budget living

How’s Your Holiday Budget?

Savings jar full of coins and money.


The holidays can be a very expensive time of the year.  Some people save all year to be able to afford the perfect gift for everyone on their list and some people use their credit cards to fund all their holiday gift giving and then spend the next few months in the new year paying off all their debt.

So here’s my question, how is your holiday budget?

Do you ever wonder if you’re overspending or not spending enough?  I used to.  But that’s when I was tens of thousands of dollars in debt.  Now I don’t worry about anyone but myself and my own budget.  However I am curious about how other’s set their spending limits during the holidays.

According to a recent study from WalletHub says that “more than a third of consumers exceeded their budgets for holiday spending.”  Check out their analysis of 2015’s Holiday Budgets by City to see how your spending compares with others across the country.  When I heard that statistic I wasn’t surprised.  There is something about this time of the year – with seasons changing, snow falling and Christmas decorations everywhere – that makes people want to spend money.  WalletHub also notes that Black Friday sales totaled over $10 billion this year and of that amount almost $4.5 billion were online purchases.

I LOVE shopping online.  Of the five gifts I bought for BF this Christmas two of them were purchased online.  If you’re wondering what to get for the man on your Christmas list this year, check out my gift giving guide for the man in your life.

Here are the cities across the U.S. with the highest and lowest holiday budgets:

Cities with the Highest Holiday BudgetsCities with the Lowest Holiday Budgets
1Palo Alto, CA ($2,886)554Kissimmee, FL ($209)
2Flower Mound, TX ($2,624)555Lowell, MA ($193)
3Frisco, TX ($2,444)556New Orleans, LA ($190)
4Sugar Land, TX ($2,422)557Waco, TX ($142)
5Carmel, IN ($2,258)558Brockton, MA ($122)
6Ellicott City, MD ($2,227)559Kalamazoo, MI ($104)
7Allen, TX ($2,186)560New Bedford, MA ($98)
8Pearland, TX ($2,162)561Memphis, TN ($98)
9The Woodlands, TX ($2,158)562Knoxville, TN ($81)
10League City, TX ($2,112)563Albany, GA ($68)


Christmas isn’t always about the money

When I look at those numbers I couldn’t imagine spending over $2800 on holiday shopping, but on the other hand I also can’t imagine only spending $68.  However I have been there in the past.  During the few years while BF and I were drowning in debt we spent very little money on the holidays.  We didn’t buy a tree and we didn’t have any gifts to open on Christmas morning.  However we did spend money on a nice Christmas dinner for two.

It’s very easy to let your holiday budget get out of control because spending during this time of year is so much more than just buying gifts. There are other costs associated with travelling, preparing dinners and decorations.  That’s where BF and I spent the most of our holiday budget this year – on Christmas decorations for our new apartment and our tree.

What’s your biggest expense during the holidays?

Photo from Pixabay

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