Shopping spree!

Austin suburb unwraps one of the biggest holiday budgets in the U.S.

Austin suburb unwraps one of the biggest holiday budgets in the U.S.

Cedar Park Christmas Lights
Folks in Cedar Park have big budgets for the holidays. Courtesy of Cedar Park Parks & Recreation

If you live in Cedar Park, you may be making a holiday shopping list as long as a stocking and checking it more than twice.

That's because the Austin suburb ranks among the 50 U.S. cities with the fattest holiday budgets for 2021, according to a new study from personal finance website WalletHub.

“To help consumers avoid post-holiday regret, WalletHub calculated the maximum holiday budget for each of 570 U.S. cities using five key characteristics of the population, such as income, age, and savings-to-monthly expenses ratio,” the website says.

Cedar Park ranks No. 48, according to WalletHub, with a budget of $1,770.

Another Texas city wraps up the No. 1 spot on the national list. Flower Mound, a Dallas-Fort Worth suburb, boasts the most Santa-friendly budget among all the cities: $3,427. 

Eight other Texas cities rank in the top 50:

  • The Woodlands, No. 3, $3,073.
  • Sugar Land, No. 4, $3,023.
  • League City, No. 10, $2,778.
  • Allen, No. 12, $2,688.
  • Pearland, No. 13, $2669.
  • Frisco, No. 30, $2,133.
  • Plano, No. 33, $2,044.
  • Richardson, No. 43, $1,857.

Among Texas' big cities, Austin is the only one that boasts a holiday budget of more than $1,000. It lands at No. 188 on the list ($1,049). Fort Worth appears at No. 257 ($920) and Dallas ranks 365th ($787), while San Antonio, No. 371 ($783), is followed by Houston at No. 372 ($783).

The National Retail Federation predicts a record-shattering holiday season for retail sales, growing between 8.5 percent and 10.5 percent over 2020 to between $843.4 billion and $859 billion. Meanwhile, professional services firm Deloitte envisions a 7 percent to 9 percent spike in holiday spending this year versus last year. Commercial estate services provider pegs the projected increase at 8.4 percent.

“The outlook for the holiday season looks very bright,” says Jack Kleinhenz, chief economist at the National Retail Federation. “The unusual and beneficial position we find ourselves in is that households have increased spending vigorously throughout most of 2021 and remain with plenty of holiday purchasing power.”