Folks Feel Frosty About Holiday Budgets

ColumnsBankrate.com

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. And he apparently doesn't have a holiday budget. Then again, he has a workshop, cheap-labor elves and a more or less guaranteed job.Everyone else should keep a firm rein on their dear dollars during the holidays. But most people don't, a new Bankrate survey has found.The Bankrate Financial Security Index found the overwhelming majority of Americans -- 66% -- don't have a holiday budget. Women were bad -- 63% don't have budgets. But budgeting faces tougher sledding with men. At 69%, they are even less likely to have a present budget.The survey found that the likelihood of planning holiday spending varied among different demographic groups. But not by much. No matter how you slice the population, holiday budgeters are a ringing minority.The age group most likely to have a budget is people 30-49, at 40%. The age group least likely to have a spending plan is over 65 -- 74% said ''bah humbug'' to the idea.Budgeting appears to grow with income, but only to a point. Among families with incomes under $30,000, only 24% reported creating a holiday budget. Families with incomes over $75,000 were the most likely to have a holiday budget. But at 43%, they were still clearly in the minority.

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