Cash Is King This Christmas

What do you buy for your family and friends this Christmas? For many receiving cash will be the best Christmas present to receive.

Christmas PresentResearch by first direct shows that 28% of people expect to receive money as a gift at Christmas, anticipating an average amount of £83 each.

In addition, 6% of people are expecting a cash boost from their employers in December.

Whilst the majority of people will receive their Christmas money as cash, almost a quarter of people will receive a cheque.

The remainder will receive a gift card/voucher (e.g. from John Lewis, Marks and Spencer or WH Smiths), have the money paid directly into their bank account or receive a prepaid card.

Sadly, with so much financial pressure being felt at the moment, 37% will use their Christmas cash to pay for everyday items such as groceries.

A quarter will put it into savings or investments and almost 10% will use it to pay off debt – with some people still in debt from Christmas last year.

Bruno Genovese, Head of Savings at first direct commented:  “The extra costs of Christmas outings, drinks and gifts can quickly add up and many will appreciate a cash boost at this time of year. With a greater amount of gift money expected in 2011, it seems that people are conscious of not wasting money on unwanted presents and are letting friends and family choose for themselves.”

He added: “The good news is that recipients of Christmas money don’t have to choose between rewarding themselves and putting aside some savings.

“You don’t need a large sum to open a savings account and it can help get the New Year off to a positive start, laying the groundwork for a regular savings routine that will help provide a nest egg for future plans or unforeseen circumstances.”

MoneyHighStreet comments: “The cost of Christmas this year is going to be a struggle for some families. Whilst cash may be a welcome present, it is perhaps not ideal to think that recipients will have to use it on everyday items on not get the opportunity of a bit of pampering for themselves.

Interestingly, with so many trying to save money, families are employing christmas present tactics to help save money this year – including ‘Secret Santa’ and agreeing a financial limit for gifts.

In some ways putting tighter control on the spend, the skill of trying to buy a Christmas present that suits within a budget can make things a lot of fun – as well as of course saving money!

If you have tried this, or other tactics, already or perhaps are trying it for the first time this year do let us know your thoughts.

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