Christmas is a time for catching up with friends and family, for over-indulging in food and drink of every variety, and of course, it's a time for giving (and receiving) a gift or two. But, are you one of those people who spends months planning the perfect gift, or would you rather give cash so the recipient can choose for themselves? According to research from Friends Life, a growing number of people are opting for the latter.
The figures show that 35% of respondents plan to give cash rather than a traditional Christmas present, with a third choosing to do so because it means the recipient can buy what they really want. A quarter of those surveyed think cash will be better received, although personal reasons can come into the decision too, with one in 10 men choosing cash because it relieves the stress of shopping!
Nonetheless, those who give cash are a generous bunch, with the average gift set to be £114 – while a particularly lavish 5% plan to give between £200 and £500. Perhaps unsurprisingly, people are most likely to give money to family, with 28% giving cash to their children, 14% giving money to nephews or nieces, and a further 9% giving cash to siblings. Some do so to help out with large expenses or to ease financial strain, with 5% planning to contribute towards their loved one's mortgage costs, while 10% of over-55s surveyed plan to give money to someone in financial difficulty.
Many seem to be thinking longer-term, too, with 9% of 25-34 year-olds surveyed having been given a contribution towards their pension as a Christmas gift, receiving up to £2,000. Others have a more short-term outlook, with gift cards being the preferred financial gift for 32% of respondents.
Giving the gift of money could be a great way for the recipient to treat themselves, or even to cover financial costs. Many could use it as a way to boost their savings pot, something particularly likely if they're saving for something special, so it's no wonder that so many choose to give cash at this time of year.
Lindsay Forster, consumer marketing director at Friends Life, commented on the findings: "Christmas is a time for giving and our research shows that increasingly, people are opting to give money so the recipient can make a choice about how they use it. It's a great opportunity to help your loved ones think about how they manage their money; giving cash can help people to save towards things they really need."
Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.
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