment Rate: 2.1
- Average Monthly Health Insurance Premium: $411
Those high living costs have contributed to Hawaiians' debt. Check out how Hawaii is also the state with the highest debt levels.
Thinking of moving to the West Coast to make it big in Silicon Valley? Hope you have deep pockets. People earning $200,000 annually have been moving in, according to California's nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office. However, people earning $55,000 or less in a year (a little lower than the state's average income per person) have been leaving. Look at these prices and you’ll see why...
- Median Home Price: $535,000
- Rent Price: $2,795
- Income per person: $62,586
- Tax Burden: 11%
- Average Yearly Grocery Costs: $2,872
- Gas Cost per Gallon: $3.82
- Unemployment Rate: 4.2
- Average Monthly Health Insurance Premium: $525
Rents are pretty high in California. Check out how the rents in California have steadily been increasing over the past few years.
2. New York
Homes in the Empire State aren’t as expensive as California, but the rents are higher, and the yearly pay is only a few thousand dollars more than the Golden State. Looking at the monthly health insurance costs, keeping healthy will cost you a pretty penny.
- Median Home Price: $369,000
- Rent Price: $3,200
- Income per person: $68,667
- Tax Burden: 8.7%
- Average Yearly Grocery Costs: $2,904
- Gas Cost per Gallon: $3.00
- Unemployment Rate: 4.2
- Average Monthly Health Insurance Premium: $624
CNN reported last year, “How Colorado became one of the least affordable places to live in the U.S.” The reason? Over the past decade, an influx of people moved there and caused housing affordability to plummet for those already living in Colorado.
- Median Home Price: $415,000
- Rent Price: $1,900
- Income per person: $56,846
- Tax Burden: 8.9%
- Average Yearly Grocery Costs: $3,203
- Gas Cost per Gallon: $2.94
- Unemployment Rate: 2.9
- Average Monthly Health Insurance Premium: $485
Colorado doesn't have the highest health insurance premiums in the country. However, residents do pay some heavy out-of-pocket healthcare expenses.
History doesn’t come cheap. The most populated New England state holds a lot of it. And it's pricey to keep a roof over your head and food in your belly. But this settling ground of the Pilgrims is home to some of the highest wages in the country, making it more affordable than New York or California.
- Median Home Price: $435,900
- Rent Price: $2,500
- Income per person: $70,073
- Tax Burden: 10.9%
- Average Yearly Grocery Costs: $3,682
- Gas Cost per Gallon: $2.86
- Unemployment Rate: 3.6
- Average Monthly Health Insurance Premium: $554
Housing may be a little cheaper in Washington than Massachusetts, but the average yearly income is $10,000 less per year. And the unemployment rates are higher, up there with the 10 highest in the U.S. Without guarantee of a steady income, it’ll be hard to come up with the tax and health insurance costs.
- Median Home Price: $391,500
- Rent Price: $2,100
- Income per person: $60,781
- Tax Burden: 9.3%
- Average Yearly Grocery Costs: $3,409
- Gas Cost per Gallon: $3.54
- Unemployment Rate: 4.5
- Average Monthly Health Insurance Premium: $546
Oregon has become a desirable place to move to for younger workers. Tech jobs and a more hipster environment have driven a younger demographic to cities like Portland. The Beaver State made No. 3 on U.S. News & World Report's Best States for Growth list, a report based on young population and GDP growth, and amount of people moving there. But it still has home prices, rents, and groceries among the top 10 most expensive in the country.
- Median Home Price: $375,000
- Rent Price: $1,795
- Income per person: $49,908
- Tax Burden: 8.6%
- Average Yearly Grocery Costs: $3,523
- Gas Cost per Gallon: $3.39
- Unemployment Rate: 3.8
- Average Monthly Health Insurance Premium: $465
Looking at the housing costs and the average income per person being more than $10,000 below the national average, it’s going to be tough to bank most of the money you’re earning. Although its tax burden is on the lower end and so is unemployment.
- Median Home Price: $350,000
- Rent Price: $1,495
- Income per person: $45,340
- Tax Burden: 7.6%
- Average Yearly Grocery Costs: $2,601
- Gas Cost per Gallon: $3.01
- Unemployment Rate: 3.1
- Average Monthly Health Insurance Premium: $423
8. New Jersey
Housing costs and unemployment rates are on the higher end in the Garden State. But the average yearly income per person is up there with the three highest states in the country. Gas prices are in the mid-range and the tax burden isn’t awful. It’s around the lowest in the U.S.
- Median Home Price: $329,000
- Rent Price: $1,995
- Income per person: $67,609
- Tax Burden: 7.9%
- Average Yearly Grocery Costs: $3,329
- Gas Cost per Gallon: $2.88
- Unemployment Rate: 4.2
- Average Monthly Health Insurance Premium: $591
The Star-Spangled Banner was written here, and blue crabs are a delicacy fished locally. This state has the lowest of high housing costs and a significant tax burden. But gas is low and the average income per person is above the national average, making it last on this list.
