National

Why Sacramento families shouldn’t spend a ton this holiday season

Black Friday shoppers are seen at Arden Fair shopping mall in 2015. A national survey shows how a Sacramento family’s holiday budget should compare with other U.S. cities.
Black Friday shoppers are seen at Arden Fair shopping mall in 2015. A national survey shows how a Sacramento family’s holiday budget should compare with other U.S. cities. rbenton@sacbee.com

Holiday spending can vary by family or by city.

According to one report, a family’s budget for an Illinois suburb is more than 30 times larger than what one in a Michigan city would be.

But where does Sacramento fall nationally? Not quite at the bottom but below the average, the survey suggests.

Using five key population characteristics, WalletHub has come up with the average holiday spending budget for families in 570 U.S. cities. Topping the list is Naperville, Ill. The average budget for the Chicago suburb is $2,381. At the other end is Flint, Mich., where families have just a mere $69 to use.

In Sacramento, the average is $541, which puts California’s capital city 389th in the nation and well below several other cities in the state. Sunnyvale is the highest on the list at fourth overall, with a budget of $2,360. There are 10 California cities in the top 30.

Source: WalletHub

Why such a huge discrepancy between the top and bottom?

On top of the five key metrics (age, debt-to-income ratio, income, monthly income-to-monthly expenses ratio and savings-to-monthly expenses ratio), the company’s algorithm also takes into account if consumers have:

▪ Enough emergency savings to cover at least six months of expenses.

▪ A debt-to-income ratio smaller than 22 percent for renters or 43 percent for homeowners.

WalletHub is a site which specializes in credit reports. Its analysts used data from several sources – including U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Federal Student Aid and the Federal Reserve – to compile its rankings.

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