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MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – South Carolina is one of the worst states to make a living in, according to a financial website's study, based on factors including average salary, cost of living, and workplace conditions.
According to MoneyRates.com's fourth annual study of the Best and Worst States to Make a Living, South Carolina is the 10th worst state. The website's analysis ranks Hawaii as the worst state in the nation to make a living, and Washington as the best.
"Wages are too low to be justified by the low cost of living," the website states about South Carolina. "Also, workplace conditions here scored below the norm."
The site analyzed data on average salaries from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the cost of living from the Council for Community and Economic Research, employment rate from BLS data, and workplace conditions based on data from the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index.
The average family in South Carolina is living off of nearly $39-thousand a year, which is low compared to other states. While the cost of living here is a plus, the website says that does not make up for low pay.
Financial planners say these findings are very subjective.
"With low unemployment, especially if you look in the beach area, because its more of a retirement area. Not many folks are working so it naturally brings the average salary down," says Certified Financial Planner Chris St. John.
Keep in mind, hospitality is our main source of jobs, which tend to hand out less pay. It's also the same reason, when the economy is hit, we're hit even harder; but tourism adds to our diversity which makes us a desirable state
"We have Myrtle Beach which is more of a very popular tourism destination, we have Columbia where there's major city attributes, we have Spartanburg and Greenville where there's more industry and city type there and then you've got a whole lot in between," says St. John.
He says look at these findings with a grain of salt and when it comes down to dollars and cents its all about how you spend and save.
"There's something out there called the average propensity to consume and so the more you make, the more you will naturally spend and consume, so what we need to do as individuals is sit down and work on our own personal budgets and adhere to it," he says.
It's never to early, or late to work on that budget. When it comes to saving money, we often have to do the math but if you can't break it down, or afford someone to do it for you, moneyrates.com is also helping you do it for free.
The website has more than a dozen of calculators, you can use at no cost. They're not just any old calculator, they're specific to your needs. Saving for retirement, paying off a credit card or looking to buy a new car? The website helps you crunch the numbers and even shows you how long it will take.
Some financial planners recommend you do it the old fashioned way, like writing down every little penny you spend. If you do this for a month, including every cup of coffee you buy, you may be surprised at where you can cut back and save.
"You need to make a budget for yourself and part of that budget needs to be putting away for retirement and having savings so that almost needs to be counted as an expense in there," says St. John