As the most wonderful time of the year approaches, holiday shopping budgets are in the spotlight, and a study from WalletHub lists Sugar Land as one of the top cities where Santa doesn't need a whole lot of help.
According to the personal finance website, the average holiday budget in Sugar Land is $2,793 per person, the 15th highest in the nation. As CultureMap previously reported, Sugar Land residents here make an average of $123,261; the average home price is $337,600.
Fittingly, Fort Bend, home to Sugar Land, was recently named the second-richest county in Texas.
As for Greater Houston, Santa's bag could be a mixed bag, with three suburbs in the top 100, but the urban center falling far behind:
- Sugar Land, No. 15, $2,793
- Pearland, No. 36, $2,172
- The Woodlands, No. 71, $1,733
- Houston, No. 366, $890
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.
Elsewhere in Texas, 10 North Texas cities landed in this year's top 100 heftiest holiday budgets:
- Flower Mound, No. 3, $3,531 (The only Texas city in the top 10)
- Allen, No. 17 , $2,670
- 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
- North Richland Hills, No. 81, $1,658
- Lewisville, No. 90, $1,630
- Fort Worth, No. 366, $890
- Dallas, No. 401, $845
Spending in the Austin area won't be ho-hum with the Capitol City's budget of $1,705 ranked at No. 78. Two Austin suburbs, Cedar Park (budget $2,855) and League City (budget $2,541) ranked 14 and 20, respectively.
Things don't look too jolly for San Antonio, ranked at No. 431 with an average budget of $803 or Pharr, which was the lowest ranked city in Texas.
At No. 553 with a budget of $487, the Rio Grande Valley city came in just a few spots ahead of last place Hartford, CT with a budget of only $211.