What Is Your Holiday Budget?

I was reading an article about retail spending over the Thanksgiving weekend which had me thinking that maybe Americans are coming to their senses. The article started off by saying that retailers have experienced slower sales this Black Friday and the days that followed. At least that’s what I thought it was saying… until I continued reading and saw that holiday shoppers are simply spreading out their shopping, rather than knocking it all out in one day.

One of the people interviewed for the article has a $4,000 budget for the holidays. Given that the average household had over $7,000 in credit card debt, I can think of many more ways one can spend $4,000. Of course, I don’t know this woman’s particular situation. She may very well be financially secure enough that 4 grand doesn’t put a scratch in her budget. But I certainly know plenty of people who barely break even during the year and subsequently spend beyond their means during the holiday season. Whether it’s hosting dinners for large crowds, attending year-end galas which require new outfits, and buying gifts, I wouldn’t be surprised to see that many people are adding on to their troubles by overspending and charging it all on plastic.

I’m curious to know if this woman is an outlier, or if $4,000 is customary. What’s your budget?

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