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Gold, frankincense and mullah: Brits want cash under the tree and money in savings accounts this Christmas

18 December 2008 / by None
As British households tighten their belts and their budgets this Christmas, they are hoping to find a cash gift under the tree, and children are expected to receive money paid into savings accounts instead of discovering the latest toy in their stocking.

Traditional Christmas presents are so last year, according to research from Halifax, belonging to a time when Brits had more cash to splash and were being more frivolous with their money.

More than one in ten Brits will save the money they are given this Christmas, with a further 31 per cent saying that they will save some of it and spend the rest, and almost half of respondents to Halifax's survey said that they will intend to save more of their Christmas cash this year than they did in 2007.

Opening children's savings accounts or paying into Child Trust Funds on behalf of a child is a popular choice for present-givers at Christmastime, with more than a third considering this option, while almost the same amount reported that they or their relatives put money away into a savings account for their children each Christmas.

Halifax encourages this pattern of saving money instead of buying presents at Christmas, because it teaches children the benefits of saving from an early age.

"Our research shows that a large number of people like to receive money at Christmas time. It is great to see that many people will be putting at least some of that money aside." commented Ken Stannard, head of Halifax savings. "By saving regularly and then adding a lump sum at Christmas and/or birthdays, savers can build a pot of money that can be put aside for a rainy day.

"It is even more encouraging that friends and families are opening and funding savings accounts for their children/grandchildren. By involving children in this process it can build healthy saving habits that will play an important part in their future."

To put all their Christmas money in, is urging Brits to find a competitive fixed rate savings account before the bank of England base rate drops any further and inflation erodes the benefits of savers' investments.

The website found that 62 per cent of those who stand to benefit from falling tracker mortgage rates will be saving this money instead of spending it, and is calling on them to make the most of their savings.

Kevin Mountford, head of banking at, commented: "Despite the Government's attempts to get people spending big on the high street again, thankfully, people are seeing saving as very important now."

"If the credit crunch has taught everyone and every bank one important lesson, it is that savings are important."

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