BISMARCK, N.D. (KXNET) — A recent study included Bismarck and Fargo in a list of 558 cities in order to determine their maximum spending budget for the holiday season.

While the holidays are always a source of good cheer and tidings, they’re also a good source of financial stress. In 2021, holiday sales reached a record of $886.7 billion, 14.1% more than the previous year. And with a huge surge in inflation this year, many families may have trouble keeping up with their shopping without breaking the bank.

In order to aid in preventing holiday regret after a seasonal shopping binge, WalletHub surveyed over 550 U.S. Cities — including Bismarck and Fargo — to calculate their maximum holiday budgets utilizing the following five key characteristics:

  • Income
  • Age
  • Savings-to-Monthly-Expenses Ratio
  • Debt-to-Income-Ratio
  • Monthly Income-to-Monthly Expenses Ratio

These overall calculations were based on WalletHub’s algorithm, which considers people to be in a comfortable enough financial position to engage in holiday spending if they have met each of these requirements.

  • The individual has enough emergency savings to cover at least six months of expenses.
  • The individual has a debt-to-income ratio smaller than 22% for a renter or 43% for a homeowner.

Depending on the characteristics of a city, the algorithm then adjusted upward or downward to create a custom estimate for each city.

In total, the study and algorithm found that both cities in North Dakota had their own place on the list of the highest maximum holiday budgets. Of the 558 surveyed, Bismarck’s average budget placed 339th, while Fargo rose through the ranks to number 149.

For a full list of cities and results, as well as holiday budget advice from WalletHub’s advisors, visit their website here.