Since the Great Recession walloped the global banking system and every aspect of personal finance for billions of people worldwide in the mid-aughts, consumer purchasing power has been a hot topic for U.S. economists. New data published by the nation’s Bureau of Economic Analysis last month, and recently parsed by The New York Times, details precisely how far folks’ money goes in various states—$100, to be exact. And, as you can expect, there are implications of this regional difference in the value of your hard-earned dollars for renters.
Though the items tracked by the federal government for the purposes of this fact-finding mission included things as far and wide as vehicles, cereal, and textbooks, the most eye-opening (and eye-popping) figure is that "the ‘real value’ of $100 in rent can range from roughly $63 in Hawaii to $160 in Arkansas," writes the Times.
This follows the general trend: Wielding a $100 bill bestows the greatest purchasing power on consumers in states like Mississippi, South Dakota, and Alabama. You won’t get as far, though, in places like New York (quelle surprise), New Jersey, California, Washington, D.C., and Hawaii.