Affluent Austin suburb cashes in with one of the biggest holiday budgets in the U.S.
As the most wonderful time of the year approaches, holiday shopping budgets are in the spotlight, and a study from WalletHub puts one affluent Austin suburb on the "nice list," where Santa doesn't need a whole lot of help.
According to WalletHub, Cedar Park boasts a jolly big holiday budget of $2,855 per person this year, the 14th 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.
Only one Texas city outranks Cedar Park in holiday spending: the Dallas suburb of Flower Mound, with a budget of $3,531 — the third highest in the U.S.
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
Austin boasts the biggest holiday budget among Texas' major metros by far. Fort Worth ranked No. 318 with a budget of $986; Houston landed at No. 366 with a budget of $890; Dallas ranked No. 401 with an average holiday budget of $845; and San Antonio came in at No. 431 with an average budget of $803.
Finally, at No. 553 with a budget of $487, sits the Rio Grande Valley city of Pharr. It's the lowest-ranked Texas city and comes in just a few spots ahead of last place Hartford, Connecticut, with a budget of only $211.