Montana's $44,938 median household income was far below the national average of $53,657. However, so was the state's average credit card balance, at just $4,143, and residents of Big Sky have an impressive credit score of 686, according to Experian.
"There is a high quality of life here; money isn't everything," Rogers said.
The average credit score in Maryland was 669 in 2015, which is also the U.S. national average, but the average credit card balance in the blue crab–loving state was $4,861, above the national average of $4,404.
"Maryland does have some of the highest incomes in the country," said Nancy McCrea, research and information director at the Maryland Department of Commerce. "But because of the way it is situated, a lot of the spending in the region crosses state boundaries, so there are other factors to consider," she added.
The top money-managing states benefited from a lower cost of living, low unemployment and older populations, Schulz said, which contributes to a longer credit history — a key factor in a credit score.