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Catch up with the latest press releases from LV=

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How the Crunch stole Christmas

Press release: 18/12/2008

  • 5.4 million children are aware of the 'credit crunch' and its impacts.

  • 3.5 million children expect to have less money spent on them this Christmas.

  • 3.2 million children say their parents' spending habits have changed since the credit crunch hit.

  • Nearly half of teenagers are either working part time to help their parents financially, or are considering doing so.

New research by investment, pensions and insurance group LV= has revealed that over two-thirds of children in the UK (68%) (1), equivalent to 5.4m kids (2), are aware that there is a 'credit crunch' on, and understand what it means in the run up to Christmas.

The survey among children aged from 8 to 18 found that over four in ten children (44%), equivalent to 3.5m kids in the UK, expect to receive fewer or cheaper presents from their parents, family and friends this Christmas, because of the economic downturn.

Almost three quarters of younger children aged between 8 and 10 (73%) still believe in Father Christmas, and one quarter of these youngsters (26%) expect Santa's sack to be lighter this year as the credit crunch bites.

'Tis the season to be thoughtful

Recognising the current financial difficulties, almost one third of children (32%) have been thoughtful enough to ask Father Christmas, their parents and friends/family for less this Christmas.

This could be related to the fact that two in five children (40%), equivalent to 3.2m kids, have noticed changes in their parents' spending habits in the last year, with the following cutbacks:

  • Over one quarter (27%) said their parents are spending less at the supermarket.

  • 15% said their parents don't go out as much.

  • 13% said their parents are spending less money on clothes for themselves.

  • 11% said they are spending less money on holidays.

  • One in ten (10%) said parents are spending less money on their children.

  • One in twenty (5%) said their parents are spending less money on their hobbies.

And it seems that the pressures parents are facing are not just financial. Almost one in ten children (8%) said they had noticed that their parents were spending more time at work recently and less time with the family.

Mike Rogers, LV= Group Chief Executive, said:

"Children are surprisingly clued up about the credit crunch and the impact it is having on Christmas and on family life generally. And many younger children who still believe in Father Christmas expect even him to be feeling the pinch this year.

"Once again this illustrates the importance of families saving as much as they can, not only towards Christmas but for the future generally. Putting by just a little and often can make a big difference in the long run and help everyone to look after what they love in life."

Lending a helping hand

The Credit Crunch has also brought out kids' caring and sharing side, as one fifth of children aged between 14 and 18 (19%) have part-time jobs and are helping their parents out financially. A further three in ten (29%) are thinking of taking on a part-time job to help ease their parents' financial worries.

According to the LV= survey, one in four children (25%) have actually asked to receive less pocket money from their parents. 18% of these realise that their parents are struggling financially and 9% recognise that reducing their pocket money would help the family finances as a whole.

In contrast, three quarters of children (75%) said they had not suggested that their pocket money should be reduced, because they didn't believe that the credit crisis was affecting their family.

Mike Rogers continued:

"It is humbling to see that so many children are doing their bit for the family and trying to help out with part-time jobs and by asking for less pocket money. Some children are not seeing the effects of the credit crunch though, so it is important for all parents to try to educate their children around financial issues, particularly the value of saving and being prepared for the future."

  1. All figures are taken from research carried out by LVQ Research between 13th–20th November 2008. The research was carried out amongst a total of 817 children aged between 8 and 18 years of age.

  2. There are 7,931,000 children aged between 8 and 18 years in the UK (Source: Population projections by ONS, 2008).

About LV=

  • LV= is a registered trade mark of Liverpool Victoria Friendly Society Limited (LVFS) and a trading style of the Liverpool Victoria group of companies. The new LV= brand identity was launched in March 2007.

  • LV= employs over 3,500 people, serves more than 2.5 million customers and members, and manages around £8 billion on their behalf. We are also the UK's largest friendly society (Association of Friendly Societies Key Statistics 2008. Total net assets) and a leading mutual financial services provider.

  • LVFS is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority register number 110035. LVFS is a member of the ABI, AMI, AFS and ILAG. Registered address: County Gates, Bournemouth BH1 2NF.