- Median Home Price: $320,000
- Rent Price: $1,750
- Income per person: $62,914
- Tax Burden: 10.2%
- Average Yearly Grocery Costs: $2,880
- Gas Cost per Gallon: $2.79
- Unemployment Rate: 4.2
- Average Monthly Health Insurance Premium: $501
States with the highest and lowest debt
Any state may offer cheap or expensive housing, but your ability to put a down payment may hinge on how much debt you have.
There are as many ways to rack up debt as there are to make money, but we’ll focus on two of the most common sources: credit card and student loan debt, which vary from state to state.
Got debt? Need to pay it off quicker? Use your change!
5 states with the highest and lowest credit card debt
Forty-four percent of Americans carry credit card balances, according to the Federal Reserve  — and if you don’t pay them on time, the interest will pile up.
Personal finance site ValuePenguin,  which is run by loan marketplace LendingTree, looked at data from the Federal Reserve and the U.S. Census Bureau and ranked the 50 states from highest to lowest in terms of their average credit card debt per person.
Here’s a look into what they found…
- Alaska: $13,048
- Wyoming: $11,546
- Utah: $11,222
- California: $10,496
- Montana: $9,759
- South Carolina: $5,801
- Maine: $5,803
- Pennsylvania: $6,065
- Michigan: $6,082
- Rhode Island: $6,104
5 states with the highest and lowest student loan debt
The cost of college tuition is rising almost eight times as fast as wages, according to Forbes,  so it’s no wonder that student loan debt is rising with it. Here are the states with the highest and lowest average student loan debt per person, according to a report from ValuePenguin. 
- Connecticut: $38,510
- Pennsylvania: $36,854
- Rhode Island: $36,250
- New Hampshire: $34,415
- Delaware: $34,144
- Utah: 18,838
- New Mexico: $21,237
- Nevada: $22,064
- Wyoming: $22,524
- California: $22,785
Which state saves best in America?
In a lot of ways, Kansas is pretty middle-of-the-road. It’s literally in the middle of the country, and its median income is a little below average — but one thing that stands out is its savers.
The state is proof you don’t need to make a ton of money to start building up your savings. Its median income, per household, is $53,571, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. 
That’s a few thousand fewer than the national average, but even with that working against them, Kansas has the lowest percentage of residents with zero dollars saved, says a poll from GOBankingRates. 
Kansas isn’t even the best state to keep your money in savings, based on which states’ banks are offering the highest interest rates, says GOBankingRates.  The best state to save your money in is Alabama, but 40 percent of their residents don’t have a dollar saved.
The middle of America grades average in financial literacy
There must be some correlation between middle-America states and landing smack dab in the middle of financial surveys.
Maybe the people living in the region just know how to get by within their means and put money away better than others. Nebraska and Iowa both tied for second, with each state having 30 percent of their residents with at least $1,000 in savings.
They even rank in the middle of best states to save your money. Iowa made No. 26 and Nebraska No. 22 in that survey.
Kansas residents may have made No. 1 on the top list of “best savers,” but they couldn’t make it to the halfway point of WalletHub’s most financially savvy list, ranking number 28 in the nation.  But to be fair, they did place No. 2 in financial literacy, according to the survey. And WalletHub’s definition of “financially savvy” is a little ambiguous: “what differentiates the comfortable from the truly stable,” whatever that means.
Best and worst states for retirement
You may be worrying about college debt now, but it’s never to early to start saving for retirement.
The average retirement age is 63, and about 10,000 people turn 65 on a daily basis in the U.S., while life expectancy is up to 85, according to personal finance site GOBankingRates.  That means you have to squirrel away enough money to last for at least 22 years.
Ever wonder why so many people spend these years in Florida? It’s not just the tropical weather and sandy beaches — Uncle Sam keeps his greedy hands off their retirement benefits, too.
Florida is just one of seven states that do not tax retirement income, says a study from Wolter Kluwers Tax & Accounting,  a tax software organization.
The other six are…
- South Dakota
But where you choose to retire also depends on how much you have saved for your golden years.
Some say you should save 10-12 times your current income, which is usually about $1 million-$1.5 million, according to AARP. 
GOBankingRates ran a study to find the states where you can stretch $1 million over retirement for the longest amount of time.  Based off each state’s groceries, housing, utilities, transportation, and healthcare costs, they determined where $1 million lasts the shortest — and the longest. Check out this interactive map to see where you can stretch that the farthest…
Shortest $1 million spending period
- Hawaii: 11 years, 8 months, 20 days
- California: 15 years, 5 months, 27 days
- New York: 16 years, 3 months, 22 days
- Alaska: 16 years, 8 months, 6 days
- Maryland: 16 years, 8 months, 29 days
Longest $1 million spending period
- Mississippi: 25 years, 11 months, 30 days
- Oklahoma: 24 years, 8 months, 24 days
- Michigan: 24 years, 7 months, 14 days
- Arkansas and Alabama: 24 years, 7 months, 4 days
- Missouri: 24 years, 6 months, 25 days
Unfortunately, the GOBankingRates’ study doesn’t mention how much these states tax on retirement income, or if these are the kind of states people desire to retire in — but it’s worth knowing where you have the best chances to make a full retirement.
Hope Dean contributed to this report.