If you’re trying to fill that piggy bank, it might be best to stay out of the Golden State. California is No. 2 in the United States for going broke living on savings alone, according to Consumer Affairs.
The consumer platform reports that it would take 64.4 days for an average Californian to go broke living on only savings. This number was arrived at by taking the average amount of money Americans have in savings ($9,647) and calculating how quickly it’d deplete while paying a mortgage or rent, utilities, gas and food, based on survey data.
The cash runs out even more quickly in Hawaii at 62.5 days. Rounding out the top 10 are Washington, D.C. (72.1 days, and technically not a U.S. state), Massachusetts (73.6 days), New Jersey (74.8 days), Connecticut (76.3 days), Maryland (77.9 days), Washington (79 days), New York (79.9 days), and Colorado (80.8 days).
So where should you go if you just lost your job, or otherwise just happen to only have $9,647 to live on?
In Wyoming you can make it for 109.7 days. The Equality State is rounded out by Arkansas (109.6 days), South Dakota (109.3 days), North Dakota (108.6 days), Montana (107.3 days), and Iowa (104.8 days), Kansas (104.4 days), West Virginia (103.9 days), Wisconsin (103.0 days), Ohio (102.9 days).
On average, Americans can make it 91 days before going broke while paying the most basic expenses.
Considering basic monthly expenses, Consumer Affairs also calculates you’d go broke in less time with an unexpected expense, such as an ER visit (62.7 days for Americans on average), a car battery replacement (85.7 days), or a car tow (86.8 days).
Entering your zip code, monthly expenses and total savings in a widget on their site will help you localize a personal answer.
The answers shouldn’t come as a complete surprise, with the Golden State ranking No. 4 of the 50 states plus the District of Columbia in cost-of-living metrics. It is only less expensive than New York (No. 3), the District of Columbia (No. 2) and Hawaii (No. 1).
According to the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center, Hawaii is so expensive because of high taxes, zoning regulations and Merchant Marine Act of 1920, which requires all goods going between American ports to be on U.S. vessels.
Millennials have more savings than Gen X
In a reversal, members of the millennial generation have more in general savings ($9,900) than members of the previous generation, Generation X ($9,400), according to the Consumer Affairs survey data. However, this does not count retirement savings, for which Gen X has $50,500 on average compared to millennials’ $28,100.
The biggest generational divide is between Generation Z, who follow millennials, and Baby Boomers, who precede Generation X. Generation Z has, on average, $3,400 in savings and $12,300 saved for retirement, and Boomers have $10,200 in savings and $52,500 saved for retirement.