Americans are expected to spend big this holiday season. The average person will drop $819 on gifts and necessities, according to a recent report from Harris Poll and advertising-technology company OpenX.
And a new survey from personal-finance website WalletHub expects them to spend even more: about $1,007 per person, up more than 4 percent from 2017.
But how much can each person actually afford to spend?
WalletHub, using data from the National Retail Federation, compared 570 U.S. cities across five metrics to determine the maximum shoppers there can comfortably afford to spend. Those metrics include income, age, debt-to-income ratio, monthly income-to-expenses ratio and savings-to-monthly expenses ratio.
“At a high level, our algorithm considers a consumer to be in a comfortable financial position to engage in holiday spending if they have: enough emergency savings to cover at least six months of expenses and a debt-to-income ratio smaller than 22 percent for a renter or 43 percent for a homeowner,” the survey says.
“Depending on a city’s specific characteristics, the algorithm adjusts upward or downward to create a custom estimate.”
Based on that data, shoppers in Flower Mound, Texas, can afford to spend about $2,761 this season. Here are the top 10 cities where shoppers have the most leeway in their holiday budgets:
Holiday budget: $2,761
Holiday budget: $2,575
Holiday budget: $2,528
Holiday budget: $2,524
Holiday budget: $2,444
Holiday budget: $2,411
Holiday budget: $2,321
Holiday budget: $2,244
Holiday budget: $2,238
Holiday budget: $2,156
If you expect to do a lot of holiday shopping this year, try to stick to a plan and avoid impulse buys. Use cash when you can, too: Research suggests it can lead you to curtail your spending because physically handing over your money and watching it disappear feels “more painful.”
No matter how you chose to spend or where you’re located, following a few simple strategies can help you get through the holiday season without busting your budget.
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