How Much are People Spending on Holiday Budgets Across America?

by Mahogany WaldonDecember 14, 2018

How much does your city spend during holiday season?

The holidays aren’t only the best time of year for families to enjoy one another, they’re also the time when retail and eCommerce businesses flourish, and economies grow every year during this season. Americans spend billions of dollars per year shopping for the perfect gifts for their family, friends, and loved ones. Not only that, but American holiday budgets also include Christmas trees, holiday decor, and food for lavish meals. We’ve taken a look at data compiled by Wallethub to see what people are spending on the holidays across the nation. It’s predicted that per-person, the average American will be spending $885 for the holidays this year. Take a look below at some of the findings.

interior of a home decorated for Christmas.

What City is Spending the Most on the Holidays?

Flower Mound, Texas spends the most on holiday shopping. On average, residents of this town spend $2,761 per person to deck their halls. Just northwest of Dallas, it’s not surprising that this Lone Star place can afford to spend so much on the holidays, the median household income is $123,492 which is more than the average household income in the United States at $52,482. The affluent town of Flower Mound has an average home price of $377,500. Just a little over 30 minutes from the Dallas-Ft. Worth metro, Flower Mound proves that everything is bigger in Texas, including holiday budgets.

What City is Spending the Least on the Holidays?

Can you guess which city spends the least on holiday budgets? We’ll give you some clues: it’s a Midwest town, the Rock-N-Roll Hall of Fame is located in this city, and it has national football, hockey, basketball, and baseball teams. If you guessed the Ohio city of Cleveland, you’re correct! Residents in this major metro spend on average $64 per-person on the holidays. These frugal numbers aren’t surprising, the average home in Cleveland costs $50,800 and the city’s cost of living is well below that of the State of Ohio and the nation. Cleveland’s economy has suffered in recent years and its housing market is struggling to recover from the housing crisis of 2007-2008. Cleveland natives pinch their pennies during the holiday season more than others, which to some, can be a very good thing if you’re a bargain shopper.

What are People Buying During the Holidays?

In 2015, Americans spent over a billion dollars on Christmas trees. Yes, that said a billion, you don’t have to re-read it, and that number is rising, not declining. Despite more and more Americans opting out of the holidays every year, this tradition is still one of the biggest ticket items. From natural to specialty trees, Americans can spend anywhere from $52 to $1,000 dollars on the Christmas tree alone during the holidays. In 2017, sales surged in electronic shopping and mail-order houses, and food and beverage stores for a whopping $122.1 and $128.1 billion, respectively. Jewelry stores made about $9.1 billion in holiday sales and sales were the lowest in hobby, toy, and game stores at $5.6 billion.

Happy child girl opens gift box under Christmas tree.

Top 10 Cities Spending the Most on the Holidays

  1. Flower Mound, TX
  2. Sunnyvale, CA
  3. Naperville, IL
  4. Mountain View, CA
  5. The Woodlands, TX
  6. Bellevue, WA
  7. Sugar Land, TX
  8. Allen, TX
  9. Pearland, TX
  10. Maple Grove, MN

Bottom 10 Cities that Spend the Least on the Holidays

  1. Cleveland, OH
  2. Miami, FL
  3. New Haven, CT
  4. Springfield, MA
  5. Glendale, CA
  6. Worcester, MA
  7. Providence, RI
  8. Hialeah, FL
  9. Flint, MI
  10. Camden, NJ

It looks like Texas loves to go big on the holidays! Half of the top ten cities that spend the most on the holidays come from the Lone Star State. For more on what cities are spending, check out the full list of holiday budgets across America.

Holiday Tips for Saving Cash

Now that you’ve seen how cities across the nation compare, you might be a little bit reluctant to open your wallet this year as you finish up your last-minute holiday shopping. While the storefronts might have gotten to you this year, here are some ways to save some extra cash for upcoming holiday seasons.

  • Start holiday shopping early. Black Friday is the perfect day to find discounts on awesome gifts, but you can also take advantage of other holidays and events that trigger sales across the country like Labor Day, Veterans Day, Cyber Monday, Small Business Saturday, Mother’s Day, and more.
  • Find coupons for stores that you love. Most of the stores that you frequent have some sort of loyalty program or discounts for shoppers. You can also use apps like RetailMeNot to find coupons.
  • Start planning your holiday budget at the beginning of the year. Throw any spare money that comes your way into your savings account, a piggy bank, or a savings wall (a wall with envelopes of money for different occasions, this could even be created in a binder or shoe box).
  • Most credit card companies offer cash-back rewards. You can pile up your rewards all year and then use the spare couple of hundred dollars for the holidays.
  • Get the whole family involved in saving money. If the holidays are super important to your family, incorporate ways that the whole family can save throughout the year from bringing lunches from home a few days out of the week to making less purchases throughout the year to save for the holidays.

“The holidays are a great time but for homeowners, many people find themselves pinching pennies rather than shopping to their heart’s desire. Homeowners are mindful of their holiday budgets being that things like property taxes are usually do towards the year’s end and potential homeowners are saving for their down payment. In any case, learning how to budget around the task of owning a home or potentially owning one can be daunting, but with the tips we’ve offered, I think homeowners can still enjoy this holiday season,” said Cheria Brickhouse, Content Marketing Coordinator with Homes.com.

“Our team was definitely surprised to see the varying holiday budgets across the U.S., especially in Cleveland. With it being such a major city, we weren’t expecting that the average resident would be spending so little. We thought a smaller town would be at the bottom of the list.”

The holidays are a retail surplus for businesses across the country. Everyone does some sort of holiday shopping annually. To take another look at what your city might be paying for the holidays, check out our interactive map. Happy Holidays!

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About The Author
Mahogany Waldon
Mahogany is a Content Marketing Coordinator for Homes.com. In her spare time, Mahogany enjoys reading, writing poetry, blogging, traveling, and loves a good southern idiom. Mahogany is also a certified Reiki practitioner and enjoys all things supernatural.