As the most wonderful time of the year approaches, holiday shopping budgets are in the spotlight, and a study from WalletHub puts one affluent Texas city on the "nice list," where Santa doesn't need a whole lot of help.
According to WalletHub, the Dallas-Fort Worth suburb of Flower Mound boasts a jolly big holiday budget of $3,531 per person this year — the third highest in the U.S.
Each year, WalletHub calculates the maximum holiday budget for over 550 U.S. cities "to help consumers avoid post-holiday regret," the website says. The study factors in income, age of the population, and other financial indicators such as debt-to-income ratio, monthly-income-to monthly-expenses ratio and savings-to-monthly-expenses ratio.
Despite nationwide focus on inflation strains, holiday spending is expected to be healthy, and higher than last year.
"The seeming social upheaval in recent times may lead households to spend more in an attempt to take some control of the environment which they can control," says Robert Wright, University of Illinois, Springfield professor emeritus who was among five experts consulted for advice about holiday shopping.
While Flower Mound was the only Texas city in the top 10, there's plenty of Lone Star holiday cheer to be found in the report. In total, 15 Texas cities landed in this year's top 100 heftiest holiday budgets:
- Flower Mound, No. 3, $3,531
- Cedar Park, No. 14, $2,855
- Sugar Land, No. 15, $2,793
- Allen, No. 17, $2,670
- League City, No. 20, $2,541
- Pearland, No. 36, $2,172
- Frisco, No. 37, $2,150
- McKinney, No. 45, $2,070
- Plano, No. 50, $1,999
- Carrollton, No. 55, $1,837
- Richardson, No. 58, $1,823
- The Woodlands, No. 71, $1,733
- Austin, No. 78, $1,705
- North Richland Hills, No. 81, $1,658
- Lewisville, No. 90, $1,630
Among Texas' major cities, Austin boasts the biggest holiday budget by far, while San Antonio has the smallest, at $803 per person (No. 431). Fort Worth ranked No. 318 with a budget of $986; Houston landed at No. 366 with a budget of $890; and Dallas ranked No. 401 with an average holiday budget of $845.