Houston in top 50 for spending beyond our means

LendingTree just published the results of a study on cities where residents are spending within their means and cities where residents are spending beyond their means.

When it comes to spending more than we have, Houstonians are up there.

Lending Tree researcher Brian Karimzad said the average Houston household is about $90,000 a year. He said we're fine when it comes to income because Houston has become a more diversified environment.

Our downfall is debt for non-housing items like car loans and credit cards and posting on social media.

“Keeping up with the Joneses is now a 24-hour thing, as opposed to just seeing what comes down the driveway each morning,” said Karimzad. “People love to brag and social media is a brag platform.”

Karimzad said the best way to fix that is take a second thought when it comes to that brand new vehicle or boat. Instead, try used.

The study, looked at four factors:

  • housing debt versus income. Houstonians are doing good here. Houstonians are not stretching on their homes. On average, we owe about $63,000 on mortgages.
  • other debt (car, boat, student loans) versus income. We’re stretching a little in this area.
  • credit card usage versus income. Houstonians aren't maxing out, but we are above average to other cities compared in this study. When it comes to credit cards, the average balance is about $7,000. The national average is $6,000.
  • how many credit inquiries we've had in the last two years. Houstonians are on average for about five inquiries in the past two years.

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