10 Best & Worst Cities for Your Financial Peace of Mind (PHOTOS)

Maressa Brown | Nov 7, 2014 Money

family of 4 out shoppingWhether we think about it daily or not, our physical and emotional wellness is often influenced by our bank accounts. After all, if your ability to earn and, perhaps, on a bigger scale, your local economy aren't in tip-top shape, you may be all sorts of stressed out. That said, it's no wonder where we live can help or hinder our ability to sync up our financial and overall wellness.

WalletHub took a microscope to 150 US cities to figure out which are most conducive to "wallet wellness." In other words, they used 8 key metrics to explore how consumers fared with managing their lifestyles and finances, as well as how their cities promote wealth creation and upward mobility.

Check out 5 cities that came out on top, and 5 that landed at the bottom of the barrel, then tell us: How do you think your city does at promoting physical, emotional, and financial wellness?


Image via iStock.com/Geber86

  • Best: Sioux Falls, South Dakota

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    Sioux Falls, South Dakota, not only made #1 on the list of the Best & Worst Cities for Wallet Wellness, but it also reached the top of the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, which measures purpose (liking what you do each day and being motivated to achieve your goals), social (having supportive relationships and love in your life), financial (managing your economic life to reduce stress and increase security), community (liking where you live, feeling safe, and having pride in your community), and physical (having good health and enough energy to get things done daily). Sounds like a winner!

  • Best: Bakersfield, California

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    The ninth largest city in California also got high marks, coming in at #2 on this list, likely because it has a diverse, booming economy. It's located in the most productive oil-producing county, and the fourth most productive agricultural county (by value) in the United States.

  • Best: Anchorage, Alaska

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    If you don't mind a bit of chill in the air (okay, a LOT of chill!), Anchorage may be a smart bet. Coming in at #7 overall, it also scored #1 on the list of cities with the best economic mobility!

  • Best: Des Moines, Iowa

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    This Midwestern capital city made it to #6 on the list, and it's no wonder. Forbes magazine ranked Des Moines as the "Best Place for Business & Careers" in both 2010 and 2013, and just this year, NBC ranked it the "Wealthiest City in America," according to its criteria.

  • Best: Minneapolis, Minnesota

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    Minneapolis may have tied with Ontario, California, for #38 on the list, but it took the top spot for highest average credit score and came in at #4 (tying with St. Paul) for the Gallup Well-Being Index! Nice!

  • Worst: Baton Rouge, Louisiana

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    Baton Rouge, Louisiana may have come in right at the very end of the list, at #150, but in the Gallup 2013 Well-Being Index, the city has a leg up on its neighbors! Baton Rouge ranked highest overall for well being among the Louisiana's four metro areas. (Lafayette ranked second, New Orleans-Metairie-Kenner ranked third, and Shreveport-Bossier City ranked last.)

  • Worst: Cincinnati, Ohio

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    The Queen City comes in at #147 -- in other words, the fourth worst on the list, in part because it scored so low in the first metric, median household income adjusted for cost of living, which is meant to measure lifestyle as well as susceptibility to financial catastrophe. It also got poor marks on the Gallup Well-Being Index.

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  • Worst: Orlando, Florida

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    The Happiest Place on Earth? Hmm, maybe not for your wallet. The city that's home to Disney World came in at #141. No big surprise: Another survey last year echoed WalletHub's findings on Orlando, noting that South Florida is better when it comes to job growth, income, cost of living, and median home price.

  • Worst: Winston-Salem, North Carolina

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    Winston-Salem, North Carolina, came in at #136, but it's not all bad! While it may not be the ideal place for "wallet wellness," the Southern city was listed among the 10 best places to retire in the US in 2012 by CBS MoneyWatch.

  • Worst: St. Louis, Missouri

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    Low scores on the Gallup Well-Being Index may be why the "Gateway City" came in at #134. Forbes also recently found the city to have low job growth and a high cost of doing business.

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