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Stash More Cash: A Map of the Best Cities for Families to Save Money

It’s no secret that Americans need to save more money. This is especially important for families because families have bigger expenses, and more of them. If your family is struggling to save money, you may live in the wrong place.

New data suggests that location is a key factor for dictating how much money a family can save each year. That means where you live could determine whether your kid graduates high school with pocket change or a college fund. The map below shows where families have the most leftover money each year.

(For this simulation, we used a family of three, in which both parents work. One parent is a web developer and the other is a postsecondary teacher. The family eats on a moderate-cost food plan and rents a home with an area of 1,750 sq. ft.)

As you can see, living in Spokane, WA allows our fictional family to bank up to $83,400 per year. This isn’t a total surprise, as we’ve seen Spokane perform well in some of our other cost-of-living simulations (like this one and this one).

The Best Places for Families to Save Money

1. Spokane, WA; +$83,400

2. Henderson, NV; +$59,100

3. North Las Vegas, NV; +$56,600

4. Las Vegas, NV; +$55,900

5. Reno, NV; +$48,800

The Worst Places for Families to Save Money

1. San Francisco, CA; -$62,300

2. New York, NY; -$54,100

3. Boston, MA; -$34,000

4. Washington DC; -$22,200

5. Philadelphia, PA; -$9,100

Spokane’s number one, but on the state level, Nevada can’t be beat. Our True Cost-of-Living Tool revealed that four of the top five locations are found there, despite being in or near casino towns. Several honorable mentions can be found in Texas, California, the Midwest, and the Mid-Atlantic.

Interestingly, there seems to be a correlation between the popularity of certain regional industries and a family’s ability to save. For example, high-savings clusters seem to pop up where chemical (Indiana, North Carolina) and oil & gas (Texas and the Central South) industries are big.

Curious how American savers stack up to those from around the world? Check out this visualization our designers put together.

Bad news first: the nation’s “coolest” cities are going to obliterate your bottom line. The good news? With the salaries used in this visualization, a family can live almost anywhere on the map and still come out ahead. Interestingly, the only net-negative city outside of the coasts and mid-Atlantic is Minneapolis. Yeah, Minneapolis.

Are you saving enough? Try our True Cost-of-Living to see exactly how much your family could save in each of the cities mentioned above!

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