NJ Residents Make Better Penny-Pinchers
A new study finds New Jersey has the seventh-most frugal residents among the 50 states and Washington, D.C.
The WalletHub.com survey looked at areas such as spending versus earnings, and credit card and auto debt. In the spending category, less than 20 percent of New Jerseyans are spending more than they earn.
"When you compare that with people in Hawaii, a quarter of the population is spending more than they make," said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub spokeswoman, who added that the under-20 percent figure "is a really good statistic. That means that consumers are more frugal than in other states."
Gonzalez said another area of frugality in the Garden State is transportation.
"The number of cars per household is at 1.7 right now," she said, "and I know that a lot of people in New Jersey commute to work, so I think that they are really taking full advantage of New Jersey Transit, whether they are going to Philadelphia in the south or New York in the north."
About 11 percent of consumers have above-average savings accounts, according to the survey.
"They're putting a lot of money away, so it's not only how much people in New Jersey are spending, but also how much they are saving that makes them one of those more frugal states," Gonzalez said.
New Jersey comes in under 10 percent in auto and credit card debt per capita.
"Really, across the board, New Jerseyans are doing really well," Gonzalez said.
New Jerseyans do spend more for housing, according to Gonzalez, and that may explain in part why we are so frugal in many other areas. She also said there are similarities in frugality that WalletHub researchers have seen in other Northeast states.
"I think you will see similarities there with New Jersey and New York and Massachusetts, a lot of those states, because people have to spend so much more on housing in a lot of those places," she said. "They are really saving in other areas, and really putting away more money for the future."
By the way, the survey revealed the District of Columbia is the most frugal; Mississippi is the least.