If you live in the Macon area, you may need a lot of help budgeting month-to-month household finances.

Thats according to a study by the financial site WalletHub, that ranked 150 cities nationwide on how well people managed their money.

They said the Macon area ranked sixth-worst nationwide out of the 150. The ranking is based on factors like average credit score, the foreclosure and bankruptcy rates, how much people saved and how much debt they carried.

WalletHub said Maconites ranked low on several of those measures: 137th for average credit score, 145th for debt compared to income, 102nd for foreclosure rate and 125th for using credit.

But if youre looking to do a better job of getting your finances in order, WalletHub is offering some advice.

First, they say, Feed an Emergency Fund, starting with 2 percent of your net income every pay period, and gradually ramping that up.

Rank Your Expenses, based on what you really need. That will help identify the luxuries you can cut back on.

They say people should use what they call The Island Approach, a strategy that separates your debt from your everyday expenses. For example, you might use a rewards card for daily expenses that you can pay off in full every month, but use a 0 percent balance transfer card for your existing debt.

They urge you to Treat Debt Payments Like a Snowball. Make sure you account for monthly debt payments in your budget.... but pay the minimum on everything but the balance with the highest interest rate, and put the largest payment toward that debt. Once its gone... repeat the process with the balance that has the second highest interest rate until youre completely debt-free.

And finally, they say, Eliminate Temptation: Figure out whats your spending trigger and deal with it, even if it means cutting up your credit cards.

Wallet Hub says many of the most troubled areas... budget-wise... are in the Southeast.

According to WalletHub, here are the 10 metro areas with the worst budgeters:

141 Monroe, LA
142 Alexandria, LA
143 Savannah, GA
144 Augusta-Richmond County, GA-SC
145 Macon, GA
146 Columbus, GA-AL
147 Gulfport-Biloxi-Pascagoula, MS
148 Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV
149 Albany, GA
150 Jackson, MS

And here are the 10 best areas for budgeting:

1 Fargo, ND-MN
2 Sioux Falls, SD
3 Rochester, MN
4 Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI
5 Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH
6 Cedar Rapids, IA
7 Des Moines-West Des Moines, IA
8 Sioux City, IA-NE-SD
9 San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA
10 Duluth, MN-WI



The Apple Watch app store wont officially be open for business until Friday, when the device itself is released. But banks, brokerages and consumer finance sites are already angling for virtual shelf space in the Apple Store.

Among the more than 1,000 apps already submitted this month, several are aimed at helping you budget, save and invest your money. (The CNBC App for the Apple Watch is also available starting Tuesday.)

Its not clear yet how many of the money management apps will differ from those available for smartphones, but details are starting to emerge.

Having something on your wrist is a great physical cue for behavioral change, and design matters when you are dealing with behavioral nudges, said Stephen Wendel, author of Designing for Behavior Change. I find the notification capabilities of the Apple Watch to be very promising.

Read MoreWant an Apple Watch? Be prepared to wait

Dont expect many budgeting apps on the Apple Watch to bombard you with notifications about overspending on dinner and drinks when youre out on the town, though. If you go negative all the time, users will start to ignore you, said Wendel, who is also a principal scientist at HelloWallet, which provides personalized financial guidance to workers through web and mobile apps. (The company is still working out the details on its watch app.)

Instead, apps are more likely to congratulate you when you meet your budgeting goal or reach a savings target in your bank account.



When it comes to cost cutting, companies can take one of two routes. One way involves targeted cost cutting, with tightly focused initiatives to realign the cost structure in a particular business, geography, function or process. It might include trimming indirect costs, outsourcing business processes or using Lean Six Sigma to eliminate waste. This tried-and-true approach to realigning costs works under normal circumstances.

But companies in industries that are going through disruptive change often need a more comprehensive approach. In these cases, a tactic called zero-based budgeting can provide a practical way for companies to radically redesign their cost structures and cut as much as 25% of spending on overhead and support functions, while boosting efficiency and competitiveness.

This infographic explainshow zero-based budgeting works:

Learn more: Radical Redesign Through Zero-Based Budgeting

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If the state budget were adopted as proposed IPS would lose millions of dollars in aid, but the districts budget assumes that wont happen.