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Nick Wallace

Personal Finance Expert

Nick Wallace studied Economics at the University of Washington. He enjoys getting people thinking about finances by looking at the numbers. Nick is a freelance journalist and data analyst living in Michigan. He still lends his economic and analytic expertise for SmartAsset's studies.

Posts by Nick Wallace:

by Nick Wallace Sep 20, 2018

If you’re tired of spending half your income on rent, or dropping $4.50 on a gallon of milk, it may be time to find a cheaper place to live. So where should you go? Your best bet is the Midwest or the South: 7 of the 20 cheapest cities in America are in a Midwestern state, and 8 are down south (11 if you include Texas). Places like Springfield, Missouri and Knoxville, Tennessee might be perfect for people looking to save money or get out of debt. On the other hand, if you’re seeking an affordable lifestyle, you’d be wise to avoid the West Coast, as 7 of the 10 most expensive cities in the country are in either California, Washington or Hawaii. The other three are on the east coast. Read more

by Nick Wallace Apr 04, 2018

As we move into spring, many potential first-time homebuyers will be eyeing their local housing market and trying to decide if now is the time to make the leap to homeownership. For most, it is the financial decision of a lifetime—a home, after all, is not only a place to live, but a significant investment in the sometimes volatile housing market. New homeowners, who usually have shorter credit histories, smaller savings accounts and lower incomes, need to be especially sure that they are making a good decision. Read more

by Nick Wallace Mar 04, 2019

The price-to-rent ratio measures the relative affordability of renting and buying in a given housing market. It’s a good factor to consider if you’re deciding whether to rent or buy. It’s especially useful if you’re considering a move, because it allows you to see what prices look like in your new city. As a general rule, a lower price-to-rent ratio indicates that a place is more favorable to homebuyers. A higher ratio indicates a better environment for renters. Read more

by Nick Wallace Mar 02, 2016

As of 2011, total spending for all public elementary and secondary education in the United States surpassed $630 billion per year, more than $12,300 per student. The vast majority of that funding,… Read more

by Nick Wallace Mar 22, 2017

This study was published on Feb 25, 2015. In the world of technology, women are vastly underrepresented. According to data from the U.S. Census, in 2013 women accounted for just 25% of the workforce… Read more

by Nick Wallace Feb 18, 2016

Public universities and colleges serve many important roles in each of America’s 50 states. They are crucial pieces of an academic system that aims to educate young people and prepare them for the… Read more

by Nick Wallace Apr 04, 2018

They call it the STEM gap: the disparity between the need for workers skilled in science, technology, engineering or math, and the number of graduates trained in one of those disciplines. It’s an… Read more

by Nick Wallace Sep 20, 2018

If you have ever lived north of the 42nd parallel, chances are you’ve heard of Seasonal Affective Disorder. S.A.D. isn’t just a fancy term for the winter blues; it’s a documented medical condition… Read more

by Nick Wallace Feb 17, 2017

It’s a good time to be a hockey fan in the United States. Last year saw the National Hockey League’s total attendance grow to over 22 million, an all-time high that included what was very nearly the… Read more

by Nick Wallace Aug 06, 2015

There’s nothing wrong with being alone on Valentine’s Day. In fact, we fully endorse anyone who chooses to enjoy their solitude with a bottle of wine, a large pepperoni pizza and the best movie… Read more

by Nick Wallace Feb 28, 2018

Over the past five years, thanks to advances in data storage and computer processing, our capacity to make use of the massive quantities of data we produce each day has erupted. Today, government and… Read more

by Nick Wallace Feb 28, 2018

In the United States, flu season typically stretches from November to April, peaking in January or February. Each year, somewhere between 5% and 20% of the population will come down with influenza,… Read more

by Nick Wallace Mar 10, 2016

Over the past three decades, skiing and snowboarding in the United States have grown from niche hobbies pursued by a relatively small collection of enthusiasts into major industries. During the 2013… Read more

by Nick Wallace Dec 08, 2015

Year after year, the arrival of the New Year proves America is a country that places a premium on fitness. We like getting in shape. Or rather: we like being in shape. Getting there is a different… Read more

by Nick Wallace Dec 16, 2014

Historically, boomtowns have appeared where there was a discovery of mineral wealth—think the Texas Oil Boom or the California Gold Rush. In an era when cross-country travel was arduous and… Read more

by Nick Wallace Dec 11, 2014

In Louisiana, if the holder of valuable property like a stock dividend or a life insurance payment is unable to locate the owner, the property must be turned over to the state treasurer, usually… Read more

by Nick Wallace Dec 11, 2014

According to Iowa Code 556, property in the State of Iowa is considered unclaimed if the holder is unable to locate or contact the owner after a period of inactivity, usually at least three years. As… Read more

by Nick Wallace Dec 10, 2014

In the state of Illinois, property is turned over to the State Treasurer as “unclaimed” if the holder is unable to locate or contact the owner after a period of inactivity, usually five or more years… Read more

by Nick Wallace Dec 16, 2014

Across the country, State Treasuries are holding billions of dollars in unclaimed property, assets like orphaned 401(k) accounts or payroll checks that never made it to their rightful owners. Every… Read more

by Nick Wallace Dec 09, 2014

There are people walking around right now who are owed  hundreds, thousands, or in some cases even millions of dollars in unclaimed property. In fact you might be one of them. Let us explain… Read more

by Nick Wallace Dec 02, 2014

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, as of fall 2012 there were roughly 3.7 million full-time elementary, middle and high school teachers in the U.S. To put that number in… Read more

by Nick Wallace Jan 15, 2016

Every year it’s the same story: the holidays arrive, the weather gets ugly and thousands of Americans find themselves stuck in airport terminals across the country, waiting for flights that are… Read more

by Nick Wallace Feb 03, 2017

Earlier this year, when MLB slugger Miguel Cabrera signed an eight year contract worth $248 million, much was made of one astounding aspect of that deal: on average, over the course of the coming… Read more

by Nick Wallace May 18, 2018

This time of year, traveling by airplane can be a bit of a gamble. The biggest threat is bad weather: last year alone we saw an ice storm wreak havoc in Dallas just days before Thanksgiving, and… Read more

by Nick Wallace Oct 30, 2014

In the United States, the responsibility of building and maintaining a police force rests largely with local governments. With the exception of national outfits like the FBI or the DEA, whose… Read more