ORLANDO, Fla. – As the holidays get closer, people are welcoming the cheer after what’s felt like a long year. Though 2020 came with trying times, it won’t exactly cancel out the annual holiday stress that comes with gift-giving and festive planning.
This year may be more stressful than usual because of limitations set by the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact it has had on finances. To help curb some post-holiday regret, finance website WalletHub has calculated the maximum holiday budget for nearly 600 U.S. cities. based on a number of metrics.
Its analysis takes into account the population of a city, average income, age and savings-to-monthly expenses ratio. To help account for the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic, WalletHub calculated the maximum budget for a person living in that city based on those key statistics.
After crunching the numbers, people in the City Beautiful should be prepared to spend no more than $1,048 this holiday season.
WalletHub’s algorithm came up with that number after taking into consideration how much of the population is in a comfortable financial position to engage in holiday spending. This was determined by looking at emergency savings to cover six months of expenses, debt-to-income ratio and a city’s specific characteristics like the price of potential gifts and rent. The algorithm took into account the population largely employed by the tourism industry and the financial uncertainty the pandemic has caused as well as the corporations that employ a large number of employees such as Lockheed Martin.
Though $1,048 may seem like a lot for Orlando, it falls at No. 149 on WalletHub’s list of maximum holiday budgets by city. Weston is the highest-ranking Florida city, making the top ten with a holiday budget of $2,698. Palo Alto, California has the most expensive maximum budget at $3,056.
[INTERACTIVE MAP: See what the maximum holiday budget is for other ranked cities]
As for other Central Florida cities, the study recommends people in Deltona budget no more than $700 to find gifts in their area. People in Melbourne can plan their budget around $598 and those in Kissimmee should stick to spending less than $451.
The study comes as the average household credit card debt is $7,938 in 2020, according to WalletHub’s data. The finance website urging people to consider planning ahead, and realistically, before increasing credit card debt during a year troubled with financial uncertainty.