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Catch up with the latest press releases from LV=

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The twelve days to Christmas countdown is here as parents set to spend over £2 billion on gifts

Press release: 13/12/2011

With just twelve days until Christmas, children across Britain will be anxiously awaiting a visit from Santa and many parents will be agonising over the cost of buying Christmas presents. These final twelve days can be a stressful time for parents, as the Cost of a Child study from protection specialist LV= reveals parents will be spending a massive £2.4 billion[1] on festive presents and stocking fillers for their children this year.

LV= reveals the 'twelve days to Christmas' attitudes on gift spending from parents in Britain:

Twelve days to Christmas key parent shopping statistics


Parents are planning on spending a massive £2.4 billion on presents for their children


Mums and dads will spend an average of £178 on presents and stocking fillers per child


In 2010 an average of £168 was spent per child showing an increase in spending this year


Parents will spend on average £157 on gifts and an extra £21 on stocking fillers


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


Mums and dads are spending the least on very young children – those aged between 0 and 3 have £133 spent on Christmas gifts and stocking fillers


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


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


While on average spending is up, some parents are feeling the pinch this Christmas with one in twelve (8%) already having spoken to their children about not expecting as much for Christmas this year


Londoners this year will spend £168 on average per child on gifts, an increase on the £162 spent last year


Mums and dads in the East of England are the most frugal spending an average of £129 per child this Christmas


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

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 we look beyond the short term and also ensure we 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."

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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

LV= employs 5000 people and serves over 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.