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WalletHub study: Phoenix isn't great with money management

Posted at 4:52 AM, Mar 15, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-15 08:08:56-04

Arizona residents are not the worst, but they are far from the best, when it comes to money management, according to a new study by WalletHub.

The study looked at cities across the nation and found Phoenix was in the top 40 percent of cities with the worst scores. 

Tolleson ranked even lower as they were almost last on the chart of more than 2,500 cities. 

There was a bright spot as Sun City ranked in the top 15 for best money management skills. 

We talked to WalletHub analyst Jill Gonzalez and she said that the biggest issue around the nation, especially in Phoenix, was credit card debt. 

Gonzalez said that the nation recently hit $1 trillion for total credit card balances in the nation for the first time ever.

"I think we see a little bit more of that in Phoenix...just the 'know-how' to not be spending so far beyond your means," Gonzalez said. "I think it's really important here." 

ABC15 showed this report to Shauna Wekherlien. She owns Tax Goddess and has been working for 15 years in the Valley. 

She said that this study does not surprise her because she said that people need to find out how they can be comfortable talking about cash.

"One of the biggest things is knowing that they have someone to rely on and someone to answer questions and not be judged," Wekherlien explained. "That's a huge part of money."

Wekherlien said tax time amplifies that fear even further.

"The IRS is in front of people more," Wekherlien said. "Like, 'Hey, don't forget to pay us - our big 30 percent chunk of our money,' right?" 

Wekherlien believes overcoming fear starts with education and understanding about finances. 

"At a very basic level, people are not trained about money in the first place," Wekherlien described. "Normally, it's not talked about or trained at home. Normally, it's not really talked about or trained in school." 

She suggests finding any tax expert who you trust and asking them all the questions you have.

Wekherlien also gave some helpful digital tools that she suggests to her clients to get ahead of the game for next tax season, so it is not so stressful.

Acorns and Qoins round up your spare change from purchases for you. While apps like Evernote and Scannable help you keep track of receipts by taking a picture and keeping them organized for you. 

WalletHub also offers a literacy test that users can take online to see how good or how bad their financial understanding is.