Holiday Spending On the Rise

For shoppers and retailers this year, it will most definitely be a Green Christmas.  The latest holiday budget report from WalletHub predicts a healthy rise in spending for 2018.  "This year, the average per-person holiday tab is projected to be around $1,007, up about four percent since last year," says WalletHub's Jill Gonzalez.  "So on average, people are going to be spending more."

The reason for the increased spending comes down to consumer confidence, which recently reached an 18-year high.  "The jobs report has been strong for a few years now, wages are finally beginning to increase," says Gonzalez.  "So because of that, people feel a little more confident in the economy, and thus a little more confident in their own wallet."

But should people be spending that much more?  Probably not, according to WalletHub's ranking of the ideal holiday budget per city.  For Houston, it comes in at $567 a person.  That figure is based on each city's average age, income, savings, monthly expenses, and debt-to-income ratio.  Gonzalez tells KTRH the ideal budget number is the amount people can spend without breaking the bank or racking up extra credit card debt.  "We really want to make sure that we're not over-extending ourselves, and that we don't have this holiday debt going all the way past New Years, past Valentine's Day," she says.

Another way to keep your holiday budget under control is to pay close attention to deals and discounts, particularly those Black Friday specials that are already popping up.  WalletHub finds the average discount this year is 37 percent off.  "So if you see deals that are less than that 37 percent mark, that's probably a deal you can find elsewhere during the year, rather than a special Black Friday deal," says Gonzalez.

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