NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – Most Americans love the holidays but hate seeing what our spending looks like in the new year. WalletHub recently calculated the holiday budget for 550 U.S. cities using five key characteristics (population, income, age, and the ratio of savings to monthly expenses) in the hopes of easing the pain when it comes time to pay those holiday bills.
Four New Mexico spots made the list – Albuquerque, Las Cruces, Rio Rancho, and Santa Fe. The state’s capital came in at number 166 and had the highest budget at $1,439. Rio Rancho was 174 with a budget of $1,421; Albuquerque was at 411 with a budget of $924; and Las Cruces had the lowest budget in 505th place with a budget of $742.
At a high level, WalletHub’s algorithm considers somebody to be comfortable enough financially to engage in holiday spending if they have enough emergency savings to cover at least six months of expenses and a debt-to-income ratio smaller than 22% for a renter or 43% for a homeowner. The algorithm adjusted upward or downward depending on a city’s specific characteristics to create a custom estimate.
Palo Alto, CA had the highest budget according to WalletHub with $3,596. Bellevue, WA followed with $3,576; then Frisco, TX at $3,546; Ellicott City, MD at $3,497; and Flower Mound, TX with $3,485.