KENTUCKY - Family, food, and football the annual trifecta celebrated in homes across the country on Thanksgiving. 

The holiday season kicks off November 28 and while it is a day to be thankful and happy, it is also a day where Americans spend a lot of money.

LendEDU, a marketplace for financial products, has conducted a cost of Thanksgiving survey for the third year in a row. 1,000 adults were surveyed to find out how much they plan to spend on the holiday. The cost of the holiday isn't just in the food, which is more than your average dinner but also travel costs seeing this is one of the busiest travel days of the year. 

Those in the survey were asked the question: "How much do you expect to spend on Thanksgiving this year?"




The average total of those who said they planned to celebrate Thanksgiving, the average cost was $186.05 per person. This year's total is an almost 6% increase to last year's number of $175.65. In 2017, the number was even lower at $165.14.



So just where is all that money going?


According to the survey, 18% of the average American's total Thanksgiving expense will be going towards travel in 2019, or $33.49. The remaining $152.56, or 82%, will be used for food, drink, and other costs associated with the Thanksgiving meal. One of the largest costs associated with the holiday is traveling. Regardless if it is by plane, train, or automobile, millions of Americans travel to see loved ones for the holiday. AAA estimated more than 54 million Americans traveled at least 50 miles from home last Thanksgiving.  

The cost of Thanksgiving may see high, but remember this is an average figure. Some people have larger gatherings with more than 20 guest and some are much smaller. The larger parties raise the average.

Even with that being an average, it is important for you to budget for Thanksgiving expenses or you run the risk of the costs getting away from you. 


​All data found within this report came from a poll commissioned by LendEDU and conducted online by polling company Pollfish. In total, 1,000 adult Americans were polled on questions related to Thanksgiving. Respondents were screened to ensure they were planning on celebrating Thanksgiving in 2019 and Pollfish’s age filtering feature ensured that all respondents were at least 18 years old. If respondents met the criteria, they were selected at random from Pollfish’s online user panel of over 100 million.

Respondents were asked to enter in an exact dollar amount when answering how much money they were expecting to spend on Thanksgiving-related expenses in 2019. After we collected 1,000 individual responses, we were able to calculate the average expenditure and the median expenditure. Respondents were also asked to enter in an exact proportion for both Thanksgiving travel and feast expenses. These respective values were also averaged together for each category. This poll was conducted over a two-day span from October 7, 2019, to October 8, 2019. All respondents were asked to answer each question truthfully and to the best of their abilities