Our wallets pack a punch

City ranks high when it comes to WalletFitness

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FREEIMAGES

We Hoosiers might have a bit of a reputation as being frugal, pinching pennies here and there and never really wanting to spend a lot on meals or groceries or even homes.

Well, a new study shows Fort Wayne is in the cream of the crop when it comes to savings, credit standing, earning power and spending — not just in Indiana and the Midwest, but throughout the entire country.

Dubbed 2016’s Best & Worst Cities for WalletFitness, the study from WalletHub.com ranked Fort Wayne No. 24 out of the country’s 150 biggest cities when it came to the strength of residents’ wallets, using the criteria above.

The city ranked No. 2 in the category of “responsible spending,” which looked at mortgage debt per person as a percentage of median earnings, non-mortgage debt per person as a percentage of median earning sand income volatility.

Only Des Moines, Iowa, ranked higher in that category.

Fort Wayne also came in at No. 28 when it came to credit standing, according to the study, which was done as a way to promote WalletHub’s effort to get people to turn “the country’s biggest stressor — money — into one of your biggest strengths.”

And one of the main ways to make your wallet stronger is something as basic as keeping track of what you pay for.

“The easiest way for someone who is trying to take control of their financial life to get started is to simply write down their expenses at the end of every day,” said Patrick Lach, associate professor of finance in the School of Business at Eastern Illinois University, in the study. “Once someone adds up the daily expenses for the month, it usually becomes obvious where the person is spending too much money.”

To get your wallet in tip top shape, WalletHub recommends more basics — build excellent credit by paying bills on time, minimize debt, comparison shop when looking for best deals on credit cards and learn a new skill to maximize your earning power.

Preparing for financial emergencies and saving for retirement using compound interest are also tips.

And here in Fort Wayne, many of us seem to have a grasp on all of those things.

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