Parents want to boost children's savings accounts not toy chests this Christmas

31 December 2008 / by Rachael Stiles
Each British child will have had an average of £50 spent on them by their grandparents this Christmas, but parents are calling on grandparents to give money rather than gifts so that they can boost their children's savings, according to research from Family Investments.

With each grandparent in the UK having an average of four grandchildren, they are predicted to have spent around £200 each this festive season on buying presents for their offspring's children alone.

Despite grandparents' good intentions, however, Family Investments found that more than half of all parents would prefer that their child received a donation into their child's savings accounts, but more than half admitted that they would feel too uncomfortable to broach the subject without being asked by the grandparents first.

"Grandchildren are central to the lives of many grandparents and so it is no surprise that they want to treat their grandchildren at Christmas. But spending £50 on Christmas gifts might not necessarily be the right thing in the eyes of parents." said Kate Baker, head of savings and investments at Family Investments.

"My message to well-meaning grandparents, would be to talk to the parents of your grandchildren and ask them what they would prefer. In our experience, parents feel that the grandparent's already do enough for the children or they don't feel comfortable raising the subject of money."

Ms Baker urges grandparents to consider building a lasting legacy and helping their grandchildren's future by re-directing thier generosity and making a donation into their children's savings account, or Child Trust Fund.

Family Investments found that Scottish grandparents will have spent the most this year, splashing out more than £200 on just one grandchild, while children in the East of the country will have recieved the least from their grandparents, with an average value of between £25-£50 each.

© Fair Investment Company Ltd