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Catch up with the latest press releases from LV=

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Parents to spend over £2.4 billion on kids this Christmas

Press release: 07/12/2011

With Christmas just around the corner, new research reveals parents will spend a whopping £2.47 billion[1] on Christmas presents for their children, according to the Cost of a Child study from protection specialist LV=.

While children up and down the country are writing their Christmas lists, the LV= study shows parents will spend an average of £157 on gifts for their kids, with an extra £21 on stocking-fillers – adding up to £178 per child. This is an increase on the average total spend last year of £168 per child.

'Tis the season to spend money...

The amount mums and dads spend on Christmas presents peaks between the ages of 7 – 11, when the average spend on gifts per child is £220.

Average spend per child

Age group

Christmas presents

Stocking fillers


Average all ages



£178 per child

Age 0-3 years



£133 per child

Age 4-6 years



£200 per child

Age 7-11 years



£220 per child

Age 12-17 years



£217 per child

* See the table below for the average spend per child by region

A pinch from the Grinch…

The LV= Cost of a Child study reveals almost a third (31%) of parents are feeling under more financial pressure to buy their children what they want for Christmas than in previous years.

With kids' presents taking a large chunk out of their Christmas budget, over a quarter of parents (29%) admit they will have to cut back on how much they spend on other family members this Christmas to help balance their budget.

Some parents are clearly looking to avoid any tears on Christmas morning with one in twelve (8%) having already spoken to their children about not expecting as much this year.

Mark Jones, LV= Head of Protection, said: "Kids clearly come first despite tough economic times, with many parents intent on spending the same or more on their children this year. With mum and dad forking out £178 on average per child, parents are clearly keen to make Christmas as memorable as possible."

"Many families will be feeling the financial strain of keeping their kids happy this Christmas, so it's important parents try and look beyond the short term and also ensure they have suitable budgets and longer term financial plans in place. Even a small drop in a family's income can make it hard to balance the books, especially at this time of year, and people should make sure they have adequate protection in place to look after their finances if the unexpected should happen."

LV='s annual Cost of a Child report, released earlier this year, showed on average parents in the UK are likely to have to spend more than £210,000 on raising a child from birth to the age of 21.

Average spend per child by UK region


Christmas presents

Stocking fillers


UK average



£178 per child

Northern Ireland**



£245 per child

North East**



£222 per child




£233 per child




£217 per child

South West



£192 per child

Yorkshire & Humberside



£185 per child




£168 per child

North West



£169 per child

South East



£165 per child

East Midlands



£145 per child

West Midlands



£143 per child

East of England



£129 per child

** low base

For further information, please contact:Linda Winder, LV=, 020 7634 4418,
Kate Douglas, Lansons Communications, 020 7566 9712,
Becky Annable, Lansons Communications, 020 7566 9731,
Jeena Nadarajan, Lansons Communications, 020 7294 3629,

Notes to editors:

[1] Research carried out online from 11-14 November 2011 by Opinium Research on behalf of LV=. Total sample size was 569 parents with children under 18 years old.

Average spend on presents and stocking fillers per child (based on 100% of parents including those who said they do not buy presents or stocking fillers) is £178.00
In 2011 there are 13,902,000 people aged 18 or under (ONS population projections, 2008).
£178.00 x 13,902,000 = £2,474,556,000

About LV=

LV= employs over 5000 people and serves around five million customers with a range of financial products. We are the UK's largest friendly society and a leading financial mutual.
When we started in 1843 our goal was to give financial security to more than just a privileged few and for many decades we were most commonly associated with providing a method of saving to people of modest means. Today we follow a similar purpose, helping people to protect and provide for the things they love, although on a much larger scale and through a wide range of financial services including insurance, investment and retirement products.
We offer our services direct to consumers, as well as through IFAs and brokers, and through strategic partnerships with organisations such as ASDA, Nationwide Building Society and a range of trades unions.
LVFS is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority, register number 110035. LVFS is a member of the ABI, the AFM and ILAG. Registered address: County Gates, Bournemouth BH1 2NF.