With the holiday season in full swing, many of us are still finishing up our Christmas shopping. However, with the joyous celebrations often comes a surge in financial stress, accentuated by mounting credit card debt and increased expenditure habits.

According to a recent study conducted by WalletHub, holiday sales are anticipated to surge by 3% to 4% compared to last year, reaching a staggering $957 billion. This spike in spending trends aligns with a concerning trajectory in household credit card debt. In the third quarter of 2023, the average household credit card debt stood at $9,068, marking a 12.7% increase from the same period in 2022, as per WalletHub’s findings. The allure of holiday shopping often adds to this financial burden, particularly when individuals carry forward credit card balances into the new year.

To assist consumers in making informed financial decisions and to avoid post-holiday financial stress, WalletHub did the research for us. The study involved calculating the maximum holiday budget for more than 550 cities across the United States. This assessment factored in various crucial characteristics of the population, including income levels, age demographics, and the ratio of savings to monthly expenses.

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