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Majority of parents prefer cash presents for kids at Christmas

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Will you give a toy or a tenner this season? More than half (58%) of parents say they would rather you gave their children a financial contribution instead of clothes or toys that might not be useful in the new year and beyond.

Santa (or the grandparents) might be wiser to stuff his bag with a few pounds, premium bonds, or ISA accounts this year, according to a survey commissioned by the saving provider Ford Money and conducted in October by Censuswide, which questioned 1,037 parents with children aged 16 and under.

Part of the issue is sustainability. Nearly two-thirds (62%) of parents said they worried about the amount of unwanted and unrecyclable plastic toys their offspring may receive, with almost half (47%) saying their kids received at least 10 pieces of “tat” in the last year and 5% saying they received more than 40 useless items as gifts.

Three quarters spending less on gifts

Another factor is that the current cost of living strain has caused parents and relatives to rethink their approach to gift-giving and related spending. More than three quarters (79%) of parents surveyed said they planned to spend less on gifts to help cover bills for essentials such as energy bills, petrol and childcare.

Nearly half (46%) said they typically spent between £21 and £100 on presents each month, or £252 to £1,200 a year. If invested wisely, those funds could grow over time.

Will Davies, chief deposits officer at Ford Money, said: “We want to encourage sustainable finances and help the environment. The gift of saving is something that might seem alien, but in fact can be one of the best gifts you can give at any age. You won’t always remember that new toy you got one year, but your savings and how you manage them is something that is not only helpful to understand, it is essential.

(Of course, no one asked the children what they preferred.)

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