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Mothers-in-law top the generosity charts

Mothers-in-law top the generosity charts

Category: Savings

Updated: 13/10/2015
First Published: 12/10/2015

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

Getting some cash in hand from a family member is something we all get to enjoy every now and then, particularly on special occasions. But perhaps surprisingly, it is the oft-maligned mother-in-law who has been found to be the most generous when it comes to cash gifts.

Willing to give

According to GE Capital Direct's Relative Generosity survey, over the past year respondents said that they had received an average of £1,685 from family members as a cash gift, and mothers-in-law topped the list of the most generous.

In fact, respondents who said that they had received money from their spouse's mother reported that they got an average of £3,093, a figure that dwarfs the cash contributions made by brothers (nearly £1,600), who were found to be the next most generous. Fathers ranked third in the list, with average monetary gifts of £1,370.

Overall, the research revealed that female relatives, such as grandmothers, sisters and the aforementioned mother-in-law, were the most likely to give a cash gift, particularly if they were related on the mother's side: 64% of those questioned said that they received cash from people related to their mother, compared with 31% who said the same of people related to their father.

However, male relatives make up somewhat for their rarer cash contributions by giving larger average amounts when they do dip into their pocket to treat someone: survey respondents said that, on average, they received 30% more from male relatives than female ones, while fathers tend to give their offspring nearly one and a half times more than the mother.

Spend or save?

Thanks to such open-handed generosity from our relatives the question then becomes what to do with the money.

The survey revealed that two in five respondents kept the money as cash after receiving the gift, while 26% were savvier and invested it straight into a savings account.

Although having some cash in your pocket is always handy for those everyday expenses, a larger cash gift can work harder for you if it is earning interest. Finding a good home for your cash gifts is therefore important – the better the rate you secure, the more helpful your cash gift will be!

If you are saving for something specific, like a holiday next year, a fixed rate account can be a great home for a larger cash gift. These accounts usually require you to lock your money away for a set term, so you won't be tempted to dip in ahead of time. However, an easy access account may be a better alternative if you want to save your money, but aren't quite sure what goodies you will spend it on yet. Check out our best buys to see if you can find the perfect home for all your relatives' generous cash presents.

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.