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Maryland town named one of 2023’s ‘least sinful’ cities in America, WalletHub study

BALTIMORE, MD—While many people are looking ahead to the start of the new year as a catalyst for making positive life changes, such as improving their financial situation or giving up their vices, it is not always easy to avoid temptation. Since most sins come with a price, keeping one’s darker desires in check often benefits one’s bank account too. For those looking to avoid temptation during the holidays and into resolution season, it is a good idea to consider how your location might influence how easily you give in to your desires.

Las Vegas is the most sinful city in America, according to a new report by the personal-finance website WalletHub, which compared more than 180 U.S. cities based on seven sinful behaviors: anger/hatred, jealousy, excesses/vices, greed, lust, vanity, and laziness. Houston, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, and Atlanta, are the next most sinful cities after Sin City itself, according to the report, while Columbia, MD, Port St. Lucie, FL, Madison, WI, Bridgeport, CT, Fremont, CA, and Pearl City, HI are the least sinful cities.

“Las Vegas topped the list for the most sinful cities this year, but the other cities gave Sin City a run for its money,” said Cassandra Happe, WalletHub analyst. “While Vegas may have a hold on the greedy and excessive folks, second-place Houston has almost as many options for those looking to indulge their lustful side, with the city’s high concentration of adult entertainment venues. On the other hand, residents of third-ranked Philadelphia have a history of researching plastic surgery options, which could be a sign of their vanity.”

Most Sinful Cities Least Sinful Cities
1. Las Vegas, NV 173. Laredo, TX
2. Houston, TX 174. West Valley City, UT
3. Philadelphia, PA 175. Cape Coral, FL
4. Los Angeles, CA 176. South Burlington, VT
5. Atlanta, GA 177. Columbia, MD
6. Denver, CO 178. Port St. Lucie, FL
7. Dallas, TX 179. Madison, WI
8. Phoenix, AZ 180. Bridgeport, CT
9. Miami, FL 181. Fremont, CA
10. Cleveland, OH 182. Pearl City, HI

It is unfair to say that all residents of a particular city are sinful, yet the perception of sinful behaviors and access to vices can influence how easily residents fall into bad habits. “Every city struggles with one flaw or another, from high bullying rates and frequent hate crimes to a prevalence of binge eating and excessive drinking among residents,” noted Happe. “While it is a personal choice to indulge in one vice or another, these choices can have a financial impact on others in the community, especially when more and more residents partake in these activities.”

Sin doesn’t take a break for the holidays, either. Some people may be more tempted during the holiday season to overindulge in eating, drinking, and shopping. While it is important to remain financially vigilant year-round, this prime shopping season can test the virtues of even the most innocent spenders. To help combat temptation, keep your budget in mind as you hit the stores to avoid a sinful credit card balance at the end of the year.

Tips to Avoid Excessive Spending

  • Minimize Sinful Spending: You can consider sinful spending to be anything that is not good for your health, your relationships and your wallet. Determine which of your expenses fit the criteria and make a plan to eliminate them from your budget. Having fewer expenses will save you money directly, and eliminating bad habits could pay dividends in other ways too.
  • Shop Smart: Look for discounts, use coupons, and compare prices before making a purchase. Consider buying generic brands, especially for everyday items, and if you see something you want, take a moment to consider whether it aligns with your budget and financial goals before making an impulse purchase. You may even implement a waiting period before making a non-essential purchase to give yourself time to consider whether the item is a want or a need.
  • Limit Credit Card Use: If you use credit cards, set a monthly spending limit for yourself that’s much lower than your actual credit limit. In addition, try to pay off your full balance each month to avoid accumulating interest charges. If you start paying interest charges on the card you use for everyday purchases, it is a sign that you must cut back.
  • Negotiate Bills: Regularly review your bills and negotiate with service providers for better deals. This can include utilities, insurance, and subscription services. You can also ask your credit card company for better terms. According to a WalletHub survey, 77% of people who’ve asked a credit card company to improve their account terms or risk losing them as a customer have been successful, so it is worth asking.

The full report can be viewed online here at WalletHub.

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